Day Trip to Verona, Italy

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A few weeks ago, for my fortieth birthday, my sister, aunt, uncle and I headed to Northern Italy for a week of sightseeing, eating and celebrating. We were based in the small town of Lecco, situated on Lake Como. Each day we ventured out on various trips, and my favorite was our day spent in Verona.

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Everything you must see in Verona, Italy. mommatogo.com

DAY TRIP TO VERONA, ITALY

 

Verona is a small Roman city in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Situated about 160 km east of Milan and 120 km west of Venice, it is easily accessible from either city by car or train.

On this particular trip we drove to Verona and found street parking for our van after 5 minutes of searching for a spot. We arrived a little later than expected and desperately needed a cappuccino and a pastry since we rushed of the house to hit the road.

Everything you must see in Verona, Italy. mommatogo.com

After a much needed pasticerria stop, we met our guide, Mariapia. Since most of us were new to Verona, we arranged for a guided tour. Italian tour guides are the real deal as they have to be certified and receive intense training to be authorized as a guide. I HIGHLY recommend doing a guided tour when visiting historical sites in Italy. You will learn so much about what you are looking at- all about the history, architecture, and art. A good guide will recount local legends that you will miss if you go on your own. And if you are visiting Verona, I highly recommend Mariapia –she literally wrote all of the English and Japanese guidebooks to Verona!

Use this link to our awesome travel agents at Exclusively Italy to book a tour with Mariapia (or any awesome Italy adventure – read about our Cooking class here)

Verona is not a huge city, so its reasonable to spend a day and see all the major sites, have a leisurely lunch, and even have time to window shop in the high-end stores or grab a gelato! The three main sites to see are:

 

L’Arena

This is the Roman Colosseum located off the main Piazza, Piazza Bra. This amphitheater was built in the first century A.D. and pre-dates the one in Rome! It was used for the same purpose, gladiator battles!. Mariapia told us many tales of what happened in this stadium, and yes, it was pretty much as brutal as the movie, Gladiator. She even told us where the name Arena comes from – the Latin word for sand which graced the floor to soak up the gladiator blood!

Everything you must see in Verona, Italy. mommatogo.com

Now the L’Arena is still home to several concerts a year and you can tour inside for 10 Euro a person. Since we were short on time, we only visited the outside of this Colosseum.

Everything you must see in Verona, Italy. mommatogo.com

 

Piazza d’Erbe

A short walk from L’Arena, you will find a bustling piazza, appropriately named Erbe. The markets in this square date back to the times when farmers would sell their excess crops, or agricultural goods. Erbe literally means herbs, so you can see how this name is a good fit.

Everything you must see in Verona, Italy. mommatogo.com

Now a days the vendors sell fruit, flowers, along with local crafts and souvenirs for tourists. Like most Roman piazzas, a fountain is found in the center and the surrounding architecture is very Roman. We also saw the penthouse flat that Madonna owns. An awesome mix of Roman history and modern glamour, which pretty much sums up Verona.

 

 

Juliet’s Balcony

Perhaps the most famous site in Verona, is the balcony of Juliet Capulet. The one made famous in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet! Not only did Mariapia take us round to see the balcony (for 3 Euro you can enter the house and go out on the balcony), she also took us to the villa where it is believed Romeo met Juliet, and she sat us down for about 15 minute to recount the 14th Century legend of these two famous lovers that prompted Shakespeare to write his play in the mid 1700s.

Everything you must see in Verona, Italy. mommatogo.com

In the piazza where the balcony is located also stands a bronze statue of Juliet. Legend has it that if you touch her right breast, you are assured luck in love. Along the wall you will find hundreds of  locks donning the names of lovers who came looking to seal their love in Verona, much like Romeo and Juliet.

Everything you must see in Verona, Italy. mommatogo.com

 

 

After a morning of sightseeing, we had worked up quite an appetite. After our tour, we headed back to Piazza Bra to sit in the piazza at one of the restaurants lining the square and have a leisurely lunch. We chose to dine at Bistrot Mamma Mia and it was your quintessential Italian lunch. We started with Aperol Spritz (aperol and prosecco), which is drunk before a meal as an aperitif (to get the appetite ready). We dined on caprese salads and delicious plates of pasta, all while people watching from the outdoor tables, over looking the square and the Colosseum. Truly a fitting end to a wonderful day in Verona!

Everything you must see in Verona, Italy. mommatogo.com

I love Roman cities, and could have spent more time wandering around. We did window shop through Louis Vuitton and down Via Giuseppe Mazzini. I’m sure Verona would be a great place to stay for a night, and take in another meal or two, all the restaurants looked delicious. But Verona was the perfect spot for a day trip, or maybe a layover as you make your way from one larger city to another. I am so glad we had the opportunity to visit.

 

Have you been to Verona? Did a visit to Juliet’s statue really make you lucky in love?

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Thanks to our awesome agents at  EXCLUSIVELY ITALY. They are your top Italy Destination Specialists!

Check out other Momma To Go Italy posts:

A Day in Verona

The Art of Cooking

Wine Tasting in Italy

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45 Comments

  1. Oh, I’ve been to Verona for a day as well back in 2011! It’s soooo much fun to see what other people do when they are in this beautiful city! I’ve visited pretty much the same spots, but we skipped the balcony. TOOOO CROWED!

    Reply
  2. I think the story of Romeo and Juliet is so amazing. (Not just the Shaksperian story.) I didn’t know that you could find luck by touching the statue! That pasta looks delicious. I want some now!

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  3. I have not been to Verona but to other states of Italy. I didn’t know that Verona has so much to offer other than cities such as Milan.I will definitely put Verona in my bucket list if I have the time visiting Italy in the future.

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  4. Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen

    Verona sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I’ve always wanted to visit Italy. If I ever make it, Verona is on my list.

    Reply
  5. So nice to walk around Verona with you for a few minutes! I almost felt i was there, too!:) I think the same thing about the guides in Italy, they are sooo well trained…comparing to other countries’ guides, they must have a university degree in History or Archaeology! 🙂
    We only went to Rome, this year, and loved it! Italy is very close to our country and we always postponed our italian trips saying we can get there anytime :)) But we really enjoyed the italian spirit, and definitely try more cities. Verona is now on the list thanks to you. Cheers! 🙂

    Reply
  6. My daughter visited Italy last summer and said it was her favorite out of Italy, France and Greece. I cannot wait to go and visit myself now! I never knew that about the Colosseum.

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  7. Oh wow! Visiting Juliet’s balcony would be so incredible. I am seriously going to look into doing a trip to Verona in the next few years because of this post – so thank you!
    Also, I love that you also said how long it took you to find parking because that is always such a huge thing with my boyfriend in cities – he’s convinced we would never find a spot so we might as well train and walk everywhere.
    Great guide! xx

    Reply
    1. harmskills Author

      we had a van because we had 7 people. we were coming from a small town, Lecco so I think if we trained we would have had to go to Milan first, maybe, not even sure. The parking wasnt too bad, it was Saturday so not sure if that makes it better, or worse!

      Reply
  8. We visited Verona as a day trip once as well and this brings back so many good memories. I would also recommend climbing the Lamberti tower for some incredible views, and arena is really worthwhile seeing from the inside. Very impressive!

    Reply
  9. I went to Verona on a day trip in 2013. I was really excited and it started off really well… until lunch. I have no idea what happened but I guess I got food poisoning because it started as look for the pretty buildings and ended with look for the nearest trash can in case I need to throw up (again). So cut my day early but would love to go back. Such a gorgeous city.

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  10. Lovely pictures. Looks like an amazing trip. I would love to travel more. I remember when I was younger collecting those clay painted face masks, brought back fun memories 🙂 Thanks for sharing at The weekend blog hop.

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  11. Okay, that coffee looked amazing!!! And, HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY!!!! I love all things Italy, seriously one of my favorite countries. But, I have yet to visit Verona or Lake Como. This post made me realize I need to book a trip 😉

    Reply
  12. I love Italian coffee and that picture looks so good! We are currently watching the show Spartacus and it is crazy to think that gladiator fights really happened at that Arena. Verona is such a beautiful city!

    Reply

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