Looking to spend one day in Verona Italy but don’t know how to pack everything into a short amount of time? Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Verona for a day…
Can I visit Verona in one day?
First thing’s first, is one day in Verona enough?
Whilst personally I could spend weeks strolling around Verona’s cobblestone streets and drinking Aperol Spitz in its charming piazzas (have you guessed that it’s my favourite Italian city yet?), many people decide to take a day trip to Verona from the close-by hot spots of Venice or Lake Garda which is completely fine too.
Fortunately, being a fairly small city, you can take in a lot of Verona in one day, and although I’d recommend making a full weekend out of it if you’ve got the time, I’ve used my knowledge from countless trips to put together this ultimate Verona one day itinerary so you can see as much of Italy’s city of love as possible.
Should I buy the 24 hour Verona city pass?
If you’re planning to see Verona in one day, the Verona Card is certainly worth purchasing. The pass costs €20 for 24 hours and gets you access to all 4 of the paid attractions I’ve suggested on this itinerary (normally €30 when purchased separately) plus many more. The pass also gets you free transport on the ATV city buses (not that you really need it) and, more importantly, queue jump at some of the busier attractions including the Arena.
One Day in Verona Itinerary:
Here’s what to do in Verona Italy in one day…
Start at Arena di Verona
Grab a coffee (you’re in Italy after all!) and start your day in Piazza Bra, which is not only the largest piazza in Verona but also one of the largest in the whole of Europe. The huge piazza is lined with plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops, whilst right in the centre sits the city’s most iconic landmark – Arena di Verona.
- What is Arena di Verona?
Arena di Verona is a 30,000 seat Roman Amphitheatre which dates all the way back to 30 AD, making it older than the better-known Colosseum in Rome and one of the best-preserved ancient structures in the world.
Over its long history, Verona Arena has been used for everything from bloody gladiator tournaments to exotic animal games. Today it is used as an opera and music venue, with a series of live performances throughout the summer season. The Arena has played host to numerous notable opera singers, as well as occasional other famous artists including Pink Floyd, Elton John, One Direction and more.
- How to visit Arena di Verona:
The best way to see Arena di Verona is by watching a live performance there, however, this can be difficult if you’re just visiting Verona for a day (hence why I would recommend a weekend or overnight stay). If not, you can still visit and explore the interior of the ancient building during the daytime too.
Being the most popular attraction in Verona, the Arena can get particularly busy, so your best bet is arriving as early as you can to avoid queuing and to wander around the amazing structure without the crowds.
- How much does it cost to visit Verona Arena?
Adults €10.00, Concessions €7.50, Children €1, Verona Card Free (and you can queue jump).
- Arena di Verona opening times:
8.30am – 7.30pm (Mon 1.30pm – 7.30pm), unless there’s a performance on and it shuts early.
Wander down Via Giuseppe Mazzini
Visit Juliet’s House and Juliet’s Balcony
At the end of Via Giuseppe Mazzini, turn right onto Via Cappello and look for the courtyard at number 23. This is where you’ll find Juliet’s House (Casa de Giulietta), and yes I’m talking about Juliet from Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet…
“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene.”
In case you weren’t aware, Verona was the setting where the famous tale of two star-crossed lovers unfolded, and whilst no one is sure whether the protagonists themselves existed (some believe that Shakespeare took the plot from a true story), it’s more sure that the Montagues and the Capulets did. In fact, there’s evidence of the two families all across Verona, one of the reasons many choose to visit the city in the first place.
- What is Juliet’s House?
Juliet’s House is the most famous Romeo and Juliet location in Verona. The gothic 13th-century building was once owned by the Capello family and has a balcony overlooking the courtyard much like the one Shakespeare wrote about in his play.
- How to visit Juliet’s House:
If you’re spending your day in Verona on a budget, Juliet’s House is doable for free by staying in the courtyard area.
Here you can still see the house and balcony from the outside, as well as the bronze statue of Juliet which is believed to bring you luck in love if you rub her right breast (worth a try right!?) and walls covered in love notes from couples wanting their relationship to be blessed.
You can also write a letter asking for relationship advice from the ‘secretaries of Juliet‘ by posting it in the small letterbox in the courtyard (if you’ve seen the movie Letters to Juliet you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!).
Alternatively, you can go inside the house which is now a museum with rooms filled with authentic furniture and paintings from the time of Romeo and Juliet so you can get a feel for life during that period. Plus, you can get the classic balcony photo if you have someone you can send back outside.
- How much does it cost to visit Juliet’s House?
Adults €6, Concessions €1, Verona Card Free.
- Juliet’s House opening times:
8:30 am – 7:30pm (Mondays 1:30pm to 7:30pm).
Lunch at Hosteria Il Punto Rosa
One downside of having less than 24 hours in Verona is only being able to squeeze in a couple of the city’s amazing restaurants. Luckily, I’ve picked out two of the absolute best for lunch and dinner on this one day Verona itinerary.
Hidden down a small back street, around 10 minutes away from Juliets House back towards the Arena, you’ll find Hosteria Il Punto Rosa, a small traditional Italian restaurant serving up some of the tastiest local dishes in the whole of Verona. In one of the most charming settings too.
An absolute must is their focaccia with spek, mascarpone, walnuts and honey – one of the best things I’ve eaten in all of my trips to Italy (and that’s saying something… I love Italian food!). Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass, or bottle, of their fantastic local wines.
It’s not Italy if there’s not a castle, and Castelvecchio is one of Verona’s best.
- What is Castelvecchio?
Castelvecchio is a large medieval castle built in Verona during the 14th century and is now home to Museo di Castelvecchio, which houses an important collection of mediaeval, renaissance and modern art, including paintings, frescoes, sculptures, jewellery, furniture, ancient weapons and plenty more.
- How to visit Castelvecchio:
Tickets to visit Castelvecchio can be purchased at the entrance or online in advance.
Even if you’re not interested in the art itself, entrance to the castle still allows you to explore the large medieval building and its gothic architecture, as well as admiring the many unique restorations done by talented architect Carlo Scarpa between 1959 and 1973.
Once you’re finished exploring inside Castelvecchio, be sure to also head outside and cross the equally majestic Castelvecchio Bridge which was built as a safe way to escape the castle across the Adige River.
- How much does it cost to visit Castelvecchio?
Adults €6, Concessions €4.50, Children €1, Verona Card Free.
- Castelvecchio opening times:
Tuesday to Sunday 11am – 5pm (last entry 4.30pm), Closed Mondays
Take a stroll down the Adige River
After you’ve crossed Castelvecchio Bridge, turn right and continue walking down the bank of the Adige River.
If you’re running low on time, cross back over the river at Ponte della Vitoria to head straight towards Piazza delle Erbe (15-20 minutes).
Or if you’ve sped through the day so far and have some extra time, follow the river bank all the way around to cross Ponte Pietra where you’ll be able to also take in the likes of Castel San Pietro and Basilica di Santa Anastasia on route to loop back round to Piazza delle Erbe (40 minutes).
Climb Torre dei Lamberti
I don’t know about you, but personally I feel as though no city trip is complete without seeing it from above. And in Verona, there’s one spot you have to visit for some of the best views in the city – Torre dei Lamberti.
- What is Torre dei Lamberti?
Torre dei Lamberti is a 84m high tower which was built in 1172 and is still to this day the tallest building in Verona. From 1295 it was used as a bell tower, and in 1798 the now iconic clock was added.
- How to visit Torre dei Lamberti:
Torre dei Lamberti is technically located in Piazza delle Erbe, however, the entrance and ticket counter are actually tucked down a side street off of the main square called Via della Costa.
To get to the panoramic terraces at the top of the tower, you can either choose to climb the 368 steps (it’s not that bad honestly!) or take the transparent elevator.
- How much does it cost to climb Torre dei Lamberti?
Adults €8 (€5 on Mondays), Concessions & Verona Card €5 (with lift), Verona Card Free (stairs).
- Torre dei Lamberti opening times:
Weekdays 10am – 6pm, Weekends & Bank Holidays 10am – 7pm.
Enjoy an aperitif in Piazza delle Erbe
While Piazza Bra is really the tourist hotspot of Verona, Piazza delle Erbe in the historic centre is more popular with locals and has a much more traditional and chilled out vibe. It’s also my favourite place in Verona to enjoy an alfresco aperitif while watching the world go by outside.
Piazza delle Erbe accurately translates into ‘Market’s square’ as this is also where you’ll find Verona’s daily open-air market selling a range of goods from fresh fruits and veg to clothes and tourist knick-knacks, making it a good option for picking up some last-minute souvenirs.
Dinner at Osteria Caffè Monte Baldo
Just around the corner from Piazza delle Erbe is my absolute favourite restaurant in Verona and the best place to try the regions local speciality – Risotto all’Amarone.
Risotto all’Amarone is a risotto dish made with the local wine Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG creamed with Monte Veronese cheese. Delicious, filling and an absolute must-try while in Verona!
If you love trying local wines, you could also take part in this amazing Amarone wine tasting at Verona’s most innovative wine cellar.
Other things to do in Verona in one day
If you end up with spare time during your day in Verona, or simply would rather skip one of the activities I’ve suggested above, here are a few other things you can do…
- Take the funicular railway up to Castel San Pietro, a medieval fortress built in 1398, from whose terrace you can get the highest panoramic views over Verona.
- Visit all or one of Verona’s most beautiful churches; Duomo Santa Maria Matricolare (Verona Cathedral), Basilica San Zeno Maggiore, Sant’Anastasia and Basilica San Fermo Maggiore. Each has an entrance fee of €3, however, you can also purchase a combined ticket for all 4 for just €6. The churches are free to visit with the Verona Card.
- Take a morning Italian cooking class or maybe this 2-hour gelato making class to learn to cook like a real Italian.
What NOT to do in Verona in one day
- DON’T bother with the hop-on-hop-off bus. While this is a great option in a lot of other cities, Verona is pretty small so perfectly easy to explore by foot. Plus, a lot of the historic city centre is pedestrianised so the buses can’t drop you off close to the main attractions anyway.
- DON’T bother visiting Juliet’s Tomb (Tomba di Giulietta). This might just be a personal opinion but the tiny courtyard with the supposed tomb was quite the anticlimax and not worth the money we paid to enter.
- DON’T eat at the restaurants in Piazza Bra. While they might have a great view of the arena, most of these restaurants are there just to cater to tourists. You can find much better and cheaper authentic Italian food elsewhere.
How to take a Verona day trip
Venice to Verona day trip
The best way to travel from Venice to Verona is to get the train from Venice Santa Lucia station to Verona Porta Nuova station. The Regionale Veloce gets you from Venice to Verona in 1h30 and costs as little as €9 each way.
Lake Garda to Verona day trip
This is a harder one to run through quickly as it really depends on where on the lake you are. Two popular locations in the south of Lake Garda are Peschiera del Garda and Desenzano. It takes just 15 minutes to get between Peschiera del Garda and Verona by train, or 20 minutes between Desenzano and Verona.
Prefer to take a guided tour?