View of Verona from Torre dei Lamberti

Verona in One Day: A Travel Guide From a Non-Romantic

View of Verona Italy from above with text overlay View of Verona Italy from above with text overlay

Because there’s more to Verona than Romeo and Juliet! Read on for what to do on your day trip from Venice to Verona.

I’m not known for being an extremely sentimental person, there’s even a running joke about how I received a wonderful, lengthy handwritten Christmas card from my boyfriend last year – in return, I wrote “Merry Christmas, Love Flo” on the wrapping paper around his (poorly-wrapped) present. Oops. Still, we’re now married so something must have gone right! So when I visited Florence, Burano and Venice in Italy with my mother earlier this year and she asked if we could visit Romeo and Juliet’s “hometown”, I snorted.Verona? Why would we want to go there?”

It is said that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was based on two lovers from feuding families in Verona. In the story, they are both in their early teens, and their relationship ends in despair and tragedy because of some questionable drama-filled decisions. Yikes. I told you I wasn’t a romantic. This may give you a glimpse into why Verona wasn’t really on my radar, and why I didn’t feel strongly about visiting the city in the beginning. But this all changed once we arrived.

Ponte di Castelvecchio in Verona Italy

This stunning red-roofed city offers views for days, a wonderfully preserved castle and amphitheater, and a historic centre that can easily be explored on foot in a day. Read on for how to get to Verona and what to see in 1 day in Verona.

How to get to Verona

View of Verona from Torre dei Lamberti

Venice to Verona: My geographical knowledge of Italy is pathetic, and when we found out it was only an hour away from Venice by train, I had no excuse not to go on a day trip from Venice to Verona with my die-hard romantic mother. So we hopped on a train from Venice to Verona’s Porta Nuova station (there is at least one, if not two or three trains to Verona every hour – check the train schedules here and here) and set off to explore the city.

Milan to Verona: You can also plan a day trip from Milan to Verona as the train journey takes just under 2 hours each way. Check the train schedules here and here.

Wondering what to see in Verona? You can easily spend one day in Verona and explore the city’s historic attractions on foot – trains back to Venice are so frequent that you don’t necessarily need to pre-book a seat.

Did you know that you should validate your train ticket in Italy if there is no assigned seating? Click here for 14 things you should know before you go to Italy!

Where to stay if you’re visiting Verona

Verona is an easy day trip destination if you are staying in Venice. We stayed at the Hotel Bel Sito, a lovely little hotel located steps away from the Giglio vaporetto stop. The rooms, while on the smaller side, were clean and comfortable, the breakfast spread was good and most importantly, it is amazingly convenient to get anywhere – just hop on the Line 1 Vaporetto to head to the main train station to catch a train to Verona!

Alternatively, I also recommend Ca ‘degli Oresi, especially if you are traveling with friends or family to Venice. These family-run apartments are a stone’s throw from the Sam Samuele vaporetto stop (2 stops before the Giglio stop) and within walking distance to the Accademia bridge. The apartment is extremely spacious and comfortable – we loved having access to the full kitchen, beautiful private terrace and 2 separate bathrooms. However, there is no elevator (which is standard for most buildings in Venice), so you need to walk up several flights of stairs. Click here to book your stay at Ca’ degli Oresi!

Venice San Marco Square at night

Tip: If you want to stay close to the main attractions, the best areas to stay in Venice are San Marco or close to the Ponte dell’Accademia in Dorsoduro. Click here to view other accommodation options in Venice’s city center!

Verona skyline in Italy

Conversely, if you’re not keen on paying near extortionate prices for accommodation in Venice, Verona is a good place to base yourself instead and you can do a day trip or two to Venice as well as explore the region of Veneto (including the colourful island of Burano!). Click here for accommodation options in Verona’s historic centre or read even more Italy hotel booking tips and recommendations here.

The top places to visit in Verona in one day

If there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be that there is so much more to Verona than an old Shakespearean tale of teenage love ending in tragedy. Read on for how to spend 1 day in Verona and how to plan your Venice to Verona day trip!

1. Begin your visit at Castelvecchio

From the Porta Nuova train station, head north and you will reach Castelvecchio in about 15 minutes. This medieval castle was built in the mid-14th century using distinct red-colored bricks and has an adjoining bridge that connects the two sides of the city divided by the Adige River. It served as the city’s defensive fortification system against invasions and rebellion, and offered the ruling della Scala family a secure route to escape from the city.

Later on, the castle was used as a weapons and munitions warehouse in the early 1400s, served as the Venetian military academy in the 18th century and finally a museum in 1925 housing valuable art collections. Entry to the museum costs 6 Euros per person.

2. Walk across the Ponte di Castelvecchio

This bridge is also referred to as Ponte Scaligero and is reminiscent of castle fortifications, though it is only used as a pedestrian walkway these days. The bridge was destroyed during World War II, but rebuilt in the 1950s with the original bricks recovered from the river Adige.

Once you’ve crossed the bridge, glance back for a view of the castle and stroll along the river until you reach the next bridge over Ponte della Vittoria. Walk along the bridge to head back to “downtown” Verona.

3. Stop at the Porta Borsari

The Porta Borsari is an ancient Roman gate dating back to the 1st century AD; in Roman times, you would have to enter the city of Verona via these gates. It used to be called the Porta Jovia and was re-named as this was where travelers paid their tolls to enter and exit the city.

4. Climb the Torre dei Lamberti

The Torre dei Lamberti is the tallest tower in Verona, coming in at 84 meters and as such, offers incredible views across Verona. There is an elevator up and then a short climb to the final platform at the very top. The original tower began construction in the 12th century but was further raised several time, and the clock was not added until much later in the late 18th century.

Entrance costs 8 Euros but believe me when I tell you that you won’t want to miss this panoramic view on your day trip to Verona.

5. Visit Casa di Giulietta, the famous Romeo and Juliet balcony

Romeo and Juliet balcony in Verona Italy

The most popular (and therefore, crowded) attraction for visitors who only have a day in Verona, people visit this balcony which supposedly inspired Shakespeare to write the famous “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” scene.

Casa Giulietta balcony in Verona Italy

There is a bronze statue of Juliet in the courtyard and hordes of people line up to take a picture of themselves rubbing her breast for good luck. Completely and utterly baffling.

You can also pay to enter the house and stand on the balcony if you really, really want to. I won’t judge.

The entryway to the internal courtyard is covered from top-to-bottom in love notes scribbled by lovers from around the world.

6. Move on swiftly to the Arena di Verona

That’s right! The Coliseum in Rome is not the only amphitheatre in Italy! Say what?! It’s these types of structures that fascinate me about Verona. The Arena di Verona still hosts massive-scale performances and is one of the best preserved structures of its kind – after Rome’s Colosseum and the amphitheatre of Capua it is the third largest amphitheatre in Italy. It was built in the first half of the 1st century AD and has hosted live concerts of The Who, Whitney Houston, Paul McCartney, Kiss and…One Direction.

Prior to hosting performances by global Billboard Top 100 artists, the arena hosted gladiator fights, theatre and other massive-scale events. Entry into this top attraction in Verona costs 10 Euros per adult.

Impressed by the Arena di Verona? You need to visit the Coliseum in Rome if you haven’t already! Head on over here for my city guide to Rome, Italy!

Heading to other destinations in Italy and need some travel tips and recommendations? You might also enjoy these guides:

I hope this list of places you have to see in Verona in a day helps you plan your day trip! What are some of the other must-see places in Verona?

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46 Comments

  1. To Flo
    Thank you so much. We tried to follow but went the wrong way out of the station and did the trip back to front. No,problems. The amphitheatre was absolutely breathtaking. Juliet’s balcony very crowded as you said. View across river spectacular. Such an excellent recommendation. Brilliant directions just a problem with people following them. Need to visit this city again.

  2. Hey Flo! was researching ahead of my own trip to Verona and came across this post. It’s not my first choice of Italian destinations either – R&J just makes me roll my eyes so hard they’re in real danger of falling out! And I read somewhere that that balcony was only constructed in the 1900s =X But because of timing issues, it turned out to be the only feasible option, so I’m looking at things to do around Verona. Have you travelled around the Veneto countryside, and if so, do you have any places to recommend?

    1. Hey Michelle! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. Have you been to Padua/Padova? I’ve heard amazing things about it. Also, Burano/Murano are amazing day trip destinations if you’re visiting Venice. Have an amazing trip!

  3. Never been to Verona and would love to. Not necessarily because of Juliet but because I love the Italian cities and culture. And from your photos it looks just the way I like it. The idea of a day trip from Venice sounds just right.

  4. I had no idea that Verona was so close to Venice! I love how walkable it seems and I love any city with a good castle to visit! I bookmarked this in my places to see folder and will have to add it onto a Venice trip.

  5. Hold on… why’s rubbing her breast meant to bring good luck?! I’m on board with you (with the non-romantic bit) but the town looks like a really nice place to just have a wander around, I reckon! I wonder if you could make your way up to the balcony. I’d love to reenact the scene for giggles.

    Really great guide – especially because I love to travel on foot… Didn’t know about the city prior to this. I’ll need to pay it a visit and who knows… maybe I’ll find my Romeo 😀

  6. Hey Flo, your comment at the beginning about the Romeo & Juliet thing made me grinn 🙂 I don’t think that you have to be a romantic person to visit Verona, when I look at your pics I think it just, like a lot of other ancient italian towns, it looks just amazingly beautiful! It’s difficult not to be impressed by those historic italian cities… and then also, the food and the wine… OMG!

  7. This is why we should travel to even “not that attractive” places for us, you never know – it might just surprise us with its own Castlevecchio bridge or something! 😀 The bridge looks charming, by the way. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Although I have visited most of Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Toscana …. somehow Verona slipped me out. Your post reminded me of that fact and it needs to be fixed soon!

  9. HAHA love how you say the statue is baffling! Despite your anti romance you really sell the city, it looks stunning. Would love to see the terracotta rooftops from the top of the tower, and despite the tourist attraction of it the balcony looks beautiful in its own right, regardless of the Shakespeare connection!

  10. Nice pictures!
    I saw the balcony… but it was really nothing special 😀 your guide shows a whole other side of the city. Well done!

  11. Love the photos! 🙂

    The introduction made me smile – I’m pretty much the same as you. I’ve never been a typical romantic, and never been a big fan of Romeo and Juliet. I’d still love to visit Verona (and SO many other places in Italy) but not because of Shakespeare’s story.

    I’m hoping to visit some Italian cities by train sometime next year, so I’ll bookmark your post for future reference 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post, Vicky! You’ll love train travel in Italy, it’s so easy and scenic! Feel free to e-mail me if you ever want any other recommendations!

  12. The only city I’ve visited in Italy is Milan, and Verona looks so different!! Would love to check it out. Beautiful photos 🙂

  13. I love this post! When I was in Verona (a good 4 years ago now) I thought Juliet’s house was a little silly too. There’s so much more to see there, it’s sad that this one little tourist spot is the city’s most famous landmark. You did a nice job bringing out some of the other highlights of the city. The views from the top of the Torre dei Lamberti are worth the trip alone.

    1. I think Shakespeare is a genius and Romeo and Juliet is an incredible play – I’m just so surprised that Verona isn’t touted as more than just “the hometown of Romeo and Juliet”! It has a working coliseum! That to me is just so cool 🙂

  14. I love the story of Romeo and Juliet, it might partly be because I loved my visit to Verona when I was younger. I remember very well touching the Juliet statue for good luck.

  15. It has been so long since I visited Verona that I hardly remember anything about the city except for the Romeo and Juliet balcony. Your photos do a really good job of illustrating the beauty of the city 🙂 The amphitheater is so well preserved!

    1. It really exceeded my expectations! There’s so much history and amazing landmarks beyond just the balcony (which is actually really pretty, but come on – a working amphitheatre!) 🙂

  16. Beautiful shots, one of my besties just moved back to the states from there and she misses it dearly. Looks amazing!

    1. Thank you so much Toyin! It’s such an amazing city, and Italy is an incredible country. I keep coming back!

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