You could spend many days in the World Heritage Site of Verona, exploring the fabulous architecture and the Roman remains. However, the city is also an excellent base from which to discover the towns and countryside of northern Italy. Here are some of the best day trips from Verona, taking in major cities, palaces and castles, lakeside scenery and more.
There are a variety of transport options, but most of these places are easy to reach by train. (If you’re unsure about taking the train, have a look at our guide to Using The Trains In Italy.)
Lake Garda, the largest of the Italian lakes, is just 30 km from Verona. The southern end of the lake is surrounded by olive trees, citrus groves, historic sites and charming small towns.
Trains will take you to the lakeside villages of Peschiera or Desenzano. Or you can catch a bus to the beautiful town of Sirmione, with its Roman ruins and historic castle. A guided tour to Sirmione from Verona is also possible. A little further afield is Riva del Garda, the main town on the lake.
Mantua, a 45 minute train ride to the south of Verona, is another World Heritage Site. It is a perfectly formed Renaissance city, former home to the powerful Gonzaga family.
Explore the historic centre and the artworks of the Palazzo Ducale. Then try a plate of Mostarda di Mantova – a local speciality – at one of the city’s many restaurants. Read more about Mantua, Renaissance Home Of The Gonzagas.
Brescia is less than an hour from Verona by train. It is not a well known tourist destination but there is a surprising amount to see. The most important sight is the City Museum. Part of a World Heritage Site, this incorporates a former monastery, churches and Roman ruins.
Elsewhere in the city you’ll find museums, a Roman temple, a castle, and churches full of artworks. Read more about Brescia: An Underrated Tourist Destination.
Since the Middle Ages Bologna has been known as la grassa (“the fat”), a reference to its rich and distinctive cuisine. Today food is just one of the reasons to visit the city: others include the history and the architecture, the churches and the arcades.
With a journey time of around an hour and a half, you can take the train for a Perfect Day In Bologna.
There are many reasons to visit Trento, a Renaissance town in the Trentino-Alto Adige region. This is a historic city, surrounded by mountains and countryside. And its buildings are covered with frescoes – so many of them that Trento is called “the Painted City”.
The train journey to Trento takes around an hour.
Vicenza is unique. The whole of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, packed full of buildings designed by one man, Andrea Palladio. Spend your day exploring the town and its Palladian buildings, then enjoy lunch in one of the city’s many restaurants, mostly frequented by locals rather than tourists. Read more about the Top Things To Do In Vicenza.
Vicenza is around 25 minutes from Verona by train. However, if you also want to explore the Palladian villas in the surrounding countryside, you may prefer to hire a car.
Venice is one of those cities that would take a lifetime to explore properly! However, if you are short of time, it is possible to explore some of the major sites in a day.
Have a look at this one day itinerary of Venice, taking in St Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge, islands of the lagoon, and much more. The train journey from Verona is around an hour and a half – make sure you start out early to get the most from your day. Or, if you are planning to stay a little longer, check out our Ultimate Guide For Your Trip To Venice.
Exploring The Countryside
Getting deep into the countryside may mean either hiring a car or taking a guided tour. With a car you can explore the mountains, the lakes, and the vineyards. Options for guided day trips from Verona include an Amarone Wine Trail Tour or an Amarone Countryside E-Bike Tour.