Verona makes a good base for exploring a few different aspects of Italy, from the waters of Lake Garda to bustling art cities and quiet country towns. Most of the main destinations in the Veneto region are in easy reach of Verona by public transport, and local buses will take you to a variety of small, interesting towns and villages.
Check timetables when planning an excursion, and make sure you have bought tickets and confirmed times for your return as well as your outward journey. On Sundays and bank holidays (festivi) public transport services can be limited, while on Mondays museums and attractions are frequently closed, so do a quick bit of research in advance to avoid disappointment. You should be able to find food in all but the smallest of villages, but if you are heading off the beaten track, consider a light packed lunch for emergencies. For more advice and suggestions you could visit Verona’s tourist information office near the Arena, where you will be able to pick up more information about local attractions and obtain up-to-date travel information and timetables.
If you are travelling by train, be aware that different types of train connect Verona with surrounding towns. Different ticket prices apply to each train category (faster trains are more expensive), so be sure that you have a ticket which is valid for the train you are planning to catch. It’s also a good idea to buy your return ticket in advance, as station facilities in small towns can be very limited.
Lake Garda, the largest of the Italian lakes, is a short distance from Verona. A day trip won’t give you enough time to explore the whole length of the lake, but the southern lakeside towns Peschiera and Desenzano del Garda are a short journey away by bus or rail and with a bit of planning and checking ferry timetables you could take a trip to another resort too. There is also a direct bus from Verona to the lake’s western shore: Garda, Riva, Malcesine and other resorts. See the Lake Garda page for more information.
Brescia is a large city with an ancient historic core and a good town museum – and it’s a quick train ride away from Verona.
I wouldn’t recommend seeing Venice on a day trip – the town is best appreciated with a longer stay – but it is a possible full-day excursion from Verona. The fastest (and most expensive) train services will get you over the lagoon and in central Venice in an hour and ten minutes.
An ancient university town with many tourist sights including the famous frescoes by Giotto, Padua is a lovely place to spend a day, although you won’t manage to fit everything in. You should pre-book to see the Giotto frescoes.
Vicenza, the Palladian town, is a smaller and more mellow town than its nearby rivals. This is a good relaxing place to spend a day, admiring the grand buildings by Palladio and others, and sitting at cafe tables. You could fit in an afternoon excursion to a couple of villas outside town with a pleasant walk back into Vicenza.
If you are having a city break in Verona, you may enjoy a day spent at a slower pace. The Veneto and neighbouring Lombardy are full of small, charming towns, often with medieval fortifications, one or two special works of art and perhaps a small museum or grand cathedral. Quite a few of these places have good transport connections, and you could combine a couple in one day out, or simply spend a few hours pottering followed by a leisurely lunch. Possible destinations include wine-producing Soave, or UNESCO-listed Mantova (Mantua).
The Veneto is famous for its vineyards, producing many different red and white wines, including Valpolicella and Soave. Visitors with cars may enjoy the chance to tour the countryside visiting wine destinations – look out for signs, or ask at the tourist office about the local wine routes, ‘Strade del Vino’. If you don’t have a car, it is possible to organise tours including both sightseeing and wine-tastings through local tour companies and cultural organisations such as Pagus (see links panel).
Useful external links
- Veneto region
- Abano Terme
- Bassano del Grappa
- Brenta Canal
- Castelfranco Veneto
- Concordia Sagittaria
- Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Lido di Jesolo
- Montegrotto Terme
- Venetian Lagoon