The story of Romeo and Juliet is a great lure for the tourist, thanks to which a huge number of travelers from all over the world come to Verona. However, do not limit yourself to this story alone, otherwise you risk not seeing anything at all.
The main aspects of organizing independent trips to Verona. The description of the city, presented here, contains not only general information about Verona, but also practical advice on how to prepare for a trip.
Verona is firmly associated with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and is usually perceived as a city of romance, love and other sentiments. Without challenging this fame, we note that Verona is also interesting because it is a very old and very beautiful city. The story of Romeo and Juliet is a great lure for the tourist, thanks to which a huge number of travelers from all over the world come here. However, when planning a trip to Verona, you should not limit yourself to this story alone, otherwise you risk not seeing anything at all. In fact, below we will talk about what is interesting about Verona and how to organize an independent trip to this wonderful city.
How to get to Verona
Verona is one of the Italian cities where you can fly to from Russia directly. Aeroflot and S7 Airlines offer direct flights from Moscow to the airport Valerio Catullo di Verona Villafranca. Then you can take the airport shuttle ATV Aerobus (see www.aeroportoverona.it for details), which will take you to the train station Porta Nuova in just 15 minutes, from where it’s about a 20-minute walk to the city center. However, if you decide to stay in the historic center, it is more convenient to take a cab or pre-book a transfer (for example, here). You can also rent a car at Verona Airport (see www.rentalcars.com, www.economybookings.com and similar sites).
Of course, other airlines also fly to Verona, but not directly, but with a connection. And tickets for such flights are often much cheaper than for direct flights (see www.skyscanner.ru, www.momondo.com, www.aviasales.ru, etc.). Finally, you can also get to Verona via Milan, Bologna and Venice airports (Bergamo, Treviso and Brescia are also worth considering). This, of course, is not as convenient as flying directly, but it can be much cheaper, especially since it is not necessary to go to Verona immediately. First you can stay for a few days in any of these cities, and then go to Verona by train (see www.trenitalia.com).
In addition to all abovementioned we should mention that there is a train Moscow – Nice going via Verona (but it stops at night in Verona). In addition, Verona has direct train connection with such cities as Munich, Innsbruck and Vienna. Thus, you can reach Verona from Russia by train. Read more about rail transport here.
Where to stay in Verona
It’s not that Verona is that big, but the historic center of the city is quite long and varied: it’s one thing to live in the Arena district, literally at the junction of civilizations, and quite another to live in the depths of the Old Town. Everything seems to be close, but the atmosphere is different. So you should choose your hotel in Verona with care. Detailed recommendations for accommodation in different areas of the city can be found in the article “Where to stay in Verona”. Here we will make some brief remarks.
Looking for the best place to stay in Verona, it makes sense to proceed from the objectives of your trip.
If you are planning to use Verona as a base to travel around the city and take public transportation, look for the area between the train station Porta Nuova and the Città Antica. Hotels such as the Giberti Hotel and Best Western Hotel Firenze are to be found there. Other options are also available, including apartments (see Casa Corinna for instance).
If you intend to focus more on Verona and want to immerse yourself in its atmosphere for a few days, you should consider the Old Town. Hotels in this area are not cheap (excellent options, such as Due Torri Hotel, Hotel Gabbia D’Oro and Hotel Accademia), but you can also find relatively inexpensive guest houses and apartments (for example Relais La Torre and Residenza Casa di Romeo).
How to get around Verona
Central Verona is easy to get around on foot. Even if you’re staying close to Porta Nuova train station, all the major attractions can be reached on foot. However, you can always take the buses if you need to. Detailed information about Verona and its surroundings can be found on the official website of the local transport company www.atv.verona.it.
What to see in Verona
Verona is rich in sights. The most popular, as it is not difficult to guess, is the so-called “House of Giulietta” (Casa di Giulietta) with “that” balcony and a bronze statue of Juliet set in its inner courtyard. This place is interesting, above all, as an example of a medieval house. It recreates the elements of everyday life of those times, playing around the plot of the saddest tale in the world. In addition, the Casa di Romeo and the Tomb of Giulietta can also be found in Verona. But all this is only a small part of the true historical heritage of Verona.
As it was already said at the beginning, Verona is an ancient city. There are many proofs of this. The most striking is probably the Arena di Verona. Grandiose building, in addition, not badly preserved and continues to live its own life – nowadays the Arena is used as a concert venue. The Roman Theatre (Teatro Romano), parts of the Roman walls, including Porta Leoni and Porta Borsari, Ponte Pietra (which, however, was almost completely destroyed and now we can see only a reconstruction, far from the original image), the Arco dei Gavi (also restored) are also dating back to Roman times. It is also worth mentioning the Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico al Teatro Romano), next to the Roman Theatre.
Another important historical and cultural stratum is the Romanesque churches of Verona: above all the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, the Chiesa di Santa Maria Antica and the Chiesa di San Lorenzo.
We must also mention the heritage of the Scaligers, the dynasty that ruled Verona in the XIII-XIV centuries, the Arche Scaligere and the Castelvecchio with the museum of the same name (Museo di Castelvecchio) and the Bridge of the Scaligers (Ponte Scaligero).
Also worth seeing: the Duomo, the Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore, the Chiesa di Santa Anastasia and other places of worship. Piazza delle Erbe and its numerous landmarks such as the Torre dei Lamberti, with its superb views over the whole of Verona, is also not to be missed.
This is by no means a complete list of things to see in Verona. However, even the list above is enough for at least two or three days. Taking into account that there is a lot of interesting things around Verona, you can easily come here for a week or two – you won’t get bored.
Where to go from Verona
A glance at a map of northern Italy reveals at least three obvious places for trips from Verona. They are Venice (Venezia), Milan (Milano) and Lake Garda (Lago di Garda). However, in all three cases the problem is the same – a short one-day trip will not be enough even for a cursory acquaintance, let alone to get into the spirit of these places. A day trip to Milan, Garda and especially Venice is only worthwhile if you know nothing about them at all and want to make a first impression to see if they are ever worth going back to. In all other cases, it makes sense to plan a longer trip.
It’s probably easier with Garda, though. For one thing, it’s a much closer drive than Milan or Venice. Secondly, on the shores of the lake you can find many small towns, each of which takes a few hours. It is certainly not the same as living on the shores of Garda, but still a good option. It is worth paying attention to places like Sirmione, Bardolino, Garda and Malcesine.
There are many places of interest in the vicinity of Verona: Mantova, Brescia, Vicenza, Padova, etc.
For more things to do on your own, see the article “Where to go from Verona”.