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Even without being the backdrop of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the city of Verona would still be a romantic inspiring place. Peppered with Roman ruins, 12thcentury churches and magical red-brick castles, this city is one of Italy’s finest travel destinations. There is a solid scene of restaurants, boutiques and even a little nightlife, but the city is without nearly as much tourist hype as neighbouring hot spots like Venice. Best of all, Verona is ideally positioned for excursions either into the Alps or down to the Mediterranean.
Who to Book With
Both international chains like Sixt and local outfits such as Aci Rent are on hand in Verona for travellers that rent a car during their stay. Rental offices are found at the airport, the train station and at a handful of locations on the outskirts of the Old Town. Since Verona is such a good base for driving holidays around the Italian Alps, it’s recommended to book your car hire online as early as possible to save money and ensure your preferred vehicle.
Best Time to go
Verona has hot, humid summers and chilly winters. The precipitation falls evenly throughout the year, as snow in the winter and thundery showers in the summer. An ideal window of pleasant weather can typically be found between May and October, when temperatures average 18°C and rainfall is minimal. This is also a good time to go if you want to avoid the summer tourist crowds.
Need to Know Essentials
To pick up your rental, you must show the following:
- A valid EU or UK driving license or an International Driving Permit
- Another form of picture ID
- The credit card used to make the booking
- A printed rental confirmation, if possible
The ancient centre of Verona is largely off-limits to motorised vehicles, so it’s best to park your car at your hotel or one of the parking garages and walk. This is the ideal way to experience Verona anyway. The closer you are to the Old Town, the rarer and more expensive parking becomes. Parking lots marked with a blue ‘P’ sign are often limited to two hours and cost around €1 per hour. The 24-hour car parks cost between €5 and €14, depending on their location. There are some free parking areas in town, marked by a white ‘P’ sign.
Verona is conveniently situated at the junction of two major motorways. The A4 runs towards Milan or Venice, while the A22 heads into the Italian Alps and south down the centre of Italy’s ‘leg’. Smaller roads radiate outwards in all directions from the historic Old Town core, making driving very straightforward once you get out of the city centre. Traffic in Verona is no worse than in other mid-size Italian cities – generally congested in the centre but flowing on the outskirts.
Verona is best explored on foot because the public transportation system isn’t very extensive or particularly useful to visitors. There is a bus network, run by ATV, and taxis to help people move around the city. Rental car companies are also on hand, but driving should be limited to daytrips into the surrounding countryside due to restrictions within the city itself.
Since Verona lies on the intersection of two major railway lines, it enjoys excellent train access to most of Europe. The north-south line runs over the Brenner Pass to Rome, while the east-west line goes between Venice and Milan. Verona’s Porta Nuova train station is located just south of the centre of town, connected to Verona’s airport by a dedicated bus.
As in most Italian cities, Verona’s taxis are typically found waiting in front of the train station and major hotels. They also service the airport and can be called for a pick-up any time of day. It usually costs around €3.75 to start the meter and around €1 per kilometer travelled thereafter. Companies like RadioTaxi are a reliable choice.
Verona’s public bus system, operated by ATV, provides a decent network, although it caters more to residents than tourists. A single-trip fare costs around €1.30, while a day pass costs €4. Tickets can be purchased from automated ticketing machines on the bus or from ticket kiosks at major stations.
Some of Italy’s most stunning natural scenery lies just to the north of Verona, offering travellers loads of options for day drives or overnighters in the Italian Alps. Most roads in the area pass through rolling vineyard countryside and up into alpine valleys. Visitors with a car will have no trouble finding ways to use it outside of Verona.
Valpolicella - This place is home to some of the world’s finest wines. This valley is just a stone’s throw from Verona on a leisurely cruise through some very pretty countryside. There are wineries to tour and small towns to check out all over this famous valley.
Lake Garda - This is just up the road from Verona, providing the easiest daytrip on the menu. This is Italy’s largest lake, ringed by several lovely little towns, such as Torbole and Malcesine, perfect for a lingering stop. The road running around the lake gets congested in the summer but is still worth the effort.
Venice - A quick drive down the A4 motorway from Verona, and if you get an early start, you’ll have a full day to explore this magical water-bound city. Everyone parks at the west gate and heads into the city on foot or by water taxi. There’s nothing quite like Venice in this world, so don’t miss the chance to see it.