Verona is an ancient city with a thriving contemporary life. It’s a city that’s currently growing and changing in many exciting ways, with lots of students, artists and immigrants coming into the mix with Veronese old-timers. But Verona can also be an extremely touristic city, as its Shakespearean fame has been both a blessing and a curse. That persistent legacy of Romeo and Juliet brings on the crowds during high season, packing the historic center with camera-wielding visitors looking for a brush with that timeless romance. In this city though, there’s plenty of possibility for those who are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of touristic activity. Check out our guide to the best neighborhoods in Verona.
On the eastern bank of the river Adige is this little neighborhood called Veronetta, where many students and recent immigrants make their home. It might’ve been called the”Bronx” of Verona by overwrought TV programs of the last decade, but that’s excellent news to those of us who like the Bronx. The buildings are old, crumbling and beautiful, and there’s a lot of local life. It’s also a center of nightlife in the evenings, particularly along Via XX Settembre, where bars and restaurants all along the street turn the place into a big, bohemian party. Check out Libre!, a cooperative bookstore and event space during the day, and head over to Osteria Monte Baldo at night.
Just outside the historic center of the city you’ll find a peaceful neighborhood where you can escape from the tourist crowds. This is one of the most desirable places to live for Veronese people for just that reason. Valdonega is located up on a hill within walking distance of the city center. The place is tranquil with plenty of green space. Come for a piece of Verona that’s more authentic and lived-in.
This neighborhood around the Basilica of San Zeno has a beautifully old atmosphere, with medieval, Renaissance and modern touches mixing seamlessly. There’s a lot of life in the piazza, with families coming and going, children playing, and friends meeting up for a chat. Sundays will bring the lovely antiques market, full of old furniture, books, jewelry and other delightful knick-knacks.
Towards the periphery of the city, Borgo Roma is a former industrial zone, now shaping up as a neighborhood full of new cafes, bars and restaurants. Because of this history, all the buildings and shops here will have a much younger vibe than the time-worn institutions you’ll find in the historic center. Community events and festivals are also held in the Parco San Giacomo, where families go to soak up some sun on the weekends.