Verona Visit on the Way to Milan
After a week Hiking the Dolomites, we were able add a Verona visit on the way to the Milan Airport. Driving the Italian Autostrada by rental car wasn’t complicated, but it did have challenges. The route seemed to be plagued with traffic tie ups and accidents that slowed things down. All the major Autostrada highways in Italy are toll roads, which can be quite annoying when you pay to be part of a traffic jam. On the way to our Verona visit, we took a side trip to Sirmione where we hoped to see the Scaligero Castle. Unfortunately, the small peninsula on Lake Garda was extremely popular on the weekend. We couldn’t get close because of the traffic. With only a couple hours to spend in Verona that day, we headed straight to Verona Old Town instead.
Verona Visit – Old Town
After parking our rental vehicle quite close to the Old Town, we started our own 2 hour Verona Visit Old Town Walking Tour. First off we had lunch at a street side cafe and then walked a block to the Roman amphitheater called simply the Arena. The Arena wasn’t open to the public that afternoon, because they were setting up for an Andrea Boccelli concert that evening.
Next we decided to skip the popular tourist attraction claiming to be Juliet’s balcony from Shakespeare’s play. Instead we headed straight to Piazza delle Erbe, where we enjoyed the frescoed buildings, the roof top statues and the ancient fountain in the square. From there we visited the Scaligar Tombs, which are so close to Piazza Erbe that they almost seem like an addition to the square. The tombs and the Sarcophagus of Cangrande are viewed from the street without entering the church at the site.
Verona Visit – Verona Cathedral
The last part of our Verona Visit in the Old Town took us to the Verona Cathedral. On our walk to the Verona Cathedral we passed through Santa Anastasia Square and then came abruptly on a large crowd outside a hotel. They were waiting to catch a glimpse of Andrea Bocelli before his show in the Arena that evening. A few blocks further on we reached the Verona Cathedral and paid the small entrance fee. The Verona Cathedral was very impressive. The church interior is beautiful. The cathedral also has a small archeological area and a crypt. I know churches in Europe are so common that you can lose interest, but the Verona Cathedral is a worthwhile visit.
Verona Visit – Castelvecchio
After the Verona Cathedral, we moved the rental car to a parking spot close to Castelvecchio. This ancient red brick castle is set along side the Adige River. A red brick bridge takes you to the opposite shore of the Adige. The Castelvecchio bridge was a popular spot. Maybe that’s because the heat felt less oppressive with the river flowing beneath you. By now we’d run out of time on our Verona Visit, so we headed to the Milan Airport. Our amazing vacation in Italy had come to an end.