So if you’ve been reading my posts in sequence, you’ll have known that my Dolomites trip was cut short unexpectedly. My sister and I decided to take the opportunity to visit Verona instead, since (1) we knew the weather would be a lot warmer than the mountains; and (2) we could use it as a base to visit Lake Garda nearby and try to get some hiking in there.
But first, Verona. We only had a day to spend exploring this glorious city, and luckily for us, it was a wonderfully hot and sunny day – pretty much perfect for a day of sightseeing in summer. My sister and I had obviously been set for a good trek around the Italian mountains…but in the absence of mountains, we decided to walk as our means of getting around the city instead. A lot of the great tourist sights are located fairly centrally, so we managed to check off a good number of attractions despite walking around for just a day.
Here’s a rundown of our itinerary for our one day in Verona.
1. Verona Arena and Piazza Bra
We started by walking along the Verona city walls towards the Verona Arena. We didn’t stop to enter the Arena, but just circled the exterior before heading to Piazza Bra.
2. Castles and churches
From the buzzing tourist hub of Piazza Bra, we walked towards the Castelvecchio, built by the Scaliger family and now a museum. Appended to the castle is the Castelvecchio Bridge (Ponte di Castelvecchio) which crosses the Adige River. Be sure to check this out and have fun climbing the bridge walls for a great view of the river!
Next, we crossed the bridge and walked towards the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore. It was a little out of the way, in a quieter part of town, but served as a good excuse to do a wider loop beyond the obvious.
3. Piazza Delle Erbe and Juliet’s House
We were soon back in the central part of town and went to check out the Piazza Delle Erbe. There was a small market with stalls selling food items and basic clothes and toys going on.
The Scaliger Tombs are located near the Piazza Delle Erbe so we passed by them quickly before heading towards one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions – Juliet’s House. We didn’t spend a lot of time here as it was just rammed with tourists, and very quickly headed out, deciding to stop for lunch nearby.
4. Traditional dishes
The lunch spot we chose was amazing. It seemed to be a converted old church, and all they served were good, wholesome, traditional Italian dishes. We started with some grilled vegetables and mozzarella and a bowl of salad, with my main being a simple pasta in mushroom sauce.
Though the desserts sounded good, I was really hankering for a good gelato, so we were soon back out walking in the sun, headed towards the Ponte Pietra. How gorgeous is that view from the bridge!
5. Castel San Pietro
After crossing Ponte Pietra, we headed towards the Castel San Pietro. This was a lovely walk up to the viewpoint located atop the hill, with the reward being a unique view of the river and town beyond it.
6. More local food
After a good rest in the shade, we made our slow way back down. I marvelled at how well kept the architecture of the city was…some buildings looked like they hadn’t aged a bit!
It was getting a little late in the afternoon now, and we knew we were up for an early start the following day, and so, decided to start heading towards our predetermined dinner spot. But first, a quick stop for more gelato!
We had spotted this amazing looking pizzeria near our flat, which we decided to try out. It was lucky we had decided to go so early, as there were soon long queues of diners waiting for our table!
Our day concluded pretty soon after that as we wanted to get prepared and rest for the next day which we would be spending in Lake Garda. It was a whistle-stop visit to Verona but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, not knowing what to expect at all. I’m not sure I’ll ever plan another trip to Verona, but I certainly wouldn’t complain if I ever find myself here, unexpectedly again, in the future. 😉