You can view all posts from my trip to Italy here.
I wanted to love Verona, Italy, but I just didn’t (like my feelings for Venice). I was actually much more excited about seeing the coliseum rather than Juliet’s balcony because I read that it’s better preserved than the one in Rome, but it turned out to be a disappointment, which put a damper on the day for me. So here’s a guide to Verona so you don’t have the same disappointing experience I did!
So we arrived in Verona by train from Bassano del Grappa, and after our usual fiasco with the trains, we had about 5 hours to spend exploring. My friends and I actually cut our time kind of short and caught an earlier train to Florence because none of us really loved Verona. I think if we had done it differently and had a full day or two to spend there and went to the main attractions early to beat the crowds (and if the coliseum wasn’t a major disappointment), we would have enjoyed it more. So don’t write Verona off quite yet! The architecture was beautiful and I loved all the bright colors, but it just wasn’t my favorite city.
There was a huge line for the taxis at the train station and you had to call to get a taxi (I’m not sure why, it was pretty confusing), so we decided to walk from the train station to the city center. It wasn’t too far, and we got to see the pretty walls around the city as we walked in.
(Side note, you may have read on my Burano Island post that I lost a lot of photos on an external hard drive, and some couldn’t be recovered. Luckily, I was in Italy with my friend Stephanie who is an amazing photographer, and she let me use some of her photos! I have those labeled, and shout out to Stephanie for being so awesome! 🙂 )
I did love the large traffic circle in the middle of the city with restaurants and stores on the outskirts, but there was construction going on in the middle, so I’m not sure what was there.
We stopped for breakfast at a little cafe (I can’t remember the name of it, sorry!) to get out of the rain for a bit, and I could not get enough of the Nutella filled croissants!
So the coliseum. From the outside it was huge and impressive, and it got me excited to see the inside, especially since we weren’t going to Rome. Like I said, it’s said to be the best preserved coliseum, which means they still use it for events. It’s pretty cool that they’re able to use the coliseum today, but not cool when you pay 10 euros to go inside and see a MASSIVE stage with stereos and giant black signs advertising bands and rows of bright red folding chairs and floorboards taking up half of the coliseum. We weren’t expecting that at all, so it was 40 euros down the drain. I took pictures that got lost when my external hard drive died, but the inside of the arena was so ugly that my friend Stephanie didn’t take any photos. It was incredibly disappointing, especially for paying 10 euros to get in. You also couldn’t get any photos of the city from the top of the coliseum because they have barbed wire along the top. If you go to Verona, I would suggest just admiring the coliseum from the outside.
Photo by Stephanie
After leaving the coliseum, we fought our way through crowds to get to Juliet’s balcony. The crowds were massive and the area around Juliet’s balcony is pretty small, so I would suggest going as early as possible so you can actually get some good photos without people taking the cheesy photo of rubbing Juliet’s breast (the line to take a photo like that was super long). The tunnel where you can leave notes to Juliet was also very crowded and not at all like Letters to Juliet, so don’t watch that movie before visiting Verona!
Photo by Stephanie
Photo by Stephanie
Photo by Stephanie (It took a ton of tries to get a shot of the balcony without a person standing up there)
Photo by Stephanie
Photo by Stephanie
After escaping the crowds, we tried to take some side streets so we could breathe. We did wander down to the river, and that had some beautiful views (my photos of that got lost, of course). We did want to eat lunch before getting our train, but most places didn’t open until noon, and we didn’t want to risk missing our early afternoon trains. There are supposed to be some great restaurants in the city though!
Photo by Stephanie
Photo by Stephanie
Photo by Stephanie
So there you have it, Verona, Italy is very beautiful, but I just had a disappointing experience there with the coliseum and the massive crowds everywhere. Has anyone loved their time in Verona? I would love to hear what you did differently! Comment below! 🙂
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I am kinda enjoying Verona here, but thanks for the advice!! The sky in your photos is better than the gloomy September sky. On the upside, the crowds are minimal today. Italy do be cool.
I’m glad you’re having fun there!
Wow! Verona looks like quite a quaint little town. Looks like you had bad weather though!
Yeah hopefully the weather will be nicer if I go back!
It’s such a shame you didn’t enjoy Verona. We felt like that about Barcelona and couldn’t get out of there quick enough (we couldn’t actually find anything to like about Barcelona). We had a lovely day out in Verona. I had no prior expectations of the ampitheatre so the Arena Di Verona did wow us, but I’m sure we didn’t pay anywhere near as much as you to get in. I imagine it’s incredible when there’s an event on that you can watch (but probably very expensive). We did an open top bus tour to decide what to visit in Verona. We enjoyed the tour, the Arena, Juliet’s Balcony and a little restaurant we visited for lunch. My favourite attraction was probably the Torre Dei Lamberti. We went to the very top and the views were incredible. We were also very luck to have beautiful sunny weather too though and I think the weather can very much influence how you see a place. The rain must have also put a dampener on it for you. x
I’m glad you had a good time! Next time I go, I know what things to avoid and how to see the city better! I’ll have to try that bus tour
It’s so funny you felt this way, I was the complete opposite when I went, I absolutely adored the city, I think it’s gorgeous and possibly my favourite! I didn’t even know you could go inside the Colosseum so I’m glad we didn’t after reading what it’s like. I have been in the one in Rome and it’s pretty impressive. Great post and amazing pictures as always 🙂
Thanks! I’m glad you didn’t go inside the colosseum, it was so disappointing!
Lovely pictures though! Thanks for sharing. Fell in love with your blog. ☺️❤️
Thank you! 🙂
Incredible architecture. I can’t wait to go back to Italy. I was travelling in the south of Italy in May this year. Will check out the north side on my next trip. Thanks for sharing this.
The north side has some beautiful places!
I haven’t been to Verona yet but it’s good that you’re sharing these, so that others can manage their expectations accordingly. I’ll feel so bummed too to see the crowds everywhereeeeee, gee. Excellent photos though, the weather looked perfect!
Oh, I feel your pain about places not living up to the hype, especially the Coliseum (I went all the way to the Registan in Samarkand and there was a stage set up in the middle!). Verona does look beautiful though, you and your friend have some gorgeous shots between you. Just shows you can’t win them all, though…
That sounds so disappointing! Yes at least Verona was beautiful!
Spent the day there and definitely was enough! So cute and the amphitheater was gorgeous, but day trip was a perfect amount of time.
Have to agree that for me crowds really put a downer on any traveling experience . However the pictures you posted of the city and coliseum ensures Verona is going on my visit list when I’m next in the area. Thanks
Thank you! I would suggest skipping the coliseum when you go because it was the biggest disappointment of my day
The photos are incredible and I love your honesty. I’ve been a few places that I just didn’t leave in love with, beautiful but not my love, sometimes even overrated.
Thank you! 🙂
So it sounds like I loved Verona so much because I never went inside the coliseum! I took love Letters to Juliet, and didn’t find it like the movie, but still
thought the tunnel was cool. Sorry to hear your day was such a disappointment!
Yes the coliseum really put a damper on the day!
I’ve only visited for a couple of hours so not long enough to make a judgement. It wasn’t crowded at all when we went though (other than around Juliet’s balcony) so I appreciated that.
That sounds like a nice time!
I love a good old honest post! Such a shame Verona didn’t live up to what you hoped but I guess that’s the nature of travel isn’t it. The Coliseum is pretty impressive from the outside though. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Thank you! Yes there are always good and bad parts of traveling
I’m totally with you on this one. I spent a night in Verona (at what was the single weirdest hostel I’ve ever been to) and tried really hard to find the charming side of the city, but I just couldn’t. Seeing a performance at the Coliseum was out of my budget, the Romeo and Juliet tourism was all just so fake and lame, and everywhere was so crowded. I also ended up leaving sooner than expected. Glad I’m not the only one!
Yes Verona really didn’t meet my expectations either!!
I did not really like Milan, but Verona is one of my favs!
That’s cool! What did you like about Verona?
I went to Verona last March and loved it (My #BlogPostSaturday today I chose to share it LOL) We did do a tour with a guide, and drove there (with italian relatives). I thought Juliet’s balcony was fun and touristy. We did not go in the Colisseum though. Def not my favorite city ever, but glad I went.
I feel like going with a guide would really help!
I am so sorry you didn’t get to really take in Verona. Blame it on the short time you had, but you really have to give it another chance. I absolutely loved it. Fair enough it was sunny and I had 2 days to explore. Check out my experience on my blog.
Yeah I think that spending more time there would help!
A pity you didn’t get to enjoy Verona. I would hate to go somewhere and be disappointed like that. That sucks! And lost photos to boot, that’s aweful! I guess for most places around the worl, biggest attractions are always better to navigate very early in the morning while most tourists would still be in bed or having breakfast!
Yes I definitely try to go early places to beat the crowds!
Oh man, I’m sorry you didn’t like it. I loved Verona when I visited! Yes, it’s touristy and there’s crowds, but it’s such a magical place with so much history, I couldn’t not love it! Hope you have a better time in Rome – that’s my favourite city in the world!
Thanks! Rome is on my bucket list!
I visited Verona for a few hours, too, and also was a little disappointed by it. The colorful buildings were pretty and we had a nice lunch there, but I’d have to say it wasn’t my favorite spot in Italy. Perhaps, I’ll have to go back and spend more time there.
Yes I agree!
I have been and really loved the city, then again I spent a few days there rather than a few hours. You might just need to slow the pace down a little to be able to enjoy it.
Yeah I think it would have been different if I had more time to spend there!
I totally agree, though in fairness I also got food poisoning at lunch which totally made it worse. But I did a day trip from Venice and was just ‘meh’ about it all. It was nice but not beautiful in comparison to other Italian cities. I also happened to be there when a million school kids were so their screaming and running and pushing everywhere I went did not help. But definitely didn’t win me over.
Food poisoning would make things worse! Yes there were a TON of school kids when I was there, too, so that didn’t make it better
This place seems to be amazing…In my personal opinion this is one of those places that every traveler should visit, btw great post.
Thank you! Hopefully other travelers have better experiences there than I did!
That’s too bad it was so crazy! And a huge bummer about the colosseum. But the pictures you and your friend took are still beautiful!
That’s always so disappointing! I think crowds can really make a big difference in making a city not as enjoyable. Your photos are beautiful as always!
I really enjoyed Verona, but I had no expectations of it. We went on a day trip from Venice and had seen on tripadvisor that the balcony was really busy.
I’m so glad we didn’t go inside the coliseum though, like you said would be so disappointed.
Yeah I feel like I would have enjoyed it more if I didn’t have high expectations! What did you get to see in Verona?
Ugh hate when I’m disappointed by a trip, I think it happens most when I hype myself up about something. At least you were with your friends and could make the most of it. Your photos make it look beautiful, I love the colours.
Thank you! 🙂 Yes hyping myself up usually doesn’t end well!
I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy Verona as much as you thought you would! I do also think that crowds and masses of tourists can affect your experience of a place so much. That’s what it did to me when I visited Sintra in Lisbon, plus some other disappointments because of works that were going on and all that, just as you mentioned here.
The town itself looks beautiful though, so I do plan on visiting it at some point or other even just for the views, the buildings, the food, and I’ll take your advice and only see the Coliseum from the outside. Next time you fly to Italy though, make sure you go to the Coliseum in Rome – it won’t disappoint you, trust me! 😀
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Crowds of tourists definitely impact my experience! I do want to visit the coliseum one day, hopefully soon! 🙂
Sounds like Verona is a great place to see in the early mornings. I hope to get there one day.
Yes I would definitely see it as early in the morning as possible!