With more than two thousand years of history, Verona is one of the most important centers in the Veneto.
The city is embraced by the Adige river, while in the north, the hills enhance its harmony and beauty.
Piazza Brà (from the German “breit”, “largo”), one of the most majestic urban masterpieces of the city is the starting point for visits to discover the beautiful historic center.
The square stands as a crossroads between different times and cultures: Imperial Rome has left us the Arena, one of the amphitheatres of Roman architecture that has come to us with the best degree of conservation. The Veronese Opera Season has been held in the Arena since 1913.
Of the difficult medieval period of the city remain the “portoni della Brà” e la torre dell’orologio (clock tower).
The Palazzo della Gran Guardia takes us back to the Renaissance while Palazzo Barbieri, the current seat of the Municipality, dates back to the neoclassical period.
We cannot forget the statue of Vittorio Emanuele II, installed to celebrate the annexation to Italy in 1866 and the Fountain of the Alps, located in the center of the square, symbol of the twinning with Munich.
Walking along Via Mazzini you access the second symbolic square of the city, Piazza delle Erbe, where time and space merge together: starting from the Roman-medieval age with the fountain of Madonna Verona, up to the Tribuna, the medieval capital in the center of the square where, at the time, both the powers and the praetors sat at the time of their oath, and then ended with a majestic column in white marble on top of which stands the lion of San Marco, symbol of the Serenissima .
Dominating the square are Palazzo Maffei, on whose roof there are statues of Greek divinities and the Torre dei Lamberti (11th century), whose clock has marked city life since 1798.
Adjacent to Piazza delle Erbe, there is Piazza dei Signori, at the center of which stands the statue of the Supreme Poet Dante Alighieri, the “Ghibellin Fuggiasco”.
Over the centuries, the square has been the symbol of the political and administrative power of the Scaliger city. A particular feature is how all the monumental buildings are connected to each other through a system of arches and loggias.
In a separate space, there is the Church of Santa Maria Antica, in whose courtyard stand the Arche Scaligere, funerary monument of the Della Scala family.
Leaving Piazza delle Erbe and continuing along via Cappello, you can get to Juliet’s house, one of the most visited destinations by tourists from all over the world. Entering the courtyard, one cannot help but notice the famous balcony made famous by the pen of William Shakespeare. Less luck, however, had the home of Romeo, located near the Scaliger Arche.
Just outside the city walls, in via del Pontiere, there is the Tomb of Giulietta, inside the former convent of the Capuchin friars of the thirteenth century, now the Museum of Frescoes.
The historic center is certainly rich in history, culture and literature, but the areas just outside it can be just as rich.
Traveling along via Roma, you can get to Castelvecchio, built by Cangrande II Della Scala. The current name does not derive, however, from the latter, but from Galeazzo Visconti. The original nomenclature was “Castello di San Martino”: the foundations of the castle were, in fact, erected over the remains of the ancient church of San Martino in Acquario. Used for military use during the Venetian domination, the castle suffered particularly during the Napoleonic era and during the second world conflict. Subjected to a rigorous and long restoration started after the war, today it houses the Municipal Museum and a very rich historical library.
The homonymous bridge, dotted along its entire perimeter with Ghibelline battlements, leads to the Scaliger Arsenal.
Outside Castelvecchio, continuing along Corso Cavour, it is possible to come across two other precious legacies from the Roman era: the first is the Arco dei Gavi, whose name bears the name of the family of the same name who had it erected; the second is Porta Borsari. The name indicated the episcopal “borsari”, who pocketed the gabelles on the goods.
The Roman gate also sanctions the term of Corso Cavour which becomes Corso Portoni Borsari.
The Roman Theater, at the foot of San Pietro hill, on the left bank of the Adige river, certainly deserves a mention. Its construction dates back, as the name says, in Roman times, around the first century BC, but only in the nineteenth century did the Municipality decide to recover the original structure from the buildings that overlapped over the centuries.
The site is particularly active in the summer, during which, among other things, the Shakespearean Festival is celebrated within the Veronese Summer Theater review.
Last but not least is the Basilica of San Zeno, inside which the body of the Saint is housed. Its dating can be set towards the twelfth century and represents the spearhead in the panorama of Romanesque religious architecture in Northern Italy. The devotion of the Veronese towards the Saint, the eighth bishop of the city as well as his patron, who lived in the fourth century AD, also takes on particular importance and which converted Verona to Christianity.
As in history, even in culture Verona has left its mark of uniqueness, with institutions of primary importance such as the Philharmonic Academy, the oldest in Europe, the Literary Society, the Conservatory and the Chapter Library, whose Scriptorium was active as early as the 5th century.
His visitors have always been numerous, some of whom are illustrious, such as Dante, Goethe and Mozart.
The Civic Library deserves special mention: in it, in 1816, after a long trial, the “Institutiones” of the Roman jurist Gaius were found and recovered, the only work of classical Roman jurisprudence that has come down to date in full and without the help of compilations.