Last month I went to the Traverse conference in a beautiful town of Trento. I haven’t been in the northern part of Italy before, so I was utterly amazed by how beautiful the region of Trentino was. However, my flight from Amsterdam was to Verona, and after seeing so many beautiful photos of that most romantic Italian city, I wanted to explore it at least a bit. So, on a day of my return to Amsterdam, I woke up early, took an early morning train and spent three hours in Verona.
Three Hours in Verona
Here is what I did during those three hours and what can you do as well. I’ve also included some little tips and a map of Verona with places I’ve visited so you can do the same.
Verona Porta Nova & Where to leave your luggage
Well, every city trip starts with its train station. Porta Nova (*1) is the train station from which the regional trains in Verona are departing. But, also from where the bus to the airport is going.
I had a bulky backpack with me, and I decided to left it at the baggage drop off point. It was very convenient to do that because I didn’t have to carry it with me during the three hours I had in Verona.
*TIP: Price for it is quite affordable. If you’re going to leave it for less than 5 hours, as I did, it’s going to cost you 6 euros. Each extra hour is one euro more.
How to explore Verona in Three Hours
I was exploring Verona during those three hours on foot. However, if you don’t feel like walking, you can get on one of the Hop-On-Hop-Off buses (check the prices and time slots on a link here) and explore it that way.
1 – First hour in Verona
A day before my trip to Verona, I checked some of the places I wanted to visit and marked them on my phone. That way, I made a rough plan of the things I wanted to see in Verona.
# – Breakfast in Verona
However, since I left my hotel early, I went to grab a quick breakfast first. I went to one of the local cafes and ordered a cappuccino and a pastry filled with pistachio cream. Cappuccino in Italy is so creamy and delicious, and it can’t be compared at all with its version in other European countries. Pastry I had was similar to a croissant, but that pistachio cream gave it a completely different taste. It was so delicious.
# – Castelvecchio (*2)
After my quick breakfast I continued down the Via Carmelitani Scalzi to Castelvecchio. That beautiful medieval castle located some ten minutes walking from Verona’s train station was my first stop. With its white and red stone, it looks very similar to some other medieval public buildings in Italy, like for example the Town Hall in Siena. It could be visited from the inside, but since I had three hours in Verona, I only explored it from the outside.
*TIP: There is a small souvenir shop across the street from the entrance to the palace. Karlo started to learn how to write lately, so I’ve bought a postcard from Verona there for him. If you would like to get a small souvenir from Verona, be sure to check it out.
# – Arco dei Gavi (*3)
My next stop was located just next to Castelvecchio – Arco dei Gavi. It’s an ancient arch built in the 1st century by the noble family living in Verona. During the Middle Ages, it was used as the city entrance built into the city walls. Today, there is a small park next to it which is a lovely place to take a short break from sightseeing in Verona.
# – Walk along the River Adige (*4)
One block down the road, I’ve turned left and come to the bank of the River Adige. Whenever I’m travelling, I love taking a walk next to the river if the city has one. Everything seems more relaxed next to the water. And usually, many locals are strolling next to it, too. I always imagine fishermen back in the old day, patiently waiting for their catch. Or some fancy merchant’s ships coming to the city that way.
There are many trees and beautiful flowers next to the river today. And I really enjoyed exploring that part of the city, during my short visit to Verona.
2 – The Second hour in Verona
# – Exploring colourful houses & bridges of Verona
Something I really liked in Verona and was especially visible while I was walking next to the Adige River, were all the beautiful colourful house facades. Many of them were yellowish, orange, red or in all the colours peach would be. These warm colours were in such a nice contrast with many green trees next to the river. It was almost like I walked into the Renaissance painting and was just expecting to meet some of the Verona’s ladies or a horse rider to pass by.
Bridges in Verona are quite romantic, too, and I loved passing next to them. It was almost like a walk through the time. I started next to the medieval Castelvecchio Bridge. Passed next to the Ponte della Vittoria from 1931 then. And finished with the modern Ponte Garibaldi in the end.
# – Verona’s Cathedral (*5)
After spending some time exploring the houses next to the Adige River and its bridges, I came in front of the Verona’s Cathedral. And it was definitely one of the highlights of my three hours in Verona.
There was a big earthquake in Verona in 1117. Since many buildings were destroyed during it, the city was rebuilt, and many of Verona’s famous sights were built in the Romanesque style.
The Cathedral was one of them, and it’s such a fantastic example of that style. My favourite were stone statues of some weird creatures, like a dragon eating people or a lion protecting the church entrance. I went inside the building, as well, and have found another interesting thing there. There were so many wall paintings inside. They were so similar to Michelangelo’s paintings. So, I had a feeling like I entered the Medieval Cathedral but ended up in the Sistine chapel.
# – Wandering around the Verona’s city centre
Cathedral is located right in the city centre, that’s filled with narrow streets, small squares and some beautiful buildings. Many of them had statues and busts on them, and I was so amazed to find them in the most unusual places. I strolled around those small romantic streets and definitely understood why they were so inspirational to Shakespeare. Although it’s not with certain that he’s ever visited Verona, he has set up two of his novels there. Well, my next two stops were related to him.
# – Romeo’s House (*6)
Romeo’s house is not that well know place in Verona, probably because it’s private property and people live in it today. But, you can see that beautiful city palace and many love messages written next to its entrance. Shakespeare based his fictitious rival families on the real Verona’s noble families The Montagues and the Capulets.
There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
Hence-banished is banish’d from the world,
And world’s exile is death.
# – Julia’s House (*7)
Julia’s house is just a few blocks away, and it’s one of the most popular places in Verona. When I was walking towards it, I passed next to the local market. If I would have more than three hours in Verona, I would definitely go and explore it more. Entrance to Julia’s house is entirely different than the one of Romeo’s. Walls are filled with chewing gums (if anyone knows why is that, please let me know…) and love messages people are leaving there. Maybe it is bringing a bit of good luck to their relationships, but it definitely isn’t to the old building.
At the building courtyard, you can see Julia’s balcony and the statue of her. Rubbing her right breast should supposedly bring you the luck in love. To be honest, with so many people taking selfies there and all the chewing gums around me, I didn’t find that place to be romantic at all.
3 – The third hour in Verona
# – Verona Arena (*8)
I continued my walk towards the famous amphitheatre, known as Verona Arena. It’s located at the specious square Piazza Bra surrounded by some beautiful historic buildings. Built at the beginning of the 1st century, it was initially located outside the city walls. Since it could be dangerous in case the enemy would take it over and start attacking the city from it, it was built with lower walls than usual. It has one of the best-preserved interiors, and it could be visited. I skipped getting inside of it this time.
# – Lunch at the Piazza Bra
Instead, I had lunch in one of the lovely restaurants at the Piazza Bra with a beautiful view of Arena. Sitting there, while enjoying delicious Italian food and just watching people at the square and that beautiful architecture, was a great way to spend my last half an hour in Verona.
*TIP: There is an organised city tour in Verona that lasts for three hours, as well. If you would like to learn more about its history and stories behind its famous sights, check out the link here for more info.
I walked from there through Porta Citadella, following Via Pallone back to the Verona Porta Nova train station. On my way, I saw a small bust of Shakespeare, and I nodded him as to an old friend.
Oh, I know why you loved Verona so much…
*This post contains some affiliate links!