1. Lake Garda
Day trips from Verona to Lake Garda are among some of the most popular, and while that means you may have to rub shoulders with a few tourists along the way, we think it’s worth it. The train from Verona to Lake Garda takes hardly any time at all (19 minutes if you take a Frecciarossa train!) so you can even tack this little trip on to a larger day of adventure if you want to skip the crowds early in the day or for a romantic evening out. The lake is famed for its beautiful clear waters and the area has gorgeous views all around, as well as an elegant cosmo vibe – plus with one of Italy’s best theme parks, Gardaland, set here, this really is a day trip from Verona that everyone can enjoy. Take in the impressive sight of Scaligero Castle, ride the cable car to the top of Monte Baldo and marvel at the views, or just pick one of dozens of beaches along the lake and go for a swim under the Mediterranean sun.
2. The Dolomites
For a scenic setting worthy of a bit of yodelling (because who says you can’t yodel in Italy?) day trips from Verona to the Dolomites are a must. Getting to the Dolomites from Verona isn’t a direct train journey though, you’re best to take the Frecciargento train from Verona to Bolzano and then board a bus to Val Gardena, where you can find yourself in the heart of the mountain range. You’ll find that bus is the cheapest, best (and in some cases, only) way to get around this breath-taking area, so we recommend starting your day trip from Verona early so you have plenty of time to visit as many sites as you can. The Dolomites are a nature-lovers paradise, where trekking, rafting, climbing and skiing are all on offer depending on the time of year, so pack your best shoes and some tasty Italian snacks to fuel your exploration. The Three Peaks are the iconic point of this range and symbolise the UNESCO status of the area, well worth the hike to view them.
From one romantic city to another, or just working through the works of Shakespeare, go from Romeo and Juliet to the Merchant of Venice by taking a train from Verona to Venice. The journey takes a little over an hour with a Frecciarossa train and, like any day trip worth the effort, we recommend starting as early as humanly possible. Venice is a hotbed of tourism and to really appreciate the beauty that makes this city so famous, you’ll want to see it before the crowds of other day-trippers start to arrive. There are endless famous sights in Venice, from Piazza San Marco to the Grand Canal, so have your camera at the ready and your best walking shoes on – Venice is a maze-like city and sometimes getting lost isn’t a bad thing! You’ll be greeted with a stunning view from the moment you step out of the station, so if you’re a bit of a free spirit, why not just follow the canals wherever they take you? You might find a side of Venice you never knew existed!
Home to some of the best Italian food money can buy, if you love to eat, this city is a great place to head. Frecciarossa and Frecciargento high-speed trains from Verona to Bologna take less than two hours, and once in the vibrant northern city, you can reward yourself with fresh pasta, local ragù and a few delicious servings of gelato. The city is ideal for those iffy weather days too, with porticoes all over the place letting you browse shop windows and visit cafes without stepping out into the elements. Neptune’s fountain is where you can throw a coin and make a wish, and Piazza Maggiore is where you can really appreciate the history of this city.
Ensure you hit up all the major cities in northern Italy by adding Milan to your list. Just as Bologna is to food or Venice is to culture, so Milan is to shopping. If you weren’t convinced that the Italians are the best dressers, you'd be convinced after a day trip to Milan. The train journey from Verona to Milan lasts a bit over an hour if you travel with Frecciarossa, and if you arrive in the months of sales, you might want to bring a few bags with you to carry your bargains back. Head to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II for some of the glitziest shopping surroundings you can hope for. Dating back to the 1800s, this shopping arcade homes big brand names under its stunning glass roof, as well as an opportunity for good fortune – the Turin coat of arms depicted on the floor can bring luck to visitors if you spin three times on the, uh, testicles of the bull featured on it (call it bull-luck?). Don’t worry if retail therapy isn’t quite your cup of tea, there’s plenty of history in the city too, from the world-famous Duomo, complete with Gold Madonna at the peak, to Sforza Castle and, if you run out of ideas, take one of the old fashion trams and see where this stylish city ride takes you.
And there you have it, little did you know when you booked your Verona city break that you could easily make it a grand tour of north Italy! Italian trains are easy to use and affordable too, so your adventures really have no reason to stop. So if anyone calls ‘Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou, Romeo?’ Go ahead and reply ‘Wherever the next train is headed!’