Whether you go as a day trip or an overnight getaway, here’s everything you want to know to plan your trip to Verona!
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Verona may be known as the setting for Romeo & Juliet, but it has a romance all its own!
Sitting just an hour from Venice, it’s an easy day trip or overnight to see another part of northern Italy. It’s been a wealthy city for centuries, so the architecture is more elegant (and preserved) than other towns of the same age.
What to See in Verona
The best way to experience Verona is to wander. It’s a small city and every corner is packed with charm, so even if you don’t enter a single museum or site, you’ll still have a great time!
The most iconic thing to see in Verona is definitely the arena! Dating back to the first century, it’s one of the most complete and largest still in existence. If you buy a ticket to one thing in Verona, it should probably be this. They offer both guided and unguided tours, and unlike the Colosseum in Rome, you can pretty much climb through all of it.
If you want a more unique way to experience it, see a performance here! Every summer the arena hosts operas & concerts. Shows are performed in the open air on the same stones the locals sat on two thousand years ago. The season usually runs June-September, so if that’s interesting to you, visit in summer.
If the arena is the most iconic part of Verona, the most well-known part (especially to English speakers) is the Juliet House or Casa de Giulietta.
Y’all, some of you may disagree with this, but save your money and skip this. It’s a total gimmick.
Shakespeare never visited Verona (or Italy), so this wasn’t even the inspiration for Romeo & Juliet’s balcony scene. It’s not worth the entry fee, AND it’s usually the most crowded thing in the city. I include it because it’s worth noting where it is, but my advice is to skip.
Piazza delle Erbe
Just around the corner from the Juliet House is the Piazza delle Erbe! This piazza is arguably the most beautiful and lively of Verona, and no trip is complete without a stop here. The buildings and palazzos surrounding it date back hundreds of years, with the oldest piece being the statue in the fountain dating from Roman times. Nowadays, you can find market stalls here daily, some stocked with tourist fare and others with produce.
The Castelvecchio is exactly what the name literally means: the old castle. Originally, it was a Medieval fortress to protect the city’s ruling family from neighboring strongholds. Nowadays, it’s an art museum. My vote is to skip paying the entry fee, but you can check out the main courtyard for free to get a feel for the castle itself.
After seeing Castelvecchio, head next door to the attached bridge! Ponte Scaligero feels like it’s out of a movie set and is worth a stroll, even if you just get to the midpoint and turn around. It gives great views of the castle, the arch next door, and the city skyline. You can even climb up some of the parapets! Be careful though, in true Italian style there are no railings.
Castel San Pietro
Castel San Pietro is the newer castle and is pretty beautiful. It boasts gorgeous views overlooking the city, and locals tend to prefer the interior to Castelvecchio. Even if you don’t go in, it’s worth heading to this area because it’s surrounded by another smaller ancient Roman theater. You can walk up the hill for free or take the funicular for only a few euros.
Churches of Verona
To get into the major churches of Verona, you need to buy an entry ticket. It’s not expensive (usually 4€), but know that some of the churches close around 4 pm, so don’t put it off if they’re important to you.
Day Trip or Overnight?
Now that you know what there is to do & see in Verona, let’s talk timing.
You can easily see everything I’ve mentioned here as a day trip. The biggest draw of Verona is its charm, so even if you just stroll the streets for a few hours and eat a good meal, you’ll get a good feel of the city.
Verona from Venice is super easy: a one-hour direct train, running roughly every hour.
I’ll also point out that Verona is a popular destination, meaning it can be crowded! Be prepared for plenty of people, even in the off-season. Staying overnight will allow you to experience the city without all that!
If you do decide to stay overnight, you’re well positioned for some great nearby spots, including my favorite olive oil farm, the Valpolicella wine region or Lake Garda. For most of these you’d need to rent a car, but this is a good part of the country for it – there are so many tiny towns, wineries, and beautiful spots! It’s so a much calmer region driving-wise, so American drivers should be fine.
Where to Stay in Verona
If you’re driving, I recommend staying in the Veronetta area. It’s on the east of town, just across the river, and has both street and covered parking options nearby!
If you want to stay more in the center of things, head to Hotel Milano. It has a gorgeous rooftop hot tub with a view of the Arena as well as an in house spa!
Notice something missing? Verona restaurants have their own separate guide!
Want more details about visiting Verona? I have all this and more in an interactive map setup on Thatch! It includes all this as well as more restaurants, locations of the major churches, and some of the most beautiful walks!