Verona hits the headlines on account of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It was between the marble-carved balconies and cobbled lanes of this old city that the great English bard chose to play out his tale of love and tragedy. But there’s also much more to it than that. With the Alps and the glistening waters of Lake Garda on the doorstep, Verona is an enthralling piece of Italy. There’s a chipped Roman amphitheatre dominating its centre (which it’s dominated since the times of Tiberius) and a handsome medieval centre of towers and duomos and piazzas, all backed up by a healthy (or perhaps not so healthy) helping of Veneto wines and highland cheeses.
The Airbnb offering in Verona has been growing for years. It’s possible to delve into the historic core to find cosy boltholes in 500-year-old buildings. Or, look to the newer outskirts, which have spacious multi-room flats with all the mod cons you could want for a family trip to the Adige River. This guide offers insights into the top neighbourhoods and some of the best rentals on the menu…
Yep. Don’t worry about that – Airbnb is totally legal and above board in this northern Italian city. Recent country-wide restrictions mean that hosts now need to pay higher duties to local authorities, but there’s actually been little knock-on effect on the cost of stays for the traveler. It might be worth knowing that all guests to Airbnbs in Verona need to present their ID or passport on check-in. You might also be asked to pay the local tourist tax of two euros, which is calculated per person, per night.
Where should I stay in Verona Airbnb?
Every first-time visitor to Verona will want to start in the Città Antica(1). That’s the stomping ground of Shakespeare’s heroines and heroes, and the postcard-perfect historical district of the town. Over the Adige River are both Veronetta(2) – gritty, hipster, and filled with great bars – and Valdonega(3) – affluent and great for an escape to the hills. The Cittadella(4) is the convenient new town quarter, although it still has the Roman theatre and an imposing medieval castle. Borgo Trento(5), meanwhile, is to the west, touting peaceful residential blocks and direct road links to Garda.
The main sights of Verona are all here
Beautiful piazzas filled with shops and cafés
It’s all totally walkable
It’s really busy
It’s the priciest part of town
Prepare to be enchanted, because the Città Antica is Verona’s most beautiful, most fairy-tale, most photo-worthy district. It’s also – naturally – the most touristy, so you’ll have to get ready to deal with crowds, particularly if you come in the summer high season (between May and August). Encircled by a great meander in the Adige River, the area anchors on the fountain-gurgling Piazza delle Erbe, around which swirls fantastic 1600s palazzos and the iconic house of Juliet (or at least the house people think belonged to Juliet). In short, this is the place for sightseeing and street walking.
There was a time when Veronetta was considered the slum of Verona. No longer. Hipsters and creatives have taken over the reins and you’ll now be inundated with cool mixology bars and ramshackle beatnik pubs, all peppered with tasty Veneto osterias that serve local wine sourced from the hills around Garda. The geography of Veronetta is also a draw. The streets slowly slope upwards here to offer panoramas through the cypresses across the whole Adige basin and the town. A room with a view, perhaps?
The geographical heart of modern Verona – along with the greatest selection of Airbnbs – is to be found in Cittadella. It’s the new town district that lies immediately to the south of the Città Antica. On one side, the crenulations of the rust-hued Castelvecchio towers and the stacked arcades of the Verona Arena loom high. They soon give way to wide traffic lanes threaded with cheese shops and wine bars, not to mention a distinctly diverse medley of dining, from Indian curry houses to all-American fast food.
The Veronese clamber to live in the breezy heights of Valdonega. One of the most affluent and upscale corners of the city, you’ll find it creeping into the low Prealps to the north. There, the houses and villas are surrounded by pockets of pines and cypresses and dashes of vineyard, opening onto lovely 180-degree views of the Po Valley and the sprawl of Verona below. There aren’t many Airbnbs in these parts, but the ones that are around offer unrivalled relaxation and peace.
Primarily a residential district, but also on the way up thanks to an all-new cohort of creative cafés, roasteries, and bars, the Borgo Trento occupies the little U-bend of land that pokes into the Adige River to the west of the Città Antica. For the most part quiet, the neighborhood gets a little pizzazz on the boulevard of Via IV November, which is a montage of wine shops and ethnic eateries touting sushi and German pastries. With good links to the SP1, Borgo Trento is also perfect if you’re keen to escape to the beaches of Lake Garda by road.
There’s something of an Alpine feel to this timber-boned penthouse flat. Washed-out wooden beams and pine flooring roll throughout to give a space that’s at once true to the region and cosy to the T. The flat is a duplex, offering a single bedroom and ensuite in the eaves and a bright living quarter with a kitchenette below. Oh, and the balcony has front-row views over the Verona Arena! Nice.
Crank up the R&R on your Verona city break by whisking your family or friends to the heights of the tree-speckled Valdonega area. That’s where this lovely Italian villa sits, surrounded by the ridges of the Prealps and little vineyards and forests. You might not even have to leave to find entertainment – the garden has a large communal swimming pool and covered al fresco dining and BBQ spaces. There are four bedrooms in all, with capacity enough for eight guests maximum.
The Palladio Rooms tick all the boxes for a traveling family. Four individual bedrooms are packed into the property, so everyone should have their own pad to kick back on after tiresome days of sightseeing. In addition, there are large bathrooms with his and her sinks, along with a gathering room come kitchen that’s fully equipped with both cooker and hob.
A short walk to the Ponte Pietra bridge that takes you straight over the Adige to the Città Antica, this sprawling penthouse can accommodate a whopping 16 people at once. It’s set in a gorgeous and historical mansion with trademark Veneto redbrick and stone-carved porticoes. Inside, the bedrooms and bathrooms are spacious, and even dip out onto walled terraces with street views.
Airbnb in Verona is generally considered to be a little cheaper than hotels. Of course, the cost of your stay will all depend on what sort of apartment or house you want to rent. There are some uber-luxurious listings that host huge groups that will always cost more than a double in a hotel. However, it’s worth remembering that you can share the cost of an Airbnb with everyone you travel with. What’s more, hefty weekly and monthly discounts are common on the service, sometimes to the tune of 50% off or more!
The downside of an Airbnb is that you don’t get the same level of hands-on care you would in a traditional hotel establishment. If you’re looking to be pampered, want your room cleaned daily, enjoy buffet breakfasts before sightseeing, and like to have lobby bars and whatnot, consider a stay in the four-star Hotel Accademia. It’s right in the midst of the Città Antica, has rooms with balconies, a private gym, and packages with morning meals included.
Verona spins its magic with 2,000 years of Roman history, the romantic sight of Juliet’s House, and a gorgeous setting below the foothills of the Italian Alps. If you’re tempted to make it your city-break spot this year, be sure to consider Airbnb. The service can often help you save a bunch of euros and get you staying in some of the most atmospheric quarters of the downtown.