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Like many American high schoolers, Romeo and Juliet was the first Shakespeare play that I’ve ever learned about in school. Although I struggled with the language, I still appreciated the drama’s many plot twists, wild betrayals, and forbidden love.
As I continued my education, I fell deeper in love with Shakespeare’s tragedies, and as I read more dramas from his body of work, I even went so far as to write my master’s thesis on the Bard himself.
Unsurprisingly, I always wanted to go to Verona, which is the main setting in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
On my very first trip to Italy, waaaay back in my early twenties, I took a traditional guided tour and spent a quick afternoon in Verona, but I knew even then that a few hours wasn’t enough to enjoy this wonderful city.
Fortunately, I had an opportunity to visit Verona again in my thirties and spent an entire long weekend exploring this city at a much, much, much more leisurely pace. I really enjoyed not having to rush through a laundry list of attractions, and taking a few hours in the afternoon to rest if necessary.
Since I had such a great time, I wanted to write this “2 Days in Verona Itinerary” to encourage you all to spend more than a single afternoon in Verona.
I know it’s tempting to zip through a million cities, especially if you have limited vacation time at your job, but in the world of travel, I firmly believe that less is more.
Travel Tips for 2 Days in Verona
First and foremost I wanted to write some basic travel tips before diving into my 2 days in Verona itinerary. Honestly, Verona is a smaller city, especially compared to Venice.
This means a visit is very easy to manage from a tourist perspective.
Still, it’s always important to have a general idea of what to expect before visiting any new destination.
How to Get to Verona
Verona is located in Italy’s Veneto region, which is mostly well known for one of my favorite places to travel alone: Venice.
Verona has an airport, but if you’re flying internationally, my advice is to fly into either Venice or Milan’s airports for a visit to Verona.
Like I already mentioned, I came from Venice and the entire train ride was only an hour and fifteen minutes. Honestly, even though you could easily do Verona as a day trip, I definitely appreciated the extra time to relax and explore on my own terms.
Once in Verona, I highly recommend using the city’s extensive bus system. You could purchase a day pass or single tickets depending on how much you plan to ride the bus. Verona’s city buses or ATV buses go almost everywhere, and run on a regular basis. You can purchase tickets at the booths at the main train station, or you could download an app for your smartphone.
What to Bring to Verona
- Comfortable Walking Shoes: Verona, like many other cities in Italy, have stunning cobblestone streets and small sidewalks. Don’t skimp on your shoes, or otherwise your feet will absolutely hate your guts. Instead invest in a pair of comfortable walking shoes for exploring Verona.
- Italian Phrasebook: Verona is a popular tourist destination, so English is widely spoken. At the same time, it’s polite to learn a couple of Italian phrases before embarking for Italy.
- Lightweight Travel Dresses: For Italy’s warmer months, I absolutely love wearing lightweight and packable dresses. Not only are they fashionable and fun, but they don’t take up a ton of space inside your luggage, nor do you feel insanely hot walking around the city. Just make sure to also use sunscreen if visiting Italy in spring or summer. Italian sun is hot.
- Reusable Water Bottle: Verona is scorching hot in summer. Actually, it was the hottest city I visited on my June adventure throughout the Veneto. Stay hydrated and bring a reusable water bottle.
- Shawl: Verona has many stunning churches. However, some churches are stricter than others regarding dress code. Please make sure your shoulders and knees are covered. So bring a shawl with you just in case! You don’t want to get turned away at the entrances.
- Travel Insurance: Always purchase travel insurance for an international trip. Cancellations due to flight disruptions and illness can wreak havoc on your bank account if you’re not prepared. I use World Nomads insurance for my trips and have had zero issues!
Where to Stay with 2 Days in Verona
Verona has a lot of wonderful accommodation. Personally, I love staying in locally owned accommodation whenever I travel to Italian, and Verona is no different. I had the best time staying at a small bed and breakfast that made me feel as if I’ve lived in the city.
Furthermore, I found over all that accommodation prices were cheaper than bigger cities such as Venice and Milan, so if you’re looking to save some money, consider staying in Verona on your travels around northern Italy.
Below, I picked a couple of suggestions with different price ranges for you.
- B&B al 19: A perfect, small, and friendly bed and breakfast set inside a stunning 17th-century building. The breakfast here was divine (loved the croissants). An excellent stay for two days in Verona! See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- The Hostello: Travelers on a budget or solo travelers will absolutely love Verona’s highly rated hostel. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Residenza Elisabetta: A charming 3-star hotel located right in the heart of Verona, not far from Juliet’s Balcony. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
2 Days in Verona: Map and Highlights
Arco Dei Gavi
Castelvecchio Museum and Bridge
Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
Food and Shopping Delights
|2||Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore
Funicolare di Castel San Pietro
Piazza dei Signori and delle Erbe
2 Days in Verona Itinerary: All the Details
Let’s now dive into the details of this 2 days in Verona itinerary.
Like all of my itineraries, I am not planning every single second of the day. I like leaving a little wiggle room so you can conduct your own research. After all, every single traveler has his or her own priorities.
Day One in Verona
On your first day, you will see epic Roman ruins, walk castle walls, and eat some incredible northern Italian cuisine. Who can possibly say “no” to that? Not me!
Verona Arena is one of the most famous sites in the entire city. This remarkably well-preserved Roman amphitheater was built in 30 AD, and its sheer size will take your breath away.
You’re more than welcome to enter Verona Arena, but my advice is to book tickets in advance and go to the arena in the morning. Verona Arena is a very popular stop for day trippers coming into the city. By going early, you will avoid much of the tourist crowds.
Another suggestion, if you’re visiting Verona in summer, is to book a ticket for the opera and see a performance inside Verona Arena. Check the schedule in advance.
Located near the arena, Piazza Bra is Verona’s largest piazza and packed with numerous, bustling cafes. In addition to Verona Arena, several other notable buildings, such as Gran Guardia and Palazzo Barbieri (Verona’s Town Hall), surround this historic city square.
Many events are held in Piazza Bra. For instance, on my visit, high school marching bands from around the world played for us, which was a delightful experience!
Go to Piazza Bra, and snap plenty of photos. Again, by visiting in the morning, you’re far less likely to encounter crowds of day trippers and enjoy a more peaceful atmosphere.
Arco Dei Gavi
Verona is filled with majestic Roman architecture. Another example can be seen at Arco Dei Gavi.
This beautiful ancient monument was built by a noble Roman family (gens Gavia) and was later used as a gate in the city walls in the Middle Ages.
The arch is made of beautiful white limestone is near one of my favorite places in Verona, which is …
Castelvecchio Museum is one of the most visited museums in Verona. And it’s easy to see why! I absolutely loved this museum, and actually spent close to two hours marveling at the artwork and exploring the castle’s impressive walls.
Castelvecchio (or Old Castle in English) was originally built in 1355 by the Della Scala family. Now Castelvecchio is home to spectacular Romanesque and Gothic art collections that take up several rooms.
While I fell in love with the art, I also deeply appreciated Castelvecchio’s gardens and winding castle walls. The sweeping views of Verona’s Old City were breathtaking (and refreshing on a hot day) high in the castle walls. I seriously felt as if I had been transported back to medieval times.
With two days in Verona, you definitely do not want to miss out on this marvelous museum!
After Castelvecchio, you need to take a walk over the neighboring bridge. Ponte di Castelvecchio (or Ponte Scaligero) is an impressive fortified bridge that absolutely blew me away with its engineering and construction. The bridge was originally built in the Middle Ages, but was sadly destroyed in World War II and rebuilt afterwards.
Walking on this bridge is a lot of fun. Stop in the alcoves to take pictures of Castelvecchio and the Adige River.
If you’d like, continue to walk over the Adige River. Giardini Alessandro Canestrari is a beautiful public garden away from the hustle and bustle of the Old City, and is a wonderful place to take a quick break.
Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
With two days in Verona, you have a chance to explore some of the city’s other neighborhoods. The neighborhood of San Zeno is adorable with a lot of reasonable cafes and pizzerias. Not to mention, this part of Verona is quieter in the afternoon when most of the day trippers come in on their bus tours.
Furthermore, in addition to Roman ruins, Verona is also home to historically significant churches that are packed with stunning art and relics. No doubt, these churches are museums in and of themselves. Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore is an absolute gem that’s perfect to visit in an afternoon, especially if it’s hot outside.
Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore is known for its warm colors (thanks to tufa stone and bricks) and majestic art, as well as being the final resting place for the body of Saint Zeno.
Shopping in Verona
Time to take a break from all of Verona’s fascinating history and spend some money. Seriously, though, even if you’re on a strict budget, Verona is a great place to buy some souvenirs or even just do some window shopping.
Via Mazzini is Verona’s most well-known shopping street. You can find fashion shops that fit every single budget here. Keep in mind that Via Mazzini is very popular and is crowded during the day. Pack your patience.
For a more “low key” shopping experience, check out Corso Porta Borsari. Not only will you discover incredible local shops, but you can also enjoy a coffee or aperitivo at one of the small bars here. Perfect.
Gourmet Italian Food for Dinner
Last (but certainly not least) Verona has an incredible food scene that you ought to take advantage of. Honestly, this is a city where I would splurge on the food budget, and not worry about calories in the slightest (don’t come to Italy on a diet period).
In high season, I suggest reserving your table in advance. Unlike the United States, dinner moves at a much slower pace in Italy, so if you reserve a table, odds are that you’ll be able to enjoy it for the entire evening.
Day Two in Verona
On your second day, you will pretend you’re performing the lead role in Shakespeare’s tragedy and see some wonderfully gorgeous public squares and commanding views of the entire city.
For the second half of my “2 Days in Verona Itinerary,” you will need to roll out of bed and started early in the day! Off we go!
Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore
Your first stop is another splendid church, this one located not far from Adige River’s banks. Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore is a stunning Romanesque masterpiece with 1700 years of history.
Don’t rush through this church. You have a lot of ground to cover, since both the upper and lower churches are fantastic to explore. No joke, I took at least an hour inside Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore. Take your time.
I personally loved the art in the lower church. The atmosphere feels mystic and almost otherworldly. I especially liked seeing the first self-portrait of Saint Francis.
Haha, I couldn’t write a 2 days in Verona Itinerary and not mention Juliet’s Balcony. Is it a tourist trap? Uh, yeah, sort of, but I can’t help but love it!
Let’s be honest here. Juliet’s house and balcony has nothing to do with an actual historical figure or the “real” Juliet (as far as I know, none ever existed). In reality, the 13th house was owned by the Cappello family, and the famous balcony wasn’t even added until the 20th century.
Despite all this, the romantic feelings associated with Juliet’s home are very real. You will see love locks everywhere, and rumor has it that if you touch Juliet’s breast (the statue, haha, not a real person), you will have luck in love!
Discover More Verona Bridges
Another benefit to spending 2 days in Verona is that you will have plenty of time to see more city bridges.
Ponte Pietra is another beautiful bridge that you shouldn’t miss in Verona. Like Ponte Scaligero, Ponte Pietra was destroyed in World War II, but the rebuilt is faithful to the original. Originally, though, Ponte Pietra was a Roman Bridge that was completed in 100 BCE. Amazing, huh?
If you the time or interest, cross Ponte Pietra to see Teatro romano de Verona – which is Archaeological Museum at a Roman Theater.
Funicolare di Castel San Pietro
I personally can’t get enough of European funiculars. If a city has a funicular, you better believe that I am riding it.
So, next on your agenda, is the fact that you will fall in love with Verona’s prettiest views after taking a ride on Funicolare di Castel San Pietro.
This short funicular ride will take you to Colle San Pietro Viewing Terrace, one the best spots to drink a glass of wine and enjoy the wonders that surround you on all sides. My personal suggestion is to take the funicular close to sunset for some unforgettable photographs.
Piazza dei Signori
As a literature student, I was fascinated with Dante’s Inferno. Needless to say, I was excited to hear that Verona has a monument to Dante located in Piazza dei Signori.
Dante’s statue was built in 1865 to celebrate the 600th anniversary of his birth. As a writer, Dante actually spent a lot of time in Verona, so it’s cool to think that he actually walked these piazzas himself.
Furthermore, impressive Venetian architecture surrounds you on all sides, so make sure to look up and around as you wander through the piazza.
At the entrance of the piazza, don’t forget to look for the Whale Bone of Arco della Costa. The centuries old whale bone hangs above the pedestrians, and no one is entirely sure how exactly it got there. Is it a fossil? Is it a relic from a far off land? Seriously, no one knows.
Piazza delle Erbe
Another wonderful public square is Piazza delle Erbe.
Piazza delle Erbe is home to some of Verona’s most significant monuments that are beautiful to see both day and night. Personally, I was very impressed by Torre dei Lamberti. This incredible medieval tower dominates the square and offers a breathtaking 360 degree view if you decide to climb it.
Another gem is the square’s ancient fountain and statue Madonna Verona. This fountain is one of the symbols of Verona and has been proudly standing in the heart of this great city since 1368.
The Soda Jerk and Cocktails
Are you ready to end your two days in Verona on a sophisticated note? Then you ought to walk over to The Soda Jerk for a premier cocktail experience.
This swanky and highly-rated bar isn’t necessarily easy to find, but I promise that it’s well worth the effort. You’ll have to ask the doorman to let you inside, but I had absolutely zero problems on a weeknight.
Once inside, you’ll discover that this speakeasy-inspired bar has a glamorous and intimate atmosphere. Not to mention, endless excellent cocktails for all tastes! Seriously, I wanted to sample the entire menu.
I hope this 2 days in Verona itinerary inspired you to plan a visit to this magical northern Italian city! Feel free to share some of your favorite things to do in Verona, and for further Europe travel planning help, check out my travel planning services! Happy travels!