In fair Verona where we lay our scene… Did you guess which play these classic lines are from? The answer, of course is William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Whilst Shakespeare never had the good fortune to visit Verona, we’re sure he would have loved it as much as we did. The town is a lot larger than we imagined and there are so many interesting sights. We travelled there with Classic Collection Holidays, the award-winning luxury tour operator. They cover a wide range of destinations and have been arranging holidays to Italy since 2003. Well in advance, they sent us our tickets and a Veneto region guidebook in a handy travel pouch. They also gave us contact details for their travel representative and a 24 hour emergency contact number, giving great peace of mind. We’re sharing our tips on what to see with 48 hours in Verona, to help you to get the most from your trip.
Getting To Verona
The city is easily accessible with a large number of flights from European and international destinations. The airport itself is compact and it’s a short 20 minute taxi ride to the centre of town. We flew into Verona International Airport on arrival and when departing, took a train to Venice which was just over an hour away.
48 Hours in Verona – Day 1
If you only have one day in Verona, we suggest that you visit the top attractions that we’ve listed for day 1. Fingers crossed that you have longer though as you wouldn’t want to miss the highlights from day 2! I’d highly recommend getting a Verona Card as you can get into virtually all the attractions for free.
The Arena is a spectacular sight, still in use today for its world-famous opera performances. Built by the Romans in AD 30, it was originally 4 storeys high but several of these were destroyed by successive earthquakes. In those days it seated up to 30,000 people and nowadays 15,000 spectators can enjoy performances here.
We visited Piazza Bra on a Sunday, when the weekly flower market was in full swing. Not only that, there were even people handing out free hugs!
Also on Piazza Bra, we chanced upon this colourful procession. The men threw their flags up in the air and deftly caught them, much to the delight of the onlookers.
There’s also a medieval market held on Sundays in Piazza delle Erbe. Formerly the Roman Forum, the square is still a popular meeting place.
The town centre of Verona is very stylish, with many pedestrianized streets lined with marble flagstones.
Juliet’s House is one of Verona’s most iconic sights. Whilst the famous balcony is a more recent addition, the house itself dates from the 13th century and belonged to the Cappelletti family, which does sound rather like Capulet…It’s thronged with tourists in the afternoon but get here at 8.30 am when it opens and you’ll have the place to yourself. We even got some shots with no one on them, but I couldn’t resist this cheeky one with the people below touching Juliet’s right breast for good luck!
It’s worn rather smooth after all the touching!
Some visitors leave love notes on the walls – it’s frowned upon by the authorities for understandable reasons, but they have thoughtfully created some removable panels where it is permissible to do so.
For a breathtaking views of the city, head to nearby Torre dei Lamberti, standing proud at 84 metres high. It dates from 1172 and houses two famous bells, the Rengo and the Marangona.
48 Hours in Verona – Day 2
The Cathedral of Verona or Duomo Santa Maria Matricolare dates from the 8th century but with numerous additions since then, making it an interesting blend of Gothic and Romanesque styles.
Castelvecchio is another must-see if you have 48 hours in Verona. The Old Castle was constructed in 1354 to defend the city, and makes an imposing sight on the banks of the river Adige. There’s an interesting museum with many Roman and Renaissance treasures. It’s also great fun to walk along the castle walls.
Even if you don’t go inside the Castle itself, make sure to walk across Castelvecchio bridge, it could well be the most picturesque one in Verona.
Another of Verona’s most iconic bridges is Ponte Pietra, aka the Stone Bridge. Cross the bridge to the many attractions over the other side, taking in the fabulous view along the way.
The Teatro Romano dates from the first century BC and is well worth a visit. Music shows are held here in the Summer, and all year round there’s an interesting archaeological museum with many Roman artefacts.
Nearby, the views of Verona from Castel San Pietro are spectacular. People first settled here in the 7th century B.C.
Dining in Verona
Brunch at historic Palazzo Victoria on Via Adua is a spectacular affair. Dotted around several different rooms, there are many food stations including a street food section, cold cuts, sushi, cheese board, sweet treats and many more. It’s open to non-residents and is popular with locals and visitors alike.
For authentic local cooking in unique surroundings, head to Ristorante 12 Apostoli on Corticella San Marco. The restaurant dates from the mid 18th century and the food is traditional Veronese . If you’re lucky, the owner will show you a surprise in the wine cellar…the wall of a sacred Roman temple and the foundations of a medieval tower-house.
Just look at the dessert trolley…
There are quite a few places to get good gelato, including Grom and L’Arte del Gelato. We particularly liked Pretto on Piazza delle Erbe.
Where to Stay in Verona
We’ll be writing about Palazzo Victoria in detail in an upcoming post but here’s a taster of what’s to come…The location couldn’t be better, just off Corso Porto Borsari, one of the most luxurious pedestrianized shopping streets. With its stunning inner courtyard and elegant rooms, it really makes a perfect base for exploring this magical city. Thanks to Classic Collection Holidays for making our stay so pleasurable – we hope you have enjoyed our suggestions for what to see with 48 hours in Verona. Have you ever visited Verona and if so, what was your highlight?
In association with Classic Collection Holidays