Following my post about Why Verona is a Must See, I thought I’d offer some insight into 5 nearby cities to visit while you’re in Italy. When I studied abroad in Italy I was based in Verona, and day trips were our frequent format for travel! I took a few long weekend trips to cities like Florence and Salzburg, Austria, but many of my trips took place within 24 hours or less. If you’re staying in Verona, or even passing through, here are 5 nearby cities you could easily visit!
About an hour south of Verona, Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. Some top sights include: the Basilica Santuario di Santo Stefano, Piazza Maggiore, Torri degli Asinelli e Garisenda, and the Santuario di Madonna San Luca. I spent less than 24 hours in Bologna and managed to see all of the above and then some. My favorite sights were the Torre degli Asinelli (which is a tight climb up the stairs, but worth the view!) and the Santuario di Madonna San Luca. A bit outside of the center of Bologna, the Santuario di Madonna San Luca offers sweeping views of the Italian countryside.
When I went to Lake Garda with a few other students studying abroad we stopped at the Peschiera del Garda train stop. The train stop is a short walk from the central part of town, which features numerous restaurants and shops along the lake and canals. Stopping here was a wonderful leisurely day away from the bigger cities in northern Italy.
While I didn’t actually make it to Milan when I studied abroad, it’s so close to Verona so I had to include it! I’d love to see the Duomo, the Last Supper by Da Vinci, and generally explore the city. Milan also seems to be a good stopping point before heading into the Lake Como area. Northern Italy has such a diverse landscape, I’d love to explore it more!
Padua is another town that is about an hour train ride from Verona. It is best known for the Scrovegni Chapel, which was completed in 1305 by Giotto. Since I studied Art History in college I was thrilled to finally see the Scrovegni Chapel in person. The vibrant blue backgrounds were stunning in person. It’s incredible that something from 1305 still exists in today’s world, and I feel so lucky to have seen it!
An obvious choice, Venice is a little further away from Verona. In under 3 hours you can be in Venice via train. While this would be a longer day trip, I’d still recommend making the trek! During my time in Italy, I made 2 day trips and 1 longer weekend trip to Venice. If a day is all you can devote to Venice, you’ll still be able to see a lot. My favorite sights in Venice included the Grand Canal, the Basilica di San Marco, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the Doges’ Palace. In general I loved wandering around Venice and getting lost (which is pretty easy) - you’ll discover so many hidden spots!
Have you been to Northern Italy? What are you favorite cities to visit?