Fair Verona! We took a break from the Venetian canals and did a day trip to Verona!
How to get there:
The train! Duh. So there are a few options here. You can take the 1 hour train for $29 OR you can take the 2.5 hour train for $12. We opted to spend the money to save time on the way there and then on our way back to Venice we took the cheaper option. The train runs from Venice mestre to Verona all day long. However the last train from Verona to Venice is at 10pm. We almost made a mistake but Katelyn is brilliant and looked at the train times before we were stuck in Verona for a night. So, be like Katelyn and look at the train times if you’re planning on spending the evening there.
If we knew then what we know now, we would have gotten a Verona City Pass on arrival. So to you I say: GET A VERONA CITY PASS ON ARRIVAL.
We started by walking from the train station to castelvecchio. (Walking was a mistake, but we’ll talk about that later.) It is a 14th century medieval castle that you can walk around and stand precariously on the top levels for free! There is a museum too that we chose not to pay to go in for €6. Although it is included with the VERONA CITY PASS that we ended up getting later<<
PIAZZA BRA & ARENA
We proceeded to walk into town and ate lunch in a restaurant off Piazza Bra. From our lunch spot we spotted a Lush! For those that don’t know it is an American bath product store that is amazing. We do not have one in the state we live in so this was very exciting. There is a lot of good shopping around this area. After browsing there for a while, we headed into the Arena, where we discovered and purchased the VERONA CITY PASS. for €18. This was a DEAL, it is €10 just to get in the Arena normally. I love a good deal so I will continue to tell you how much of a good deal this pass was for the duration of this post. Enjoy. The arena was built in the 1st century and still hosts plays and operas. While we were there, Romeo and Juliet on Ice was playing! We got to watch their rehearsal in the Arena and really wanted to get tickets for later that night but the last train was at 10pm so we were forced to miss it.
Afterwards we walked to Juliet’s house, aka Casa de Giulietta. This was why we were here, specifically so that Katelyn could stand on Juliet’s balcony. This was definitely the most crowded tourist attraction in Verona, so if you are picturing the movie Letters to Juliet, just stop. This was the Capelleti house in the 13th century and is supposedly the place where the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet took place. It is now a shrine for those looking for love. There is a statue of Juliet in the courtyard that is apparently good luck for those who are unmarried. If you touch it, you will find true love. For the record, it has now been 5 weeks and I still haven’t found true love. Mad. People leave love letters and wishes and pleas for advice on the gates behind the statue. There is a society of women who are in charge of the letters and will answer some of them. You can also go inside the house to escape some of the chaos and explore the 13th century home. It is €6 to enter the house but is included in the VERONA CITY PASS. Just sayin. The movie Romeo and Juliet was shot here, so some of the sets and costumes are here. There are also some computers that you can email your letter to Juliet, again I’m still waiting on my response. You can also, of course, walk out on the balcony and scour the crowd below for your Romeo. Again, the magic of Juliet was clearly not working for us. So, like us, you could just take a picture and hope for the best.
Then we took a break and had a snack in the piazza della erbe (at least thats what Google Maps is telling me it was called.) It was an outdoor market with souvenirs and fresh fruit and all kinds of interesting crafts. We sat on some steps and rested while Katelyn ate her fruit and then headed into the torre de Lamberti.
The Lamberti Tower is one of the tallest in the city and you can climb up to the top for wonderful views! Now, I do mean climb. The winding staircase was our excersize for the entire trip. It is normally €8 to climb the tower. Entrance to the stairs is included in the VERONA CITY PASS. You have to pay one euro with the city pass to use the elevator. Well we were cocky and thought we were young and spry enough to take the stairs. This was a mistake and we should have paid up the 1 euro. Alas, we did not and by the time we reached the top we were not in the best shape. Katelyn had stripped down to just the cami she was wearing under a sweater and I heard a small British child ask her mom why that girl had taken her clothes off. Hahahahaha. I died. K scandalizing a child with her spaghetti straps was a highlight of the trip for me. Anyway the views are spectacular and the area around the tower is great for people watching.
We then walked to the Giusti Gardens. The walk itself was a mistake. Why? Because all city buses are included in the VERONA CITY PASS. We discovered this later but it would have saved our feet if we had been smarter and figured this out sooner. Ugh. Anyway, not the point. Gardens! These gardens are frankly magnificent! It is the Italian version of the proper English garden. It is hundreds of years old and has been visited by people like Goethe and Mozart. It has towers to climb and grottoes to explore, along with wide paths to promenade through, lined with centuries old trees. There are hedges and orange trees and wildflowers and the entire experience was a pleasure! It is €7 but with the VERONA CITY PASS (do ya’ll hate me yet?) it was a discounted €5. As we were wrapping up our time there it started pouring down rain. We had walked quite a ways to get there and were not looking forward to walking back the almost 2 miles in the rain. We checked and uber did not exist in Italy. Luckily on the map that we had of the city, it listed all the benefits of the Verona pass and one of them was that the city buses are all FREE! Love that so much. So we found a nearby bus stop and made it back to the train station without having to walk. Hallelujah. We took a detour into a cafe for a snack and then headed back to our hostel in Venice.
There are a lot more sights to see in Verona (many included in, you guessed it, the Verona City Pass.) but we focused on just a few for the day. We were only there for about 7 hours, but we enjoyed experiencing the small, yet lively city! Now all we have to do is patiently wait for Juliet to make good on her promises. Fingers crossed.
|Verona City Pass
(Without City Pass)
(€36) I told you! What a deal.