Verona, Bologna, Parma – oh my!

by Liz Dowling

My daughter and I took a little jaunt to Milan in February.  As part of it, we took three side trips by train to Verona, Bologna and Parma.

Our first stop was Verona – about an hour and fifteen minutes from Milan.  We stayed at a FABULOUS hotel called Il Relais.  This was our enclosed porch with a view.

It was a tiny four room Inn, but worth every penny.  The breakfast in the morning was elegant and delicious, complete with Italian Opera in the background.  Walkable to all of the sites.  We wanted to maximize our 24 hours in Verona, but could have happily stayed in our room!

The Arena di Verona is right in the middle of the city and can hold up to 16,000 people for opera performances in the summer!

Verona is very walkable and the streets are charming.  Make sure to stop by the Juliet statue and balcony.  Verona is (apparently) the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.


With no real agenda – we spent the day wandering through the beautiful streets.

So many adorable restaurants, but we hit the jackpot with a place called The Yard.  Modern Italian, but with all the dishes you crave.

After some heavenly artichokes and homemade pasta – we walked back to the hotel to crawl into bed before we hit the road to Bologna in the morning.

Bologna is 50 minutes by train from Verona.  It was cold and rainy when we arrived, but that did not deter us or hide what a lovely city this is.

Another great hotel choice in Bologna – Art Hotel Novecento.

Everywhere you turn there is a happy assault on the senses.

Pasta, wine, cheese, meat, vegetables, flowers….



We did as much walking as we could in the rain and then tucked ourselves into Eataly for a rest and a glass of wine.

Emily got one of these fabulous faux fur jackets too!

Dinner was in a cozy restaurant around the corner from our hotel – Da Cesario.  Fresh burrata, eggplant and spicy tomato sauce to start and two orders of pasta bolognese.  Fie on you rain!  Parma tomorrow…

When a trip goes this well, there has to be a glitch hiding out somewhere.  Parma was our miss.  I picked a hotel near the train station (not close to town) and it was 25 degrees and snowing.  We decided to walk into town even though it was pretty far.  By the time we got into the center of the action, we were both soaking wet and freezing.

We stopped for some…. Parma Ham and Parmesan Cheese.  Two espressos each and still couldn’t warm up.  Our sight-seeing energy was pretty much shot, so we headed back to the hotel to take hot showers and watch Italian TV.

We took a taxi to dinner at La Famiglia.  It is a lovely restaurant, but it was empty, so the atmosphere was quiet and we kind of couldn’t wait to get out of there.  Oh well – you can’t win them all.  Back to Milan in the morning!

You can see our Milan portion of the trip HERE.

the wry home




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1 comment

Anonymous April 28, 2018 - 8:13 am

Liz, I loved the amazing, luscious pictures! What a great trip to take. I want to go! Calling Air Italia now. The photos of Emily are winners too. Much love, Susie

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