For many, Rome, Milan or Venice are the first choices for Italy vacation. But these can be expensive trips specially in peak the season. But there are other options to travel to Italy and yet see the historic beauty of the country. An hour and twenty minutes-drive from Venice, is Verona, a small city located in the northern Italy.
I visited Verona with friends last November for a weekend (Friday to Sunday), and it was a wonderful weekend break for all of us. So, if you want to plan a short weekend break with friends or family, checkout the highlights of my trip and get some inspiration for your own.
We took a flight from London Luton Airport at 7 am and arrived at the Marco Polo Airport in Venice at 10 am. After we arrived, we took a bus from the airport to the Venice Mestre train station. We bought the tickets on the spot but these can be bought online too. We took the Trenitalia to Verona Porta Nuova train station. It is a 2-hour direct train and the views are lovely.
In Verona, we stayed at the Airbnb Palladio Rooms which is just 2 min walk from the station. The apartment had 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen with huge dinning table. The apartment was clean and beautiful and our host Sergio was very warm and welcoming. I would highly recommend this accommodation for your stay, whether you are travelling with friends or family; it is suitable for everyone. Sergio received us at the train station and walked us to the apartment. He was in touch all the time in case we needed anything.
It was really cold and raining heavily in Verona on Friday, so after we dropped our luggage at the apartment, we freshened up and headed out for lunch. We got a few nearby recommendations from our host and we finally voted for Pak Grill, a Pakistani café, only 5-minute walk from our apartment. Due to freezing cold temperatures and heavy rain, this was fairly a good choice. The food is extremely affordable and yet delicious – full of flavours and spices.
We then headed to Lidl to grab some groceries like breakfast items and snacks. We reached the apartment and decided to just relax indoors for the night.
After having breakfast, we headed to sight see the old town of Verona. Our first stop was the Arena di Verona. It would remind you of the Colosseum of Rome. Tickets for the Arena can be bought from the ticket office at the Arena entrance and is about £8.55/person and is worth all that money. You can see amazing city views from the top; a perfect place to take some amazing photos for your Instagram.
We then roamed around the town hall square and admired the beauty and the Italian culture. The area is so amazing that you wouldn’t realise where time flew. With our empty stomachs, we headed to grab lunch at the Piazza bra, a long food street of Italian specialities.
We choose to eat at Pizzeria La Costa in Bra, and ordered grilled seared chicken breast, vegetarian pizza, margherita pizza and spaghetti with tomato and cherry confit. I assure you the food was great and is a must try.
Just 5 minutes-walk away is the Verona shopping street with all the amazing brands from around the world. This is a place to be if you want to do shopping for loved ones or for yourself.
We then headed to see the Juliet’s House. Having read Shakespeare back in school, we were all very excited for it. The history backs to 13th century and is a great item to add to the itinerary for people who are into Shakespeare. We couldn’t visit the Rome’s House as it was closed for restoration but that should be equally amazing to visit to.
If you are in Italy, you must try the Gelato and the best is the Amorino Gelato. They have so many flavours to try but my favourites were chocolate and mango, both were rich in flavour and totally worth trying.
There is a cute heart-shaped landmark – Verona in Love, in front of the Arena di Verona (at the entrance/exit of the shopping street). Many people take photos here and thankfully we managed to click one with the help of a fellow tourist in exchange for clicking their photos.
We had an amazing dinner at Little Italy restaurant. They have some great options for Italian pizza so must try this if you are up for original Italian flavours. And let me tell you, their desserts are to die for.
We then took a 22-minute walk to Castelvecchio Castel, which is a large fortress build back in the 14th century. It is another famous landmark of Verona. The Castelvecchio was closed so we couldn’t go in but we headed to Verona’s Scaliger Bridge, which is also known by the name of Castel Vecchio Bridge because it connects the city’s late-medieval castle to the left bank of the city.
We then walked to the Piazza delle Erbe, which is one of the most historical and scenic squares in Italy. The square has many historic buildings, sculptures with markets of fresh fruits and vegetables. We travelled at the time of Christmas, so it was much more beautiful with all the Christmas markets around.
We finally decided to call it off and headed back to the apartment. As everyone was tired, we all headed to our beds and dozed off.
Woke up, had breakfast, packed our bags and left for the station to catch the train back to Venice. The train journey was two-hours long. We then took bus from the train station to Marco Polo Airport. After check-in, we had lunch at the airport and took our flight back to London Luton airport at 4:25 pm.
The trip was short but it was definitely one to remember. This trip was the inspiration for our Prague trip. Hope this gives you some inspiration to plan your own for next year.
If you have visited Verona already, let me know in the comments below how your trip was and what was the best part of the vacation for you? Good luck planning holidays… XX