MILAN & VERONA

When backpacking across a country, one never knows what unplanned destinations
might unexpectedly catch your attention. You might be on a train from Lisbon to
Barcelona and when the train connects in Madrid, you hop off only to discover that this
city that wasn’t even on your itinerary has the best blood sausage and sangria you have
ever tasted. I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that Milan and Verona, only two hour train
ride apart, are stops you need to make if you are shooing down from the top of the
bootleg. Each city has their own distinct personality with some of the most recognizable
destinations in the world.


Getting Around
The main train station in Verona is the Verona Porta Nuova, which is approximately 1.5
miles from the Verona Arena and 2 miles to the Casa di Giulietta. Both are walking
distance but a cheap taxi will save some time.
The main train station in Milan is the extravagant Stazione Centrale. It sits almost 4
miles from the Santa Marla delle Grazie. I have made this walk and I regret it. It had to
be 100 degrees and I was carrying 30 pounds on my back. I recommend getting a cab for
about $5. You can take the Line 3 Metro line from the Santa Maria to the Duomo di
Milan but a taxi might be quicker and around the same price.

Best Things To Do in Milan and Verona

  1. Experience The Last Supper – Deep inside the unassuming church of Santa Maria
    delle Grazie rests one of the most iconic pieces of art on the planet and viewing
    Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece truly is an experience just to view. Note: YOU
    MUST MAKE AN APPOINTMENT and we highly recommend doing it far in
    advance. Price: $15 USD 
  2. Climb to The Duomo di Milan Rooftop – To begin with, Duomo di Milan (Milan
    Cathedral) is one of the most immaculate cathedrals on planet Earth. The secret
    to this amazing structure is the ability to walk on the rooftop to grab a once in a
    lifetime photo opp.   
  3. Attend the Arena di Verona – I know the draw to Verona is the Romeo and Juliet
    attractions, but this ancient Roman amphitheater is more spectacular than all of
    them. Built in 30 AD this still operating amphitheater is one of the most well preserved structures of its kind. The condition of this 2,000 year old mini Colosseum is unprecedented.
  1. Look Down From Juliet’s Balcony – This is the premier destination for fans of the
    Shakespeare play. You can actually enter the home of the Capulet family and
    make your way to Juliet’s actual balcony. Hours 9am-7pm Price: $6 USD
  2. Pinacoteca di Brera (MIlan) – This is one of Italy’s most complete exhibits of
    Renaissance art including a number of pieces by Raphael and Bellini. Price: $15
    USD
  3. Attend an Opera at Teatro alla Scala – If it’s your thing to get some Italian
    culture, this opulent opera house is the place to go in Milan. Opened in 1778,
    this structure is as extravagant today as ever. Prices vary according to
    performance
  4. Leave A Love Letter at Juliet’s Home (Verona) – Just outside the Capulet home is
    a small arched tunnel where lovers from across the world have covered the walls
    with letters to their loved ones. Price: Free
  5. Visit the Church Where Romeo and Juliet Married – The Church of San
    Francesco al Corso is believed to be the location where much of the plot of the
    story takes place including the secret wedding of the young lovers. Price: Free
  6. Visit the Tomb of Juliet – The Church of San Francesco al Corso is also the resting
    place of Juliet’s tomb. Now empty and in a museum, it is still interesting to
    envision the story unfolding. Price: $3.00 USD
  7. Catch the View From the Torre De Lamberti – This 275 feet tall tower stands in
    the main square of Verona. Take the 368 steps to the top for the best panoramic
    view of fair Verona. Price: $6 USD
  8. Get Lost in the Castle Vecchio – This 14th Century castle in Verona was a vital
    military stronghold, an archaeological wonder, and is in impeccable condition
    still today. Price: $2.00 USD
  9. Walk the Naviglio Grande – Who knew Milan had canals? This waterway is a
    romantic stroll with shops and water taxis perfect for an evening outing. 
  10. Go Chic at the Milan Fashion Week – Two times a year (Spring and Fall) Milan
    hosts the world’s premier clothing trade event. There are fashion shows, clothing
    sales, celebrities, food, and more. The event is free but some shows you must
    pay to attend.  
  11. Find Romeo’s Palace – The small medieval palace is sat right in the middle of
    Verona crammed in by other stone buildings. The once Montague estate is now
    a private home and can not be toured but you can still take in the exterior and
    understand the close proximity the two families lived.   
  12. Leonardo da Vinci Museum – With over 200 reconstructions of da Vinci’s
    inventions, (some brilliant, some wild) this stop in Milan will get you inside the
    head of the genius. Price: $14 

Free (and Cheap) Things To Do in Milan and Verona

  1. Call For your love at Juliet’s Balcony – The Casa di Giulietta is believed to be the
    home of the tragic young Juliet. There is a fee to enter but if you simply want to
    stand under Juliet’s balcony you can enjoy the small courtyard and have a
    perfect and close view of the famou balcony at no cost. Price: Free
  2. Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – This Milan is the oldest active shopping
    gallery in all of Italy and (I’m sorry Dubai) the most extravagant and beautiful
    mall in the world. Price: Free
  3. Naviglio Grande – This colorful and romantic canal through Milan is an ideal
    place to grab some gelato and take in Italy in a free environment. Price: Free
  4. Pose for Photos in the Piazza del Duomo – This piazza  is an ideal location to set
    up for a new profile picture with the opulent Milan Cathedral posing in the
    background. Price: Free
  5. Leave A Love Letter at Juliet’s Home – In Verona, lovers come from across the
    globe to add to the thousands of love letters pasted to the walls outside Juliet’s
    home. Add one of your own for your star-crossed lover. Price: Free
  6. Monumental Cemetery (Milan) – If you want to fill an album of creepy yet
    beautiful photos, this ominuse cemetery, with its marble monuments, is more
    like an eerie museum. Price: Free
  7. Stroll Centro Storico – This old area of Verona filled with statues and
    Renaissance buildings will take you back 2,000 years. Price: Free
  8. Catch the View From the Torre De Lamberti – Standing 275 feet high This tower
    in Verona will give you a breathtaking view of the city from its highest
    point. Price: $6
  9. Walk the Brera District – This Italian neighborhood is like a painting come to life
    with the flowered pots swaying from balconies as the sun rays hit just the right
    angle on the narrow stone streets.  Price: Free
  10. Have a Picnic at the Parco Sempione (Milan) – The Parco Sempione is a spraling public park near the Arco della Pace with
    tranquil ponds and bridges, perfect for a midday picnic. Price: Free

Best Sights to See in Milan and Verona

  1. The Last Supper – If you go to Milan the one thing you must see is the most
    famous fresco in the world painted by the hands of the world’s most famous
    painter. MUST SEE
  2. Milan Cathedral – If you go to see The Last Supper, stay for the Milan Cathedral
    and make your way to the roof for a truly memorable experience. MUST SEE
  3. Juliet’s Balcony (Verona) – We all know the story of the tragic lovers, now relive
    the most iconic scene from any play ever penned. MUST SEE
  4. Arena di Verona – This amphitheater is the Tom Cruise of amphitheaters. It looks
    the same as it did 2,000 years ago, giving you the feeling of transporting you to
    another time in history. MUST SEE
  5. Tomb of Juliet – The Church of San Francesco al Corso holds a number of pivotal
    moments in the Romeo and Juliet saga, but the tomb of the young Capulet still
    remains. MUST SEE 
  6. Naviglio Grande – When the colorful buildings reflect off this canal as a water
    taxi motors by, you will understand why this is one of the best sights to see. IF
    YOU HAVE TIME
  7. Castle Vecchio – This well preserved Verona castle is a sight to see and a
    photographer’s dream with complex angles at every turn. IF YOU HAVE TIME
  8. Teatro alla Scala (Milan) – One of the world’s most lavish opera houses is
    majestic on the inside and out. With its trademark red chairs and curtain with
    gold accents, the Scala will no doubt leave you awe inspired. IF YOU HAVE TIME
  9. Arco della Pace – The gate to the city of Milan is a magnificent sight to capture as
    golden hour rolls in and the Arco is backdropped with a milky Italian sunset. IF
    YOU HAVE TIME
  10. The San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore – This unassuming building has an
    interior covered with vibrant 16th Century frescoes and sculptures was once a
    church, though now a very cool concert hall. IF YOU HAVE TIME

Veteran Tips For Milan and Verona
You Can Do Milan in A Day…or less. 
You can knock out the Last Supper and Milan Cathedral in one hour (on foot). Take that
information and do as you wish. 
You Can Not View The Last Supper Without A Reservation
Just in case you didn’t get that, YOU MUST HAVE AN RESERVATION TO SEE THE LAST
SUPPER! You have to go online and make an appointment on the Santa Maria delle
Grazie’s official website and even then they are not always taking reservations. Check
the official website for more:  https://cenacolovinciano.vivaticket.it/en
You Only Get 15 Minutes To View The Last Supper
You read that right. You gather in a lobby and meet your guide. The guide takes you to
get sanitized before entering the room of the Last Supper. Then you get 15 minutes to
take in the aged fresco and then you are ushered out. When time is up, time is up. 
There Will Be Crowds At the Juliet Home
Despite the other sights, the Casa di Giulletta is the reason people travel to Verona. The
courtyard facing the house entrance is quite small causing the crowd to congregate.
Expect it to be crowded but you can still get some good pictures even with the crowd. 


Souvenir
A Copy of “Romeo and Juliet” 
Why not pick up a copy of the world’s most famous play in the city it takes place in? You
can find them in English and Italian.