Verona, the Italian city of romance, the city where Shakespeare’s Romeo declared his undying love for Juliet, the city which was once the stronghold of the Roman Empire, the city that will charm you at every corner.
If you’re in Northern Italy in summer, a day tour to Verona is something you absolutely must do. However, don’t get sucked in to the typical group tours. Instead, discover the best things to do in Verona featuring the best places to see and eat like how a local would.
A personalised luxury day tour in and around the city guided by a Verona local is exactly what should be done when visiting this beautiful place in Italy.
One of our favourite day tours to discover the best things to do in Verona is through the Small Group Food and Wine Walking Tour. You’ll start off with a typical Italian breakfast of coffee and unlimited pastries of your choice at a local cafe, discover ancient ruins and taste more typical Veronese dishes paired with a variety of wines while strolling around the sunny ancient streets of downtown Verona.
Virginia Conta, tour leader and local expert at Romeo and Juliet Guide lets us in on this insider’s guide of 10 of the best things to do in Verona and its surroundings.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN VERONA
1. First place of interest that you would take tourists who visit Verona for the first time:
One of the most stunning and charming places in Verona is certainly the bank of the River Adige facing the old Roman Theatre. The glorious bridge of Ponte Pietra (100 B.C.) crosses the Adige making up part of the Via Postumia – an old Roman road connecting major northern cities. Locals and tourists alike, have fallen in love with this spot.
2. Best month to visit Verona:
The best months to visit Verona is during March, April and May but also the period from September up to November, when the humidity is gone and you can fully enjoy the city with its beautiful surroundings. A trip to nearby Lake Garda and the amazing Valpolicella hills with its extensive vineyards and olive oil trees are a must-do when in Verona.
3. Best place to view the entire city:
If you want a breath-taking view of the entire city of Verona, you should walk up to the top of the Veronese hill, where “Castel San Pietro” is. There is a nice Restaurant and Bar where you can taste a glass of local wine while sitting on the panoramic terrace.
An easier way up to the top of the Veronese hill is with a ride on the funicular railway. This short yet fun ride costs EUR€2 and you can take a slow walk down once you’re done.
4. Where do locals go to skip the crowds:
If you don’t want to be surrounded by tourists in Verona and want to escape like a local, you can drive to the Valpolicella hills. Five valleys of cascading vineyards, olive oil trees and fruit trees surround these hills. It is a rich and vast area where history, heritage, wine, regional produce and man’s hard work have combined to produce something unique.
Due to its geographical position, mild climate and the topography of the area, Valpolicella has for centuries been the center of production for both wine and marble. It is home to some of Italy’s most important DOC wines: Valpolicella, Valpolicella Superiore, Ripasso, the sweet Recioto and the famous Amarone. We at Romeo and Juliet Guide just love touring people in this Region!
5. Best place to relax and soak up the summer sun:
If you want to relax during the summer, you definitely have to visit Lake Garda. My favourite place is Sirmione, which is less than an hour away from Verona by car. Take a boat tour all around the beautiful lake, visit a majestic private island and then have lunch in one of the most romantic mediaeval villages of Italy, “ Borghetto sul Mincio” – famous for the tortellini.
6. Best place to watch the sunset in Verona:
The best place where you can enjoy a romantic sunset is on Ponte Pietra (Stone Bridge), the oldest bridge in Verona. Soak in the views of the sunset glistening along the river dotted by all the old tiny houses and the bell-tower of Verona.
7. Best gelato in Verona:
If you want to taste great gelato I definitely suggest trying out “E’ Gelato” in Ponte Pietra street. The pistachio flavour is simply amazing!
8. Must try local dish/food in Verona:
Typical dishes to try in Verona are the Amarone risotto, Bollito con Pearà, Pastissada de caval with polenta, (horse meat with polenta), Tastasal risotto ( risotto with pork) and Bigoli pasta with ragu.
There is also a huge variety of sweets and pastries made with rice and polenta such as Risino, made with rice and eggs and Zaletto, which is made with polenta, and is a must-try while in Verona.
9. Best place to buy souvenirs and what is the best souvenir to take home from Verona?
One of the biggest souvenir shops in Verona is close to Juliet’s house where you can buy the famous padlock with the names of the lovers engraved that symbolizes Verona as the city of love.
10. Best day tour for first-timers in Verona
To experience the very best things to do in Verona within a short time, I highly recommend our Food and Wine Walking Tour. This 4-hour, 3-kilometer walking day tour covers the main historical facts about Verona and includes 6 different food tastings and 3 wine tastings. You’ll discover hidden cafes and less touristy spots which you can revisit after the tour ends.
Tours start from EUR€85.00 per person with a friendly local tour guide and all food and drinks included. Check out www.romeoandjulietguide.com for more information about Romeo and Juliet Guide Day Tours in Verona and its surroundings.
WHAT TO BRING FOR A DAY TRIP TO VERONA
Bring a bottle of water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and comfortable walking shoes.
HOW TO GET TO VERONA
Verona is easily accessible by car and train from main cities such as Milan, Florence and Venice. If you’re taking the train from Milan, Florence and Venice, it is just under 2 hours, making Verona the ideal city for a fun day trip. Click here for the train timetable and to compare rates across Italy.
There is an international airport in Verona which is located approximately 11 kilometers southwest of the city. Upon arrival at Verona Villafranca Airport, you can get to the city center by shuttle bus or taxi. The trip from Verona Villafranca Airport by bus takes 15 minutes and costs EUR€6.00 whereas private transfers start from EUR€35.00 onwards.
WHERE TO STAY
There are plenty of hotels, B&B’s, apartments and hostels, from budget to luxury stays available in Verona. Click below to find the best options for you:
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