A Perfect Day Trip from Bologna to Verona by Train

Are you looking for a rewarding day trip from Bologna? As Verona is a relatively compact city, it is easy to explore its top attractions in a day, including Juliet’s Balcony and the world-famous Roman Arena.

Get the lowdown in my guide to taking a day trip from Bologna to Verona by train, which has all you need to know about getting there and the best things to see.

ancient bridge crossing river adige with buildings of old city of verona on bank

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  • Distance from Bologna to Verona: 67 miles
  • Journey time: From 52 minutes
  • Cost of train ticket: From €9 one-way

Why You Should Do a Day Trip from Bologna to Verona

Bologna is one of Italy’s finest cities and has enough attractions to keep you busy for at least a few days. That said, it’s good to escape for a day to see a different side of Italy.

Thanks to its proximity, excellent rail connections and wealth of historical, architectural and artistic treasures, Verona is an excellent day trip from Bologna by train. 

As the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the city has become a symbol of romance across the globe. Literary connections notwithstanding, Verona is famous for its Roman ruins, including the Arena, which is the majestic setting for the renowned annual opera festival.

How to Travel from Bologna to Verona by Train

For your Bologna to Verona day trip, you have the choice of two train operators: Trenitalia or Italo. Trains depart from Bologna Centrale and arrive at Verona Porta Nuova station.

If you travel on a high-speed train you will be in Verona in under an hour.

Avoid the services that require you to connect in Padua as this will significantly increase your travel time.

Check prices and timetables for Trenitalia here and for Italo here. However, it may be easier to check fares and times across both operators here.

High-speed trains

exterior of red and white trenitalia frecciarossa train in italy used to do a day trip from bologna to verona by train

High-speed train services between Verona and Bologna are provided by Italo and Trenitalia (Frecciarossa trains). Regardless of which operator you choose, these services are comfortable and fast. The journey time is 52 minutes with both operators.

As both rail companies have set allocations of seats in the lower fare classes, you will pay more the closer you get to your travel date.  

If you book in advance, the cost of a ticket for either of these high-speed services may be less than that of the regional service.

Eurocity trains

Eurocity trains are similar to Italy’s high-speed trains, but they connect cities across Europe at an international level. Expect similar levels of comfort as the Frecciarossa and Italo trains.

Expect a journey time between Bologna and Verona of 55 minutes. Like the high-speed train services, pricing is dynamic and booking in advance bags you a cheaper ticket.

Regional trains

exterior of green and white trenord carriage

Trenitalia operates hourly regional trains between Bologna and Verona. As fare prices are fixed, there is no advantage in booking in advance.

The Regionale trains will get you to Verona in 1 hour 30 minutes, almost 40 minutes longer than the journey on one of the high-speed trains.

Remember to stamp your ticket in one of the machines before boarding a regional train service.

machines for validating tickets for regional trains in italy

Getting to Bologna Station

Bologna Centrale station is the city’s main railway station. It’s a 20-minute walk (just under 1 mile) from the station to the Piazza Maggiore & Piazza Nettuno in the heart of the city centre.

Getting from Verona Porta Nuova Train Station

Verona’s Porta Nuova train station is a 15-minute walk from the Roman Arena.

Getting Around Verona

The best way to get around Verona is on foot but city buses are also available.

Tickets for the green and blue ATV buses are sold at bus stations and newsagents. You can also buy tickets on board the bus, but these are more expensive. Find out more here.

You can also explore Verona on a bike, including a guided bike tour, and on a hop-on-hop-off bus.

What to See in Verona

As with any city day trip, don’t try to cram too much in. Pick a handful of things to see and stick with them.  

The Verona Card saved me lots of money and should be good value for most travellers. This city pass includes a skip-the-line ticket for the Arena di Verona.

You can buy the Verona Card from various places across the city, including the train station and the Tourist Office on Piazza Bra. I bought my card online before my visit.

>>> BUY YOUR VERONA CARD HERE

Here are my recommendations for your 1-day Verona itinerary.

1. Arena di Verona

inside the vast roman arena at verona italy with pinkish stone steps

Dating from the 1st Century AD, the Arena is the jewel in Verona’s Ancient Roman crown. Measuring a whopping 466 by 400 feet, this was the eighth-largest amphitheatre in the Roman Empire and the fourth-largest in Italy.

It’s top of the list of sightseeing attractions in Verona.

Verona was an important Roman city and up to 30,000 of the city’s residents would cheer gladiator duels at the Arena. Today’s pleasure-seekers watch plays and concerts and attend the world-famous Verona Opera Festival.

Climb the steps to the seats at the top of the Arena for fabulous views of Verona and beyond.

To beat the crowds, this is one attraction for which a guided tour with a skip-the-line ticket is worth considering. A fast-track ticket for the Arena is also included in the Verona Card.

2. Juliet’s House

ornate juliets balcony on a medieval house in verona italy

This is the most famous of the Shakespeare sights in Verona. Incurable romantics from across the globe come here to touch Juliet’s bronze breast, said to bring good fortune in love.

If you want to blow kisses from Juliet’s balcony, you will have to pay a small fee to visit Juliet’s House. Inside, the house is nothing special but it does have props and costumes used in Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, including a bed.

3. Scaliger Tombs

elaborate large gothic tombs with spires and sculptures in verona italy

Verona was ruled by the powerful Scaliger family from 1277 until 1387. The Scaligeri were to Verona what the mighty Medici were to Florence.

They are buried in lacy 14th-century Gothic tombs enclosed by a wrought iron fence.

4 St. Peter’s Bridge (Ponte Pietra)

old stone bridge over a river in verona in italy

Ponte Pietra is Verona’s sole surviving Roman bridge. Just.

St. Peter’s Bridge suffered bomb damage in World War II and was rebuilt with slabs of marble fished out of the Adige River.

There are fabulous views of Verona from both ends of the bridge. The fortress of Castello San Pietro, crowns the hillside on the opposite side of the river to the historic core. Beneath this is the Roman Theatre and Archaeological Museum which are well worth a visit if you can squeeze it into your day trip.

5. Castelvecchio

turreted castle on river bank next to graceful stone bridge

Including the Castlevecchio art gallery in your Verona day trip itinerary may be ambitious, but it’s worth taking a look at this medieval castle from the outside. Built by the Scaligeri in the 14th Century as both a residence and a fortress, it has ramparts with crenellated parapets and an internal moat.

6. Verona Cathedral

figures of carved marble angels in verona cathedral

Visit Verona Cathedral for the Romanesque carvings on its façade and the baptistery’s font carved with eight biblical scenes. It is also home to Titian’s Assumption.

7. Basilica di Sant’Anastasia

stone sculpture of grimacing hunchback supporting a water font on his back

Consecrated in 1497, the light-filled Basilica di Sant’Anastasia is my favourite church in Verona. Its important works of art, include St. George and the Princess (1438) by Pisanello, above the chapel to the right of the main altar.

Don’t leave before touching the hump of the grimacing hunchbacks near the entrance. It’s said to bring good luck.

8 Lamberti Tower

panoramic view of a piazza and bell tower in verona italy

Climb Lamberti Tower for views of Verona you won’t forget. This bell tower was built in the 12th Century and stands 84 metres high.

9. Piazza dei Signori

medieval buildings on either side of a piazza in verona with large marble statue of dante

Piazza dei Signori is one of the loveliest squares in Northern Italy. Linked by arches – try to spot the whale’s rib hanging over one of them –  its elegant buildings span five centuries.

Taking centre stage is a statue of Dante Alighieri, deep in thought. The Scaliger family granted him asylum in Verona after he was expelled from Florence by the pope.

10. Piazza del Erbe

small marble fountain and large bell tower in a medieval square in verona italy

Once the site of the Roman Forum, Piazza del Erbe has been the focal point of civic life in Verona for millennia. A basin from the Roman baths was recycled in the square’s Fountain of Madonna Verona, a symbol of the city.

This is also the perfect place to stop for an Aperol Spritz at the end of your day in Verona.

Saluti!

glass of aperol spritz

Where to Next?

I hope this brief guide helps you have a memorable day trip from Bologna to Verona by train. If you want to visit another city, discover how to take a day trip to Venice from Bologna.