What to do when it rains on holiday... and other things to do in Verona, Italy

Chances are your first dalliance with Verona was in a Year 7 English class as your poor teacher (probs literally, #teachersalary) tried desperately to take control of the classroom.

Fast forward a decade or so and, Sod's law, the one day that I'm gracing fair Verona, the weather is anything but "fair". I don't remember Shakespeare mentioning grey skies and rain drops in that Romeo and Juliet prologue...   

However, if you are in a city for a day, rain or shine, you've gotta make the most of it.

Hop on, hop off
My favourite way to see a new city is by sightseeing bus. Tickets are great value for money and, if the weather isn't top notch, you can see the sights while staying dry. The Verona tour gives an in depth explanation of the Old Town and New Town, and even takes you up into the hills, so you can gaze over a breathtaking view of the city below. Beautiful! 
Stuff yo' face
There's nothing more warm and satisfying than a full stomach. Just as you pass into the Old Town, a few 100 meters from the wall, there is a large piazza with many places to fill your boots. Gnocchi, pizza, pasta, all infused with the most delicious herbs... YUM. Each eatery has those clear plastic roofs, so you can eat outside for a proper holiday feel. 

Mooch around the New Town shops
I'm not a huge advocate of shopping on holiday (unless it's one of those shopping destinations that make those 'top things to see' lists!) as it's something you can already do at home. However, killing a few rainy hours in Italian stores ensure you stay dry, and you may even bag a one-off item that no one else at home has.

Juliet's balcony

Juliet's balcony

Day trips
Obvs, this won't work if you're actually already ON a day trip to Verona.

If you're in the city for a few days, grab a train to another destination for the day. Verona is just a train ride away from only other Italian cities and other countries too. No pre-bought tickets needed, just buy one on the day! Head to Venice, just an hour away, or grab your passport and head to Innsbruck, Austria, via a 3 and a 1/2 half hour ride. Ohmagawdddd, both are AMAZING to see. From water, to mountains, you'll see natural beauty at its finest. 

Take a leaf out of Big Willy's book
Nothing ever ran smoothly in Shakespeare's plays, did they? Embrace the weather and mad frizz that is BOUND to come with it. The arena is great to walk around by day, but for an incredible experience, try and catch an opera there by night. "I'm not a silver-spooned toff who watches operas!", I hear you cry, but trust me, it will be showstopping (hopefully not literally, due to rain).

Visit Juliet's balcony, which is in a courtyard, just off a picturesque main street. You can play at being the star-crossed lover, looking down at her Romeo below, and it's also said to be good luck to rub the boob of the statue in the courtyard. Judging by how shiny that area of the statue is, 'Meh Julie' has been getting a lot of action. There is a similar version in Prague with a male statue. Three guesses what you're meant to rub there...

The Juliet statue

The Juliet statue

Overall, I would say Verona feels very similar to the UK city of Bath.  Except, you know, with Italians and really tasty food. I would recommend a visit, but ideally as part of a larger trip; not as a stand alone destination. Soz, Bill...