This complete guide will help you design the perfect itinerary for one day in Verona, Italy (ideal for an overnight stay or a day trip from Venice).
Located in the Veneto region of Italy, Verona is a small city right between Venice and the famous Lake Garda. Although it’s mostly known for its connection to Shakespeare’s tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, the city has so much more to offer!
Steeped in historic charm with ancient Roman ruins, a medieval fortress, breathtaking piazzas and river views, Verona has everything you can desire. Not to mention the delicious regional food and famous wines, Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella!
Just an hour away by train, Verona is a very popular day trip from Venice. Besides this, if you plan a day trip to Lake Garda, this is the best location to base yourself.
Planning to spend a few days in Venice as well? Then take a look at my 3-day itinerary for Venice. It covers all the must-see sights, including how to skip all the lines and how to see Murano and Burano in just one day.
One day in Verona itinerary
It’s important to know what are the key sights, so you can make the most of your one day in Verona. You’ll find all the essential information in my guide, including what attractions to see, why to buy the Verona card and where to eat.
This guide is perfect for all staying 1-2 nights in Verona as well as for those planning to explore the city on a day trip from Venice.
Another option to explore the city is by taking the Original Verona Bike Tour. This bike tour is a great mix of sightseeing and historical information (with enough stops to take pictures).
At the end of this suggested itinerary for one day in Verona, you’ll find a map with all key sights.
One day in Verona (best day trip itinerary)
- Start the day with breakfast at Pasticceria Camesco
- See the famous Arena di Verona
- Tour the medieval Castelvecchio
- Stroll along the Ponte Scaligero
- Climb the Lamberti Tower
- See the iconic balcony of Romeo and Juliet
- Visit the impressive Basilica of Santa Anastasia
- Cross Ponte Pietra
- Enjoy the best views of Verona
Already have a hotel booked? Then take a look at my guide to the best area to stay in Verona and make sure your hotel has a convenient location for exploring the city.
Breakfast at Pasticceria Camesco
08:30 AM – 09:30 AM
If you look for the best coffee and croissants in Verona, there is one place to go – Pasticceria Camesco.
Although it’s located a 10min walk from the historic centre, this pasticceria is totally worth the detour. The pistachio croissants were the best I’ve had in my life!
If you’re about to explore Verona on a day trip, you won’t find a better convenient place for breakfast. The pasticceria is right between the Verona Porta Nuova train station and the historic centre!
Yet, if you prefer something closer to the historic sights, Caffe Borsari is the place to go.
See the famous Arena di Verona
09:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Located on Piazza Bra, Arena di Verona is one of the city’s key sights. Originally made of white and pink limestone, the famous amphitheatre dates back to the 1st century BC. In fact, it’s one of the best-preserved ancient Roman structures in the world.
You can visit the Arena and get a sense of how huge the amphitheatre is. To find out more about its centuries-old history, book this excellent guided tour with a knowledgeable guide.
In ancient times, Roman spectacles and gladiator games were attended here by up to 30,000 visitors. Nowadays, the amphitheatre is used for concerts, ballets and opera performances.
Tour the medieval Castelvecchio
10:10 AM – 11:45 AM
Castelvecchio (means Old Castle in Italian) stands on the south bank on the Adige River. It’s built in the 14th century by the Scaliger dynasty, who ruled the city in the Middle Ages.
Once used as an important military fortress, today the castle houses a museum. The exhibitions feature weapons from the Middle Ages, as well as art pieces from the Renaissance period.
Don’t miss the views from the castle’s ramparts towards the Ponte Scaligero, one of the city’s most beautiful bridges.
Stroll along the Ponte Scaligero
11:45 AM – 12:00 PM
After a visit to the castle, walk across the adjacent Ponte Scaligero (aka Castelvecchio Bridge). It’s one of the most impressive bridges in Verona. Built in the 14th century, its main purpose was to facilitate the escape from the fortified castle.
Eat some Italian pasta
12:00 PM – 02:00 PM
For the best pasta in Verona, go to La Bottega della Gina. It’s a small authentic pasta shop with a few seats available. All the pasta is freshly prepared and cooked on premise.
We ordered the tagliatelle with ragout and a sample of all the tortellini flavours. Both extremely delicious!
La Bottega della Gina is the perfect spot for a quick casual lunch. Yet, if you prefer to sit and rest before continuing with this Verona itinerary, go to La Vecia Mescola. It’s an excellent restaurant with a beautiful atmosphere and lovely food.
Climb the Lamberti Tower
02:00 PM – 02:40 PM
Lamberti Tower (Torre dei Lamberti) is the largest tower in Verona. Originally built in 1172 by the Lamberti family, the tower stood at 37 metres height. However, in the following centuries, after the construction was integrated into the Palazzo del Consiglio, its height was increased to 84 metres.
Note that the Verona Card holders have to pay €1 extra to use the lift. From the top, you can enjoy superb panoramic views over the city’s red rooftops and River Adige’s curves.
See the iconic balcony of Romeo and Juliet
02:40 PM – 03:20 PM
Verona is well known for its connections to Romeo and Juliet. Thus, you can’t visit the city, without seeing the iconic Juliet’s House (Casa di Giulietta).
You’ll find Juliet’s House tucked away in a little alley with walls covered in love notes. This 13th-century house features a little courtyard with a statue of Juliet. Yet, the most popular spot in the house is the famous balcony where Romeo promised his eternal love to Juliet.
It’s free to enter the courtyard, where you can touch Juliet’s bronze chest for luck and love. However, to visit the house and stand in the iconic balcony you have to pay €6. The entrance is free with Verona Card.
You can even send a letter (or email) to Juliet! And you’ll get an answer! The letters are actually handled by a group of volunteers from the Club di Giulietta in Verona.
Before visiting, be aware that the house has no actual connection to the fictional characters of Romeo and Juliet. In fact, the balcony was only added in the 20th century. Still, it’s worth it to take a quick look and see how noble families lived in Verona centuries ago.
And while in the area, stop for some gelato at L’Arte del Gelato. It’s one of the best in Verona!
Visit the impressive Basilica of Santa Anastasia
03:40 PM – 04:10 PM
Even if you have only one day in Verona, the Basilica of Santa Anastasia is not to be missed. It was built in the period 1280-1400 by the friars of the Dominican order.
Basilica of Santa Anastasia is the largest church in the city (and the most beautiful one). Don’t let its plain exterior turn you away. The interior is truly remarkable, featuring frescoed ceilings and beautiful chapels.
There is an entrance fee of €3 to visit the church (you get a free audio guide as well).
Cross Ponte Pietra
04:20 PM – 04:30 PM
To get to the last sight of this Verona itinerary, you’ll have to cross the Adige River. And the best spot to do is one of the city’s iconic bridges, Ponte Pietra. Dating back to the 1st century BC, this is the oldest bridge in Verona.
The best views of Verona
04:40 PM – 05:30 PM
Piazzale Castel San Pietro offers the best panoramic views of the city and Adige River. So, even if you have only 1 day in Verona, make the effort to visit the place. It will be the highlight of your trip!
The easiest way to get to the viewing point is by taking the Funicolare di Castel San Pietro. In less than a 2min ride, you’ll reach the top of the hill. Of course, if you prefer walking, there are some steep steps you can take to the top.
Whatever you choose, the panoramic views will be worth it! Besides the spectacular views, you’ll find a 14th-century palace (sadly it’s not open to visitors).
Finish this Verona itinerary with dinner at Il Punto Rosa. It’s a lovely little restaurant where you can try some local food.
However, If you’re visiting Verona on a day trip and want a quick dinner, go to Bigoi Verona. They offer delicious freshly made pasta for takeaway.
Ready for a second gelato? Well, then head to Gelateria La Romana Verona. It’s a 10min walk from the historic centre, but it’s worth it the little detour. You’ll have one of the best gelato in Italy!
Take a food tour
There is no better way to discover Verona than taking a food tour with wine tasting. You’ll taste the local tortellini fresh pasta, try an Italian espresso and the famous Amarone wine.
Marvel at the Scaliger Tombs
Scaliger Tombs (Arche Scaligere) is a group of Gothic funeral monuments erected by the Scaliger family. For €1 you can enter inside the iron gates and see the tombs at close hand. They are just a step away from the Piazza dei Signori, so don’t miss to take a look.
Visit the Renaissance garden of Giusti Palace
The gardens of Giusti Palace (Palazzo Giusti) is considered one of the best Renaissance gardens in Europe. The earliest gardens were set up in the late 1400s. In the 16th century, they were improved to serve as a backdrop of the Giusti Palace. The garden is laid out on several levels, featuring 600-year-old cypress trees and a maze.
You can buy a skip-the-line ticket for Giusti Palace here.
Visit Verona’s famous churches
Besides the Basilica of Santa Anastasia, the city is home to several more gorgeous churches. Thus, if you have enough time I urge you to discover the religious sights below.
- Verona Cathedral – 12th-century Romanesque cathedral with a striped façade and beautiful frescoes and paintings by Titian
- Basilica of San Zeno – features impressive Romanesque design with detailed bronze doors, decorated with vivid biblical scenes
- Church of San Fermo Maggiore – a fusion of Romanesque and Gothic style with a magnificent carved wood ceiling
All of the three churches are free with Verona Card. Another option is to buy this combined ticket. It gives you a free entrance to Verona Cathedral, Basilica of San Zeno, Church of San Fermo Maggiore and Basilica of Santa Anastasia.
How to save money on your Verona itinerary
The best way to discover the city and save money is to use the Verona Card. The pass includes:
- free entry to all major tourist sites
- skip the line entry at the Arena
- reduced entry to several museums
- free unlimited travel on the ATV city bus lines
By using the pass on this Verona day trip itinerary you’ll save €13.
- Arena di Verona – €10
- Castelvecchio Museum – €6
- Lamberti Tower – €8
- Juliet’s House – €6
- Basilica di Santa Anastasia – €3
Total without the card – €33
If you use the card – €20
Total savings – €13
And I didn’t even include the free use of public transport (one ticket costs €1.3). So, even if you’re exploring Verona on a day trip, you can save at least €13. You can find more in my detailed review why the Verona Card is worth it.
How many days in Verona
Is one day in Verona enough?
1 day is more than enough to discover the city and visit Arena di Verona, Castelvecchio Museum, Lamberti Tower and Juliet’s House. In fact, Verona is an easy and popular day trip from Venice and Milan.
How to see Verona in half a day
It’s possible to see the city in only half a day if you’re short on time. You can still follow my Verona itinerary, but you’ll have to skip the visit of some key sights.
For example, skip the visit of the Basilica di Santa Anastasia and see only outside the Arena and Juliet’s House. You’ll lose precious time at Juliet’s House, plus you can see the famous balcony from the courtyard. For city views choose between Lamberti Tower and Piazzale Castel San Pietro.
Best time to visit Verona
The best time to visit Verona is late spring (May and June) and early autumn (September and October). The high season is the summer months of July and August. Avoid these months if possible, because the crowds are big and the weather is too hot.
The Opera Festival takes place every year in June, July and August. During this time you can attend a classical music concert at the Arena! It’s a unique experience, so don’t miss it if you’re in the city at that time.
Every winter from the middle of November till Christmas, you can enjoy the magical Christmas markets.
Venice is not the only city famous for its carnival in the Veneto region. The Verona Carnival takes place on the last Friday before Lent and it’s one of the oldest in Italy!
Getting around in Verona
Find here a map with all the key sights from this Verona day trip itinerary.
Verona is easily accessible by foot. Yet, if walking is not your thing, you can always take the hop-on-hop-off bus. The bus takes you from the central train station to the historic centre. It’s very useful for Piazzale Castel San Pietro, as the scenic viewpoint is on the top of the hill.
How to get to Verona
Verona Porta Nuova is the city’s central train station. It’s an easy 15min walk away from the historic centre. Another option is to take public transport (there is a large bus station outside the train station) or the hop-on-hop-off bus.
Be careful not to get off at Verona Porta Vescovo station, which is not at a walking distance to the tourist sights. The station you need is Verona Porta Nuova.
A big part of Verona’s historic centre is a limited traffic zone (ZTL). So, if you’re arriving by car, make sure your hotel has parking on-site. Another option is to use any of the numerous car parks.
The city’s main airport is known under two names – Villafranca Airport (VRN) and Valerio Catullo Airport. It’s just 10km away from the city and is connected to the train station via a shuttle. The shuttle Aerobus runs every 20min and it takes 15min to reach Porta Nuova station.
Best day trips from Verona
If you decide to spend a little more time in Verona, don’t miss to take a day trip and explore the region. See below the two most popular destinations for a day trip.
Sirmione and Lake Garda
If you have time for only one day trip, do this. Lake Garda is not only the largest lake in all of Italy, but the scenery is breathtaking!
Sirmione lies on the shores of the lake. It’s a picturesque little town that boasts a 12th-century water-surrounded fortress.
How to get to Sirmione and Lake Garda
- the easiest way is to take this Sirmione and Lake Garda guided tour. It includes not only a guided tour of the walled town of Sirmione but also a boat tour of the lake.
- another option is to take the bus line LN026 from Verona Porta Nuova bus station to Sirmione (1-hour journey)
Amarone Wine Trail Tour
If you’re a wine lover, this Amarone Wine Trail Tour is just for you! You’ll discover the wine valley of Valpolicella and learn the secrets of the Amarone winemaking. The tour also includes two wine tasting at authentic wineries!