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Perfect Milan to Verona Day Trip: What to Do & Eat 2023

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Planning a Milan to Verona day trip? We’re sharing the perfect itinerary in this guide.

Milan might be the second largest city in Italy, but you only need one or two days to explore the highlights.

There are so many fun and easy day trips from Milan! While there are many beautiful places to visit in northern Italy, Verona is a fantastic choice.

In fact, we recently stayed in Verona for one month and fell in love with this incredible city. Not only is the city center a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it is also famously known as the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Roman arenas, fine dining experiences, unique churches, and gorgeous piazzas and vistas are just some of the experiences you can have on a Milan to Verona day trip.

This guide will show you exactly how to enjoy a day trip to Verona including things to do, what to eat, and how to get there from Milan.

Know Before You Go: Milan to Verona Day Trip

  • Always opt for the fastest train from Milan to Verona so you don’t waste valuable sightseeing time. Try to get there before 9 am when most attractions open.
  • We recommend booking your return train from Verona to Milan in advance to save money. Choose a later time so you can enjoy dinner and sunset in Verona.
  • If you want to visit a lot of museums and landmarks, save money and get the Verona card. This card gives you access to dozens of attractions for around €21 in a 24-hour period.
  • Pay for the Verona card online and pick it up at the Verona Tourist Information Office when it opens at 9 am. It’s essential to buy the card in advance during the peak seasons, so you can book a time slot to visit Juliet’s House without paying extra.

Is a Milan to Verona Day Trip Worth It?

Definitely! Verona is a vibrant, historic city with lots going on but it’s also pretty compact. You could absolutely see the best of what Verona has to offer on a Milan to Verona day trip. 

Although, if you do have the time, spending at least two nights in the city would allow you to get a better feel for Verona and see more than the highlights.

How To Get To Verona From Milan

Taking the train from Milan to Verona is by far the best option for your day trip. You can book your train tickets from Milano Centrale Train Station to Verona Porta Nuova Train Station in advance at Trenitalia.com.

We suggest downloading the Trenitalia App for your trip to Italy. You can access your e-tickets in the app and also check the status of your train. This is what we use during our travels in Italy, and it is 100% the way to go.

To get the best prices, book your train tickets at least 3 weeks in advance. The high-speed trains in particular are much cheaper if you book ahead of time.

How Long Is Verona From Milan by Train?

There are two Milan to Verona trains: the first takes 1 hour and 13 minutes and the other takes 1 hour and 52 minutes.

For your day trip, book the faster, high-speed train! This will give you more time to explore the city. 

The high-speed trains are more expensive (usually double the price if booking last minute) than the regional trains, but they’re more comfortable and worth the time savings.

How To Get From Verona Train Station to the City Center 

Since you’re only in the city for a day and won’t have any luggage, walking is the best option. It takes around 23 minutes to walk from Verona Porta Nuova Station to Piazza Bra in the city center.

Those with extra accessibility needs can take a taxi or hop on the local bus.

There are usually taxis waiting outside of the station. This journey will take less than 10 minutes.

Plenty of buses travel between Verona Station and Piazza Bra. You can purchase tickets on the bus with cash, or at a local tobacco shop.

If you purchase the Verona card, bus rides are free for the entire 24 hours. Single journeys on the bus cost around €1.50.

How To Get Around Verona

With many pedestrian-only streets and most sights only a 10 to 20-minute walk from each other, Verona is a super walkable city!

If you have limited mobility, consider taking taxis or using the bus to get around. There’s no metro or tram system here.

What To Do on a Milan to Verona Day Trip

If you want to save money on most of the attractions in Verona, we highly recommend getting the Verona Card. We got this during our stay in Verona, and it saved us a ton, as it includes entrance to pretty much all of the sights on this day trip itinerary.

You can buy it online and pick it up at the Verona Tourist Information Office in Piazza Bra. The tourist office opens at 9 am every day, so pick up your card before you do anything else!

Visit the Verona Arena 

Start off your day trip by visiting the Verona Arena. If you thought that the Colosseum was the only Roman amphitheater still standing in Italy today, you’re in for a treat!

There are just a few preserved ancient Roman theaters in Italy and the Verona Arena is one of the best preserved. During your day trip from Milan to Verona, you can explore this incredible structure made from local marble that dates all the way back to 30 AD.

You’re able to walk up and down the steps/seats and explore wherever you wish. Walk all the way up to the edge of the arena to see Piazza Bra from above.

The arena is open every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

If you’re visiting Verona between the months of June and September and decide to stick around for a night or two, then you should try to get tickets to a performance at the arena.

The Verona Arena hosts concerts, operas, and other open-air performances in the evenings during the summer. Its opera program is highly rated and attracts audiences from all over the world. Learn more on the official website.

Tickets: Full-price tickets are €16. You can either buy them at the arena or up to two days prior to your visit. Booking in advance is recommended during peak season because the line can get long! Entrance is also included in the Verona Card.

Wander around Piazza Bra

After a visit to the arena, take a stroll through Piazza Bra, the largest piazza in the city!

As well as the location of Verona Arena, Piazza Bra also has a lot of busy restaurants and colorful cafes. Sure, it’s a fairly touristy area, but the outdoor terraces of these cafés have some of the best people-watching views.

You’ll also find Giardini Vittorio Emanuele II in Piazza Bra. This is a small park dedicated to one of Italy’s kings with a statue of the man himself.

It’s the perfect place to take a breather under the shade of the trees and fill up your water bottle from the drinking fountain. Most of Verona’s seasonal markets (like the city’s Christmas markets) will be set up on the cobblestones of Piazza Bra.

Want to experience the highlights of Verona with a local guide? Check out this walking tour and learn about the history of the city’s top sights.

Check out the Castelvecchio Bridge

Because Verona’s historic center is almost entirely surrounded by the Adige River, the city has many ancient and beautiful bridges. Ponte delle Navi and Ponte Pietra are both worth seeing, but there’s none so special as the Castelvecchio Bridge.

Also known as Ponte Scaligero, this bridge was originally built out of local brick and marble in the 14th century. It was sadly destroyed at the end of WWII but painstakingly rebuilt in 1951.

It was built by the della Scala family (also written as Scaligero). They ruled Verona during the 13th and 14th centuries and built many of the city’s notable structures.

You can cross the bridge’s three arches and use the ledges and steps to see the beautiful river views. 

When the weather is warm, you can often see rafters attempting to traverse the rocky waters of the River Adige underneath the Castelvecchio Bridge.

Castelvecchio Museum

Right next to the Castelvecchio Bridge is the Castelvecchio Museum.

It was built by the della Scala family around the same time in the 14th century. This was where the family lived during their rule between 1260 and 1387 before the Venetian Republic took over in the early 15th century.

Today, the palace is now a museum and gallery with artworks mostly from the local Veneto region. As well as paintings and sculptures, you’ll also find a sizeable collection of ancient and historic weaponry.

It’s open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm every day except Tuesday when it is closed. 

Tickets: Full-price tickets are €6 and they are available at the museum’s ticket desk. Entrance to the museum is included in the Verona card.

Piazza Delle Erbe

Located in the center of Verona’s Old Town, Piazza Delle Erbe is literally and figuratively the heart of the city!

This is where you’ll find the Gardello Tower, Torre dei Lamberti, Palazzo Maffei Casa Museo, and a thriving souvenir and fresh produce market almost every day.

Piazza Delle Erbe’s pièce de résistance is Fontana Madonna Verona. This is a water fountain with a statue of a woman in the center. The name of the fountain translates to Lady Verona, and she is a beloved figure amongst the locals.

Piazza Delle Erbe is a lively place that is ideal for taking a break, sipping on an Aperol Spritz, and enjoying the atmosphere.

Tip: If you have time, we highly recommend going to the top of the Torre dei Lamberti for the best views of Verona. Make your reservation in advance by sending an email or calling the official ticket office. Entrance is included in the Verona card.

Visit Juliet’s House

With so many people visiting Verona for its connections to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, there has to be somewhere for those romantics to pay their respects.

That’s exactly what you’ll find at Juliet’s House! It’s a small, Gothic 14th-century house with a balcony (of course) and a courtyard with a statue of Juliet plus some stone plaques with quotes from the famous tragic play.

You’ll find it on one of Verona’s main shopping streets, Via Cappello, usually with a huge crowd of people outside.

Visiting the courtyard is free, and while you are there you have to touch Juliet’s breast for good luck in love. It’s easy to tell which one you’re supposed to fondle because it’s much shinier than the other!

Juliet’s House is open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm every day except Monday when it is closed. There are frescoes on the walls, props and costumes from the Romeo and Juliet (1968) movie, and a mailbox where you can send letters seeking advice from the Secretaries of Juliet.

Yes, the characters of the play are 99.9% fictional and this wasn’t actually the house of Juliet Capulet. But it’s still a fun attraction to visit on a Milan to Verona day trip if you’re a romantic.

Tickets: Full-price tickets are €6. If you’re staying in Verona for more than one day, you might be interested in combination tickets. You can pay €7 to visit the house and Juliet’s Tomb or €8 for access to the house, tomb, and Achille Forti Gallery of Modern Art. 

All three are included in the Verona Card but you will need to book a timeslot for Juliet’s House in advance.

Piazza dei Signori

Although small, Piazza dei Signori is surrounded by important, historic buildings. Loggia del Consiglio dates back to the 15th century and was the first example of pure Renaissance architecture in Verona.

Palazzo del Podestà and Palace of Cansignorio were both owned by the della Scala family and are as old as the 13th century.

But the focal point of this piazza is the statue of Dante Alighieri in the center. During his exile from Florence, Dante stayed in Verona as a guest of Cangrande della Scala from 1312 to 1318.

Dante even dedicated his poem Paradiso to Cangrande! 

Visit Arche Scaligere Tombs

Walk under the Arco di Tortura from Piazza dei Signori and you’ll be standing underneath the Arche Scaligere Tombs. These are raised funeral monuments with the sarcophagi of five important members of the Scaliger/della Scala family.

It’s fairly unusual to have tombs outside of a church or graveyard in Italy. But the Scaliger family was pretty unusual and played a huge role in making Verona the city it is today.

These tombs have a mostly Gothic architectural style with intricate stone carvings with religious and personal motifs. For example, Cangrande translates to ‘big dog’ in Italian so his tomb is covered in images of dogs.

Arche Scaligere Tombs are only open (with free admission) in the summer season, but you can see them from behind the iron fence year-round.

Go to Piazzale Castel San Pietro for the Best Views

If you stand at the most northerly point of Verona’s historic center and look across the River Adige, you’ll see a majestic castle sitting on top of a hill named Castel San Pietro.

The bad news is that this former Roman fortress isn’t open to the public. But the good news is Piazzale Castel San Pietro, the square in front of it, is the real must-visit during your day trip to Verona from Milan.

It has the most stunning views of the city bar none! Even better, it’s free!

Well, it’s free if you climb up the hill to the top which isn’t as strenuous as it looks (don’t worry, there’s a drinking fountain). Or, you can hop on the funicular which costs €2 per ride and is open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm every day.

We’ve never taken the funicular, as the hike up doesn’t take long at all.

Basilica di Santa Anastasia

Basilica di Santa Anastasia is the one church you need to visit during your Milan to Verona day trip if you don’t have time to visit others.

It took over 100 years to build (and the façade has never been finished!) but the church finally opened in the 15th century. The Basilica di Santa Anastasia is a mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture with white and pink marble interiors and lots of beautiful religious artwork.

It’s the largest church in Verona and easy to reach from Piazza Delle Erbe!

The Basilica di Santa Anastasia’s opening times are 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 6 pm on Saturdays, and 1:00 pm to 6 pm on Sundays. From November to March, the church shuts at 5 pm.

Tickets: Full-price tickets are €4. If you want to visit two or possibly more churches, it’s worth getting the combination ticket for €8. This gives you access to Verona Cathedral, the Church of San Zeno, and the Church of San Fermo Maggiore.

Church of San Fermo Maggiore

Do you have enough time to visit another church? Check out the Church of San Fermo Maggiore!

The Church of San Fermo has two floors. While the first floor is older and mostly made of stone, the second floor is a complete 180. 

The altar and the walls are covered in frescoes and beautiful paintings and the ceiling is completely covered in dark wooden panels with intricate carvings. It’s unlike anything you’ll have ever seen in a church before!

The Church of San Fermo is accessible at the same time as the Basilica di Santa Anastasia: 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 6 pm on Saturdays, and 1:00 pm to 6 pm on Sundays. It also closes at 5 pm during the winter months.

Tickets: Full-price tickets are €4 and combination tickets are €8, exactly the same as the Basilica di Santa Anastasia. Combo tickets include admission to Verona Cathedral, the Church of San Zeno, and Basilica di Santa Anastasia.

Where To Eat In Verona on Your Day Trip From Milan

During our month-long stay in Verona, we sampled our fair share of restaurants and cafes. Here’s a list of some places we recommend to eat during your day trip.

  • Breakfast: Pasticceria Flego – Do as the Italians do and eat a quick breakfast, including a stuffed brioche with an espresso or cappuccino from a bakery.
  • Lunch: Trattoria al Pompiere – This charming and welcoming 200-year-old trattoria serves the ideal lunchtime fare of prosciutto platters, soups, and, of course, pasta! This is one of our favorites in the city.
  • Dinner: Locanda Di Castelvecchio – If you’re looking for a traditional restaurant with an authentic menu with local regional delicacies, and something a bit special then this place is perfect.
  • Quick Bite: La Bottega della Gina XXL – Just because you don’t have time for a sit-down lunch, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bowl of fresh pasta. This is a super casual spot where you can take your ravioli with different fillings to go or to eat alfresco.
  • Gelato: La Romana dal 1947 – Make sure to stop by on your way back to the train station and sample some of what we think is the best gelato shop in Verona and order a couple of scoops of homemade gelato for the walk.

Tips for Your Day Trip From Milan to Verona

  • Don’t expect to see everything in one day – There are plenty of other churches and gardens like the Giusti Garden to visit in Verona. Enjoy what you do have time to see and savor those experiences.
  • Book restaurants in advance – Verona has lots of incredible restaurants, but it’s a small city so tables fill up. Make reservations a couple of days before your Milan to Verona day trip.
  • Wear comfortable shoes – You’ll be doing a lot of walking!
  • Bring a water bottle – Verona has lots of drinking fountains, including one in Piazza Bra and one at Piazzale Castel San Pietro, so you can save money buying water.

More information for your trip to Italy:

ITALY TRAVEL PLANNING GUIDE

Italy Travel Insurance – Should you get travel insurance for Italy? YES! We always get travel insurance before all of our trips for peace of mind. Check out Safety Wing to find the best plan for you.

Italy Rental Cars – Is it safe to rent a car in Italy? Yes! We’ve rented a car in Italy too many times to count, and it’s definitely the most convenient way to get around the countryside. We rented our car through Discover Cars (our go-to rental agency), which helps you find the best rates no matter where you are traveling.

Italy Phone Plans – If your phone plan does not offer free coverage in Italy, then we suggest getting an eSIM. We used Airalo during our trip to Italy, and we had fantastic coverage the entire time. It’s easy to download and you can even top up via the app if needed.

Italy Hotels – Wondering where to book your accommodations for Italy? We’ve been reserving all of our hotels through Booking for years. Their messaging tool makes it easy to communicate with the hotels, and there are endless options to choose from.

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