My Mini-Guide: Verona
"Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene..." - Shakespeare
Verona is a small big city. It has the feel of a large bustling European city, but is scaled down and dense with shops, squares, and sights. The previous day in Bergamo had more of any old-fashioned feel in the old town with local shops and restaurants, whereas Verona's undeniably beautiful buildings have been somewhat modernized with shops like Zara and H&M. My only regret was not having more time in Verona. Here are some suggestions of places to visit to get you started.
Getting there is simple from Milan Centrale train station, as most places are in the Lombardy region, but because of the distance, you'll want to get a high-speed train: Frecciarossa.
During the summer, these tickets can be expensive, so book as early as you can...at least a month in advance. Once you've arrived, hop on the local bus (buy your ticket there and back at the train station) to get into the heart of town. Otherwise, it's about 10 to 15 minute walk to the Arena.
Places to visit:
Just a note, if you want to visit Ponte di Castle Vecchio, you may want to wander the town in this order...
This very famous amphitheater, built in 30AD hosts concerts and operas. If you time it right and plan ahead, I've been told it's the best place to take in some music.
2. Adige River and Ponte di Castle Vecchio
Another destination I wish I could have visited. Verona is a wonderful, bustling town, but escaping the crowds to views of a river are always a great idea. If you make it, check out Ponte di Castle Vecchio for a very cool bridge to a Castle.
Romeo and Juliette's balcony is tucked away in the middle of town (with street signs directing you there), and the massive crowds are all apart of the visit. You can have a free viewing with about 50 other tourists in a tiny courtyard, or pay to profess your love to them from above. Romeo's view was enough for me, and I'm glad I paid the famous balcony a visit. A trip to Verona wouldn't be complete otherwise.
What a stunning square Erbe is, and just around the corner is Piazza dei Signori, featuring a statue of Dante. Erbe is a very large square with a huge open market filling the center. There's no shortage of shopping with the open air market stalls, so you better set a meet-up time to wander at your own pace.
This church is just down the way from the Piazza dei Signore and has beautiful pink marble. It's easy to get to, and is such a pretty building. Once you're there, you can peek behind the church for a view of the river.
I wish I had been able to pay a visit to this garden. It is across the river, so it will take more time to get there. The photos look amazing, and it would be a nice break from city, city, city. If you go, let me know how you like it.
Be sure to allow time to stop, wander and get a little lost, but find the bus in time to get on the train back to Milan, or your next destination.
Day 6 landed me back in Milan for the Duomo and trip back to the States.