OK, so here’s a little more info and links about my trip to Verona and Venice earlier this month, just in case someone else ever feels like copying this plan for a relaxing few days away!
Flights – Ryan Air offer daily flights from Stanstead to Verona Bresica Montichiari. The good thing is that flights are cheap (I flew for 50p!), the downside is that it’s about a 45 minute drive from the airport to central Verona. Fortunately there’s a bus service which is timed to meet the flight. It drops you off at Verona train station and then you can grab a taxi to your hotel.
(Read more…..)There’s plenty of websites to book hotels, I used the following: GTA Hotels, Guardian/OTC Travel and HotelInVenice.com. LastMinute.com and Expedia.co.uk are also good bets to get hotel reviews.
Download an excellent guide about Verona from Verona.com (Direct link to 2004 Version). Definetly think about getting the Verona Card – it’s excellent value and gets you in to all the major attractions like Juilet’s House, the Verona Arena, Torre dei Lamerti (clock tower – be sure to walk up the stairs – don’t be lazy and catch the lift!), Museo di Castlececchio and all of the churches (Chisea di San’ Anastasia was my favourite).
Be sure to have a drink in the Piazza Bra and Piazza delle Erbe areas – sit outside in the sun and watch the locals go about their businees! Verona is excellent for shopping too – so don’t miss out! As for eating – an evening meal in Romeo’s House was very good – though a lot of food! Excellent pasta and local dishes – I opted for horsemeat (actually very good!) 🙂
I’d recommend spending 2 days in Verona. From there, you then have 2 options – Milan or Venice. Both are about a 90 minute train journey from Verona (in opposite directions) and train service is frequent (every hour). Everyone should visit Venice once in their lifetime, so that’s what I did. The train takes stops at Mestre and Venice – Mestre being about 15 minutes from Venice (the island). Hotels are generally cheaper in Mestre, though you do have to factor in this 15 minute journey time. Taxi’s are cheap though, and the bus service (1 Eur) is frequent.
Venice was everything I’d imagined it to be – very, very charming and surprisingly clean (no, it didn’t smell!). St Marc’s Square at night is amazing – definetly have a glass of wine and enjoy the string quartet’s that provide musical entertainment. St Marc’s by night was probably my fave bit of the trip. Definetly take a trip on the Grand Canal – what’s cool is that whereas most people have doorsteps leading to their driveways, Venetian’s have doorsteps into the canal! Again, Venice is good for shopping – leather and glass goods are abundant. If you happen to reside outside the EU, you can claim back VAT too, which at 20% is a fair chunk of money.
All in all, Verona and Venice is an excellent combination if you want to take an extended weekend (eg fly Thurs night, return Monday night) – it’s a million miles away from your usual 9-5! 🙂
Photos from the trip can be found here.