Bologna or Parma or Verona?

My husband and I will be spending 4 days in Cinque Terre and then heading to Venice at the end of September. I'd like to stop for a 2 day trip somewhere between. I was thinking maybe Bologna, Parma or Verona. I'm wondering what others would recommend for a short stay. Looking for something charming, great food, easy to get around on foot (ie train station is not far out of town). Thanks in advance for your advice.
Teri

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3355 posts

train stations are never far from the city centers, they are basically in the city center or a short walking distance from it. My preferential list would be: Verona, Bologna, Parma. Although Verona would require a slight detour if you take the route LaSpezia>Parma>Bologna>Padua>Venezia.
If you take the route LaSpezia>Pisa>Florence>Bologna>Padua>Venezia, then Parma also will be out of the way and will require a detour.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5776 posts

We've stayed in Verona in 2011 and Bologna in 2008 and would definitely pick Verona. In fact, we loved it so much we just went back for five more days. I haven't posted those photos yet, but we plan to come back a third time. Verona is the perfect size for an Italian city. It's big enough (and wealthy enough) that it has great cultural opportunities, important and beautiful churches, and excellent museums. (We just saw the Vienna State Ballet at a theatre that had been restored recently. I think we might have been the only Americans in the 500 seat house, which was packed.) It's also incredibly photogenic and has lots of opportunities for just enjoying wandering around. And the Arena is amazing! And yet Verona is also small enough that you can easily walk the entire historic center which, conveniently, is flat. Here are some photos and a little video clip I took on our first trip there, in case you're interested: Verona in May 2011 PM me if you want a recommendation for an excellent place to stay. I've sent three sets of friends there already and they all loved it. Another place we enjoyed when we did it as a daytrip was Padova.

Posted by karren
oklahoma city, ok, usa
206 posts

I love Bologna and Verona but, I agree with Michael, given one city I would chose Verona. Smaller and easier to get around in than Bologna. Arena is great, great church, the Adiage River runs through the town and there are many bridges to walk over, roman gardens and two great piazzas....the Piazza Erbe has had a market place in it for 2,000+ years. Maffei is a great place to eat on the Piazza Erbe. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3511 posts

Verona is one of my favorite places in Italy. Google Verona Card to see what the attractions are. Stay in the old town center. It's a short bus ride from the train station - or a taxi if you have a lot of luggage.

Posted by Larry
Pearland, Texas, USA
417 posts

I, too, vote for Verona. It may be my favorite Italian city, probably because of a local pizzeria that we loved. The Arena is not to be missed.

Posted by Teri
Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA
8 posts

Thanks all! Verona it is! I wish we had more time to spend there.

Posted by April
Portland, OR
246 posts

Hi Teri, We live in LO as well. :) We leave in a few weeks for almost a month in Europe. We have scheduled three nights in Verona. This will be our first time there. I have done alot of research and am really looking forward to it. We are doing a one day private wine tour of Amarone countey (Valpolicella) and will be visiting Lake Garda as well. PM me if you would like any suggestions. Ciao!