While it may sound short, don’t dismiss the idea of 2 days in Verona. Lying in northern Italy’s Veneto region, Verona boasts a medieval old town built around the Adige River. Dating back roughly 2,500 years, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A favorite vacation spot for Julius Caesar, it is known for its artistic heritage, and there are no shortage of tours in Verona to take advantage of. Offering a snapshot of Italian history, it has been ruled over by ancient Rome, Austria, Napoleonic France and the Venetian Republic. To quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, ‘In fair Verona is where we lay our scene…’
Italy and pasta go hand in hand. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to sample its varied delights in Verona’s cafes and restaurants. But this is your chance to discover the art of the centuries-old tradition for yourself. Our Risotto and Pasta Making Class takes place in the heart of the Old Town. A culinary expert awaits to guide, giving you tips it would normally take a lifetime to learn. Risotto, pasta, and tiramisu are all on the menu. And of course, you get to try your creations at the end of the class, alongside a glass of wine.
With lunch already taken care of thanks to our Risotto and Pasta Making Class, the afternoon is free to explore Verona’s wonders. For a bird’s eye of the city, make a start by heading to the top of Torre dei Lamberti. Rising 84 meters over the city, its construction began in 1172. The spiral staircase (and elevator) which leads there also allows you to see its two large bells. The largest, called the marangona, was used to summon the populace during times of crisis.
Further views can be enjoyed from Piazzale Castel San Pietro. This is a small square beside the Castle of San Pietro. It sits on the opposite side of the River Adige to the Old Town. Though the square is a little bit of an uphill slog, you’re sure to agree it’s worth the effort. Particularly alluring as the sun begins to set, the current fortress dates from the Austrian period of rule. However, to delve behind the walls of a medieval structure you’ll want to head back across the river to Castelvecchio. Literally translating as ‘old castle’, the building is one of the largest attractions in Verona. To see it properly, you’ll want to reserve at least a couple of hours.
With darkness, Verona’s Old Town becomes even more atmospheric and romantic. Elegantly lit up, its cobbles streets provide the backdrop to our Verona Night Walking Tour. Capturing the essence of Verona in a short time is no easy task, but your expert guide will manage. Among the landmarks you’ll see is the balcony from which Shakespeare imagined Juliet saying the words ‘wherefore art thou Romeo.’ Piazza delle Erbe, and the ancient Roman arena where performances are still held, are also key parts of the tour. But if you’d prefer to see these sites in full sun instead, check out our Insider Verona City Tour or Verona Bike Tour.
There’s certainly no shortage of well-thought-of hotels in Verona either. These include the centrally located Butterfly Boutique Rooms. Slightly further away, Veronesi La Torre combines plush interiors with an excellent location.
Morning and Afternoon
It would be easy to linger among the ancient walls enjoying glasses of dewy Aperol for sunny piazzas. However, the wider Veneto region has a wealth of wonderful attractions too.
Less that an hour west is Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. Filled with crystal clear alpine waters, its shoreline combines rocky escarpments with lakeside villages leading to beaches. Among them is Sirmione at the southern end of the lake. Here there are the ruins of a Roman spa, and a fortress that sits dramatically on a protrusion of natural rock. A similar distance east is Padua (Padova), with its attractive arcaded streets and still unfinished cathedral begun in 1522. Continue east and you’ll soon reach magical Venice. But head north instead, and the Dolomite Mountain Range awaits.
The southern part of the Alps, a fantastic way of experiencing these mountains is with our dedicated Dolomites Tour. This small group tour takes in another of Italy’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It passes through truly staggering landscapes of snow and ice even in the height of summer. You’ll also get to try traditional delicacies over lunch, and take the cable car to the Pordoi Pass. More than 2,000 meters above sea level, it is the second-highest road pass in these mountains.
Known for its musical achievements, Verona has no shortage of live tunes. Even outside of opera season, when the ancient arena hosts performances, live events are easy to come by. To stick with the classical theme, head to the Teatro Filarmonico. Its sumptuous interiors match anything to be seen in Venice or Milan. However, if you’re seeking something a little more laid back, check out these next two suggestions. Il Campidoglio, off Piazza della Erbe, is known for its blend of high-end cocktails and live sounds. Meanwhile, Le Cantina del’Arena serves brasserie style meals accompanied by its house jazz band.
Planning 2 Days in Verona and Beyond
With 2 days in Verona you can uncover the long history of this important northern Italian town. What’s more, you can then head out to the wonders that wait outside of the city. From architecture and food to splendid natural vistas, Verona is a destination that caters to all tastes.
But Verona also acts as an excellent gateway to the region. It is close to Lake Garda and the Dolomites, as well as Milan. If Italy’s fashion capital beckons, check out our 2 days in Milan, and the tours we offer in Milan too.