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So you are going to Italy and are wondering if you should travel to Verona or Florence? Having recently visited both cities I can help you make this decision!
When I traveled to Northern Italy, I made stops in Verona, Bologna, and Florence! I have a good understanding of what these most beautiful cities have to offer!
There is no quick answer to which city is better… The choice is largely going to depend on your travel goals.
Even though choosing between Verona and Florence isn’t going to be an easy decision, with my expertise, I am confident I can help you find the perfect place for your trip.
Where are Verona and Florence Located?
First, let’s start with the logistics. Where are the popular cities of Verona and Florence located in Italy? Both having their own unique charms, histories, and cultures definitely make them worth visiting.
But if you’re trying to decide between them for your next Italian adventure, it’s important to know where they are located so that you can plan accordingly.
Verona is located in Northern Italy, in the Veneto region, and is situated on the banks of the Adige River. It’s just an hour away from Venice by train, so it makes a great day trip if you’re interested in visiting Italy’s “Floating City.”
Verona has a long history and is known for its Roman ruins, medieval architecture, and romantic literature connections to Romeo and Juliet.
Map of Verona
Florence is situated in the region of Tuscany, in central Italy. It’s around an hour and a half away from Pisa by train, so it’s easy to combine these two cities into one trip.
Florence has been called the “Cradle of the Renaissance” and its art, architecture, culture, and history reflect this title.
No visit here would be complete without taking in the stunning Duomo cathedral, as well as the many sculptures and artworks from some of the world’s most famous artists. And of course, The David…
Map of Florence
How Far Are Florence and Verona From Each Other?
Florence is located in the Tuscany region of central Italy, while Verona is located in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. As such, they are around 150 miles (250 kilometers) apart by road.
The quickest way to get between these two cities is by train, with the travel time taking usually around 2 hours. The train journey is comfortable, with several train services throughout the day, so you can plan your trip accordingly.
While both cities have an airport I wouldn’t bother flying. You would spend more time dealing with getting to the airport and going through security than actually flying.
The drive is 4 and a half hours long without traffic. If you drive, I would suggest you make it a road trip and stay in the city rather than a day trip.
Whichever city you choose to stay in for the duration, both Verona and Florence will offer other nearby Italian cities I would consider for day trips!
🚗 Car Rental: Get a rental car and do a Northern Italy road trip!
Nearby Cities You Can Visit From Verona
If you are deciding between Florence and Verona, here is a list of the cities closest to Verona!
Venice is one of the most popular cities in Italy! With its close proximity to Verona, you should consider if your itinerary allows for a day trip.
If you are looking for the best city to do a food tour in, check out Bologna!
Located only an hour from Verona by either car or train, it is the perfect place for a short visit.
Whether you are traveling solo or not, Bologna is the city you should try to squeeze in if you can!
I think Lake Garda is possibly the best day trip you can make from Verona!
Nearby Cities You Can Visit From Florence
If you decide to stay in Florence there are a few places that are more accessible from Florence than Verona. I have listed a few below suitable for a day trip!
A great day trip from Florence would be to visit Pisa. Here you can visit the leaning tower of Pisa and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Pisa is only an hour and 20 minutes by train and 2 hours by car.
❤︎ Organized Day Trip to Pisa: Check Rates & Availability
The food capital of Italy is only a short distance of about 40 minutes by train from Florence! It is the middle point city between Florence and Verona.
Having a reputation for having the most delicious food it is a good choice for day trips.
❤︎ Book a Food Tour in Bologna: Check Rates & Availability
Exploring Ravenna from Florence was an amazing trip! From ancient art and architecture to stunning mosaic churches, Ravenna has something for everyone.
Getting there was easy – only a couple of hours by train – and it was worth every minute!
I highly recommend visiting this unique city if you’re looking for an unforgettable Italian adventure.
Getting Around Verona and Florence on Public Transit
The public transport in both these cities is fantastic. There are high-speed trains between both Verona and Florence making it possible to visit each city on the same trip if you have enough time.
📲 Download the Trainline app making it easy to purchase train tickets as well as search for direct trains to nearby cities.
The central train station is conveniently located in both cities.
In Verona, you arrive at the Verona Porta Nuova Station. From here is it about 20 minutes to the city walls and the town centre also referred to as Centro Storico.
From the station to Piazza delle Erbe (center square) it will take you 30 minutes on foot. Don’t worry there are taxis lined up outside the train station if you would rather get a lift than walk.
In Florence you arrive at Firenze Santa Maria Novella, also 9 minutes from Piazza del Duomo and a 15-minute walk to Piazza San Marco. It is a very easy walk unless you have a lot of baggage.
The Biggest Difference Between Florence and Verona
One of the biggest differences between Florence and Verona lies in their city size, architecture, and history. While both cities have been around since Roman times, Florence has a much longer and more diverse history, being the birthplace of the Renaissance.
Whereas Verona is best known for its romantic connections to Romeo and Juliet, as well as other historical figures like Alexander the Great who conquered it in the 4th century BC.
Florence boasts some of the most impressive art, architecture, and culture in Europe. It’s home to world-famous sights such as the Duomo Cathedral, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Galleria dell’Accademia, which houses Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of David.
Facts about Verona and Florence
Verona, a much smaller city, also has its own share of cultural attractions, such as the Arena di Verona and the nearby Castelvecchio Museum.
In terms of cuisine, Florence is known for hearty dishes like Ribollita soup and Bistecca alla Fiorentina steak.
Whereas Verona prides itself on its traditional Venetian-style cuisine, which includes dishes like risotto al radicchio and bigoli in salsa. Both cities offer an array of delicious dishes and fine wines that will delight any palate.
When it comes to shopping, Florence is home to some of the most luxurious boutiques and designer labels in Italy. Verona has a more relaxed atmosphere when it comes to shopping, with plenty of markets and independent stores offering unique gifts and keepsakes.
So when deciding which city to visit, it’s important to keep their respective histories and cultures in mind.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape or an artistic adventure, Florence and Verona both offer something special that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
The Pros of Staying in Verona
When it comes to Verona and Florence, there are pros and cons to staying in both cities.
One of the main pros of staying in the city of Verona is its romantic atmosphere.
Couples can wander past ancient buildings from Roman times, or gaze up at Juliet’s balcony, all while enjoying a chilled glass of prosecco!
Even though I visited Verona solo, it was still one of the most romantic cities I’ve ever visited!
It also has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, from cycling along the banks of the Adige River to exploring the nearby Lake Garda.
Verona is also a little less visited than Florence, so if you are hoping for fewer tourists, Verona beats Florence for sure.
The Cons of Staying in Verona
Verona can be a beautiful place to visit but there are definitely some cons to staying in this Italian city.
First, compared to Florence, Verona is much smaller and lacks the same level of attractions that Florence has.
This means fewer things to do and see while you’re visiting. Another con of Verona is its location. It’s quite far away from other notable cities, like Rome, if that is where you were planning to fly into.
Finally, Verona’s nightlife isn’t quite as lively compared to Florence’s bustling scene. While the lack of nightlife sounds better to me, some people would prefer the option.
Top Things to Do in Verona
With the array of things to do in Verona, I was never bored! It is a city so rich in history and culture, incredible food. A great way to save money in Verona is by getting the Verona Card. I found it super useful.
🤑 Save MONEY & TIME: Get the Verona Card and get free entry and skip-the-line access for the Arena + entrance to Juliet’s Hour and Torre dei Lamberti, and more
Here are all the best places and top things to do when visiting Verona:
Admire the Arena of Verona
This ancient Roman amphitheater is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the best preserved in all of Italy.
It is a like a mini Colosseum! Whether you are a fan of theatre or just enjoy exploring historical sites, this arena is worth checking out.
Take a guided tour
Walking around Verona’s old town with an expert guide is the best way to really get to know the city.
You’ll learn all about the history of Verona while soaking up its picturesque streets and sights. I can recommend the 3-hour tour I took around Verona with food tasting & cable car.
Visit the Juliet House
This is where Shakespeare’s famous love story of Romeo and Juliet took place. It is slightly underwhelming in my opinion but worth visiting when you are in Verona.
I just made a visit to the courtyard at Casa di Giulietta to see the balcony.
Explore Castelvecchio Museum
Located inside Verona’s old castle, this museum contains hundreds of paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts from the past.
The castle grounds are most impressive if you don’t have time to visit the museum. It is definitely a must-see!
Visit the Verona Cathedral
The Verona Cathedral is a beautiful 11th-century cathedral that is one of the oldest in all of Italy and has some incredible architecture and artwork that’s worth seeing.
Located close to the river, I would prioritize seeing it if you can.
Take a day trip to Lake Garda
One of the best ways to escape the crowds of Verona is to plan a day trip to nearby Lake Garda. Here you can take in stunning views, enjoy some watersports, and relax at one of the many lakeside cafés.
🎟️ Day Tour to Lake Garda Tickets: Check Rates & Availability
Climb The Lamberti Tower
One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new city is a climb a tower to get that ariel view. The Lamberti Tower has a bell tower you can climb for the best view of Verona.
Verona is such a charming city that has something for everyone. I hope my list gives you some ideas on what to do when visiting this beautiful city!
🎟️ Skip The Line: Get Your Tickets to Climb the Lamberti Tower! Check Rates & Availability!
Best Hotels in Verona
I prefer to stay in the heart of the city and the best hotel is Hotel Milano & Spa! Located in Piazza Bra, you can’t get more central than this!
Hotel Milano has modern amenities, spacious rooms, and a rooftop bar with a jacuzzi with a view of the arena!
The hotel is pet friends and also has parking! So if you rent a car you can easily park it on site which is very convenient.
Some other hotels in the city center worth staying at are:
Pro of Staying in Florence
Staying in Florence, Italy is an incredible experience that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.
From its stunning architecture to the many cultural attractions, there are so many wonderful things to explore and enjoy while visiting this magical city.
One of the best pros of staying in Florence is that it is incredibly easy to get around. Not only are the main attractions within walking distance, but there are also public transportation options such as buses and taxis that make getting from place to place a breeze.
Plus, Florence is full of bike paths so you can rent a bicycle for an affordable rate and explore the city in a fun and eco-friendly way.
The food in Florence is another great pro for staying here. From traditional Tuscan dishes to modern Italian fare, you can find something delicious no matter what cuisine you want.
Plus, many restaurants have outdoor seating so you can enjoy your meal with a beautiful view of the city.
One more pro of staying in Florence is that it has plenty of nightlife options, too. As I mentioned, this isn’t a draw for me, but it could be the one thing that helps you make the decision between Florence and Verona.
Cons of Staying in Florence
Unfortunately, I found staying in Florence does have a few cons. The first is that it can be pretty busy and crowded during peak season, and this was the deal breaker for me.
In the summer months, tourists flock from all over the world to visit this historic city. It can make getting around more of a challenge due to the sheer number of people.
Another con for staying in Florence is that accommodation tends to be expensive, especially during peak season. While Airbnb can be an affordable option, it can still be difficult to find something that fits your budget.
Something else to consider if staying in Florence is that the city is quite spread out, making it difficult to explore everything in one day. This means you’ll have to plan carefully if you want to make sure you get to see all the sights.
Overall, although there are a few cons, staying in Florence is an amazing experience that no one should miss out on. With its stunning architecture and rich culture, it’s a city everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
Top Things To Do In Florence
When it comes time to plan your itinerary for Florence, it can be hard to decide where to start!
To help you make the most of your time there, here are the top sights and my top things to do in Florence:
Climb the Duomo
The majestic red-tiled dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is a must-see on any Florence itinerary.
One of the best things to do to get a breathtaking view of the city is to climb to the top. You can purchase tickets online and get access to a reserved entry.
I would highly recommend booking in advance! If you only have one day in Florence, I would put this at the top of the list.
❤︎ Organized Tour: Another way to visit the Cathedral, Duomo Museum, and Baptistery is on a walking tour. Check Rates & Availability!
Visit the Uffizi Gallery
This world-class art museum houses some of Italy’s greatest works from renowned Renaissance artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
Stroll Across Ponte Vecchio
This iconic bridge is a great spot for people-watching and admiring the view of the Arno River below.
And don’t miss out on all the unique jewelry shops that line both sides of the bridge!
Wander Through Pitti Palace
One of Florence’s most splendid palaces, the Pitti Palace is home to a number of museums and galleries, as well as the Boboli Gardens.
This former palace is one of Florence’s largest Musuems of Modern Art from the 18th century to World War I.
🎟️ Get Tickets: Grab tickets to the Pitti Palace ahead of time! Check Rates & Availability
Explore San Lorenzo Market
This bustling outdoor food market is a great spot for finding souvenirs like leather goods, jewelry, and handmade crafts.
Here at the market is a great place to do some wine tasting of the local varietals!
Watch The Sunset
If you are looking for a good place to watch the sunset in Florence then head to Piazzale Michelangelo and watch the sunset over this historic city.
A great way to experience it is by bringing your own picnic of bread, cheese, and wine up to Piazzale Michelangelo.
Get everything you need for your picnic at Formaggioteca Terroir!
Where to Stay in Florence
One of the nicest areas to stay in Florence is Piazza Michelangelo. It is a little expensive, but you only live once, so I say stay somewhere nice!
Do You Need a Car in Northern Italy?
If you’re planning a visit to Northern Italy, you may be wondering whether you need a car.
In general, the answer is maybe – Northern Italy is well-connected by public transportation and it’s easy to get around without a car.
From my experience there are certain occasions when renting a car might be beneficial.
For example, if you’re planning to explore a number of cities or smaller towns, then having your own car could be convenient.
This is especially true if you’re visiting places that don’t have direct public transportation links. Like some epic wineries located outside the cities.
Additionally, having a car can make it easier to visit scenic spots like hilltop villages.
On the other hand, if you’re only staying in one or two cities, then a car may not be necessary.
Florence and Verona have excellent public transportation and walking is often an option as well.
It all really depends on your travel style and whether you are looking to make day trips.
Final thoughts on Verona vs Florence
This blog post has given you all the pros and cons of both Verona and Florence so that you can make the best decision for your trip to Italy.
I personally had a more enjoyable experience staying in Verona based on my interests and travel style. Verona just felt like a little hidden gem that I’ve visited more than once.
The choice is totally up to you, in Italy, you likely won’t be disappointed with whichever decision you end up making.
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