Ciao bella! Hope you’re all doing well. So excited to be *finally* getting round to writing this blog post. NGL, it’s been sitting in my Drafts folder for over a year and I completely forgot about it. Even though this post is a little on the last side, I still wanted to share my experience in Verona with you lovely lot. Verona is a great day trip option for those staying in Venice, Milan, or around the Lake Garda area, and there is plenty to do to fill up a whole day.
When we were planning our trip, we didn’t look at too many things to do in Verona as our idea was initially to go and explore. Tres romantique and all that… but it didn’t quite turn out that way. Turns out, Verona can get very busy, and congested. Even in the mild May temperatures of around 30 degrees (lol) we struggled to ~ stroll ~ and it was more of a “run from each spot of shade to another”. Less romantic, more avoiding sunburn.
If I could go back and re-do Verona, I would definitely go with more of a plan at hand to help the day flow more. The crowds can get a little overwhelming, especially in the heat. So I would also advise anyone to get there as early as possible in the morning to make the most of the romantic Veronese before the crowds arrive. Anyway, here are my top five things to add to your “Things To Do In Verona” list, lets go!
THINGS TO DO IN VERONA
Most people jump on a train to Verona Station, followed by a bus into the city centre. If that’s the way you do it, jump off the bus when you see Verona Arena! You really can’t miss it, it’s the predominant historic remains in Verona. You can indeed go and see an opera performance inside the old arena, but be warned that it’s fairly expensive and you need to book well in advance. Instead, Alix and I had a stroll right the way around it and stopped in the main piazza around the arena for coffee and brioche. One of the things we loved about Verona was how relaxed and chilled the vibe was around the side streets and finding little coffee shops was a fab pastime.
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There was one thing on my Verona bucket list, and of course it was Juliet’s House. I had a bit of a romanticised idea of what vising Juliet’s House would be like after watching Letters To Juliet (the rom com chick flick). Little did I know that it would be a courtyard full of tourists trying to get photos with the famous love-locks, grafitti the love wall, and touch Juliet’s breast (it’s for good luck, apparently). We hurried through the crowd holding hands to not get separated before we got to the ticket office and made our way into the house. There are a fair amount of stairs in the whole building, just so you’re aware before the climb.
When we got up to the Juliet’s famous balcony bit, there’s a whole room to look at with light frescos and it was a really pretty airy vibe. We had the whole room to ourselves and so we didn’t rush over to the then-empty balcony to get photos. Little did we know, a whole tour group of people were just about to join us. Instead of the cute photos we wanted at the balcony, we were being rushed off by the tour group after taking one shot.
If I could get a do-over on this one, I’d go asap in the morning when it opens (instead of 10am) and I’d rush up to the balcony and stand my ground until me and Alix got a decent shot of us. Remember, this courtyard and the building itself are very small spaces and can get crowded really quickly. I’d get there as early as possible to really make the most out of it, and I’m sure it would be a completely different experience.
PS. You can also visit Juliet’s tomb (slightly less romantic, slightly more morbid) and a combined ticket to see both will save you a fair amount of money too!
Out of all the things to do in Verona, this museum was probably my favourite. We stumbled upon it by chance at the end of the day, and decided to spend the last few hours getting in some culture time. Castelveccio Museum is actually a medieval castle-turned-museum, and dates back to the Scaliger dynasty in the middle ages. We paid for audioguides here as we didn’t want to miss anything, and we were really glad we did. It encouraged us to take our time and enjoy every little bit of the museum, plus a lot of descriptions weren’t written out fully in English and we probably would have missed a lot of info otherwise. Some of the rooms inside the castle still have details of the original wall to ceiling frescos, and it was really surreal walking from from to room of traditional medieval art. The gothic architecture of the building is stunning, but the real gem here is the the view from Castelvecchio Bridge.
BASILICA DI SAN ZENO MAGGIORE
& DUOMO DI VERONA
At midday, with the sun heavily beating down on our backs, our only real relief was in the cool shade inside the old Veronese churches. Luckily, the two that we chose to visit were absolutely gems and I would highly recommend going to visit both. One aspect that we absolutely loved about Verona was that all the audio guides were free. So you just need to pay an entry free (all proceeds go to the church) and grab an audio guide and go! Both are very different in their own way – The basilica is more traditional, whereas the cathedral has some of the most stunning art and architecture in the region.
Fun fact: Dante was inspired to write Paradiso whilst at Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, some considering the the description of hell’s gate to be inspired by the bronze entrance at the church.
PIAZZA DELLE ERBE
If you’re less into history, maybe a browse in the many piazzas of Verona would be more up your street. Piazza Delle Erbe is arguably one of the most popular piazzas, and holds a market square in the centre. Here you can buy drinks, snacks, gifts and much more. The piazza itself is stunning so Alix and I grabbed some freshly squeezed OJ & sat in the shade to soak up the architecture. It’s surrounded by meandering streets, some of which are filled with boutique shops and others with family-fun pizzerias, the fun is in the exploring around the piazza for sure.
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How would you explore Verona?
What would be top on your to-do list?
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