The Piazza delle Erbe is at the heart of Verona. In every Italian city, there is one dilemma travelers face: to visit the attractions or take a seat in the beautiful piazza? Verona is no exception, and once you set eyes on Piazza delle Erbe, you might be tempted to choose a cozy chair, cappuccino, and afternoon of people-watching. The Verona Piazza is considered one of the most picturesque in all of Italy, which is saying a lot, for a country full of charming, historic squares. Literally translated as “Square of Herbs,” this piazza is also home to a market where you can buy all sorts of herbs to bring a taste of Italy home with you.
Piazza delle Erbe
Verona is a city that is known primarily for two things: its ancient Roman amphitheatre and for being the location of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Today visitors attend an opera at the amphitheatre and visit Juliet’s house and Juliet’s tomb. Some travelers try to squeeze these activities into a single day, but this would be a mistake. Italy is the kind of place to slow down and savor the sights and smells. This is particularly true at Piazza delle Erbe. From the moment you approach the square, you will be overwhelmed by the scent of herbs and spices. Whether you want to simply browse or are looking to stock your kitchen, this market is fascinating to visit.
These days, the Verona Piazza is known for more than herbs. In the marketplace here visitors will also find clothes, souvenirs, and refreshments. Shopping isn’t the only thing to do in this square. Piazza delle Erbe is full of history, from the Tower Lamberti that dates back to 1464 to the Palazzo Commune, or municipal hall. All of the buildings on the square have their own intricate facades, begging the question of what lays beyond the front door. From the Chamber of Commerce building to the Tower Gardello that contains frescoes dating back to the sixteenth century, this square is full of history.
Architectural influences range from Romanesque to Baroque in the Verona Piazza. Visitors who aren’t too interested in architecture and history will still love the Madonna Verona Fountain, a fourteenth-century statue located in the middle of the square. If you’re looking for some direction on how to explore the square, the tourism office is also located here. The one thing you won’t want to miss is the marketplace, which is open Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm. Strolling through the stalls is the true highlight of the Verona Piazza. Surrounded by the local language, smells, and foods, visitors are endlessly charmed by this square.
If you’re the type of traveler that despises paying entrance fee after entrance fee to museums or attractions, don’t worry—there is no cost to explore the history and marketplace of Piazza delle Erbe. Some travelers would rather spend that money on enjoying a coffee at a café and spend some time people watching. When visiting Italy, slowing down and living as the Italians do is half the fun. For even further relaxation, take a day trip outside of Verona to Lake Garda. Here you can sunbathe, take a boat tour, and enjoy more fresh cuisine.