Verona, in the Veneto region of north-east Italy, is one of Italy’s loveliest towns, Verona has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its urban peculiarities and for its artistic and cultural heritage. Verona’s symbol is the Arena and is known worldwide for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Famous for its summer opera season, several annual fairs, shows, and operas, such as the lyrical season in the Arena, an ancient Roman amphitheater.
Verona, a magical city where art, history and culture come together. Verona has been a thriving and successful town for most of its history, a splendid example of a city that has developed progressively and continuously over the course of over two thousand years, integrating artistic elements of the highest value belonging to different eras; it also represents in an exceptional way the concept of a fortified city developed in several stages.
Verona was an important Roman town and is rich in archaeological sites, the grandest of which is the Roman Arena, where operas are now performed in the summer. It’s easy to spend a long time simply exploring the narrow streets lined with handsome palazzi that make up the historic centre. The town’s museums and churches contain fine works of art, while the ruined Roman theatre over the river has excellent views from the terraces where the ancients watched plays.
Verona’s historic centre lies within the town walls in a tight curve of the Adige river. Entering town past the Porta Nuova gateway near the railway station, you head along wide car-filled Corso Porta Nuova before passing through the attractive fourteenth-century arches of the Portoni della Brà and entering the historic part of town. Immediately inside the town wall is Piazza Brà, a large open space dominated by the imposing Roman Arena.
Via Mazzini, an elegant pedestrian street paved with shiny Verona marble, heads straight through the heart of town to Piazza Erbe, Verona’s most attractive square. It’s a good idea to have a map or guidebook at this point, and to dive into the pretty historic lanes uncovering Verona’s charms. Today smart shops and cafes fill the attractive medieval lanes of the historic centre.
Two of William Shakespeare’s plays are set in Verona: Romeo and Juliet (which also features Romeo’s sojourn to Mantua) and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. It is unknown if Shakespeare ever visited Verona or Italy, but his plays have lured many visitors to Verona and surrounding cities. There is a Shakespearian tourist trail, visit the balcony where Romeo and Juliet met. The city organises various ‘romantic’ initiatives, including events around Valentine’s Day.
The town is well-connected for exploring the surrounding area, including destinations like Lake Garda, Vicenza, Padua and Venice. Verona is usefully located for travel to Venice or to lovely Lake Garda.
Verona, a city characterised by more than two thousand years of history, is nowadays the second centre in Veneto for its liveliness and for the importance of its economic activities; moreover it is an international tourist centre. The sweet loops of the Adige, that flows through the city, and the low hills surrounding it at the northern side contribute to creating an harmoniously beautiful landscape. Due to its geographical position, Verona was probably an Etruscan and Euganean centre, but the first certain signs of civilization date back to the 4th century BC.
During the Roman Empire it was an instrumental political and commercial centre, whose magnificent traces can still be seen: the Arena, the Roman Theatre, the Roman Arco dei Gavi, Porta Borsari, the archaeological area near Porta Leoni and the Scavi Scaligeri. This area, situated in the middle of the city, only some meters away from Piazza Erbe, became in the Middle Age centre of political and economic power. Here the marks of different historical periods are harmoniously moulded together: from Roman ruins to magnificent palaces of the 18th –19th century situated between medieval buildings, that flourished under the reign of the Signori Scaligeri, and Renaissance style buildings.
In the late Middle Ages, Verona became a free independent municipality, governance in different families: the first headed by the Sambonifacio, the second by the Montecchi first, and then by the Scaligeri. And precisely with the Scaligeri there was the painless transition from Municipality to Signoria. The Scaligeri were protagonists of Veronese history for almost two centuries, and under the enlightened and respected government of Cangrande I della Scala that the city experienced a period of splendor and importance. In 1388 Verona lost its independence and was subjugated by the Visconti and then by the Carraresi. In 1405 the Scaliger city was dedicated to the Republic of Venice, under whose rule the city enjoyed a long period of peace and prosperity.
With the end of the Republic of Venice in 1797 Verona met two foreign rulers: the French, against whom the Veronese rebelled in the famous days called Pasque Veronesi, and from 1815 after the fall of Napoleon the Austrians, who made the city the most important of the fortresses of the so-called Quadrilatero Peschiera – Mantua – Legnago -Verona: Verona became part of the newborn Kingdom of Italy only in 1866, following the third war of independence.
After World War II, as Italy joined the NATO alliance, Verona once again acquired its strategic importance, due to its geographical closeness to the Iron Curtain. The city became the seat of SETAF (South European Allied Terrestrial Forces) and had during the whole duration of the Cold War period a strong military presence, especially American, which has since decreased.
Verona has always been synonymous with culture. Numerous institutions, such as the Biblioteca Civica, the Biblioteca Capitolare (whose Scriptorium already existed in the 6th century AD), the Accademia Filarmonica (the most antique in the world), the Fondazione Arena, the Literary Society, the antique Academy of Agriculture, Science and Literature, the University and the Conservatory maintain its cultural liveliness.
The city of Verona is universally recognized as a city of art, so much so that in 2000 was included by in the World Heritage List, in particular for two reasons: because, in its urban structure and architecture, is an outstanding example of a city that has developed progressively and continuously over the course of 2 000 years, acquiring, with each artistic and architectural period, works of the highest quality; as it represents in an exceptional way the concept of a European fortified city, which developed and expanded in different phases.
The elements of the Roman, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and later periods have survived intact, while the urban fabric shows a remarkable coherence and homogeneity; this is due to the fact that the walls surrounding the historic city prevented industry and the railway from penetrating towards the center. Only the Second World War caused serious damage to its heritage, however the reconstruction plan adopted after the war made it possible to maintain the original structure of the city, thanks to the great care with which the reconstruction process was followed.
Verona preserved many ancient Roman monuments (including the magnificent Arena) in the early Middle Ages, but many of its early medieval edifices were destroyed or heavily damaged by the earthquake of 3 January 1117, which led to a massive Romanesque rebuilding. The Carolingian period Versus de Verona contains an important description of Verona in the early medieval era.
The Roman military settlement in what is now the center of the city was to expand through the cardines and decumani that intersect at right angles. This structure has been kept to the present day and is clearly visible from the air. Further development has not reshaped the original map. Though the Roman city with its basalt-paved roads is mostly hidden from view it stands virtually intact about 6 m below the surface. Most palazzi and houses have cellars built on Roman structures that are rarely accessible to visitors.
Piazza delle Erbe, near the Roman forum was rebuilt by Cangrande I and Cansignorio della Scala I, lords of Verona, using material (such as marble blocks and statues) from Roman spas and villas.
Verona is famous for its Roman amphitheater, the Arena, found in the city’s largest piazza, the Piazza Bra. Completed around 30 AD, it is the third-largest in Italy after Rome’s Colosseum and the arena at Capua. It measures 139 meters long and 110 meters wide, and could seat some 25,000 spectators in its 44 tiers of marble seats. The ludi (shows and gladiator games) performed within its walls were so famous that they attracted spectators from far beyond the city. The current two-story façade is actually the internal support for the tiers; only a fragment of the original outer perimeter wall in white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, with three stories remains. The interior is very impressive and is virtually intact, and has remained in use even today for public events, fairs, theatre, and open-aired opera during warm summer nights.
There is also a variety of other Roman monuments to be found in the town, such as the Roman theatre of Verona. This theatre was built in the 1st century BC, but through the ages had fallen in disuse and had been built upon to provide housing. In the 18th century Andrea Monga, a wealthy Veronese, bought all the houses that in time had been built over the theatre, demolished them, and saved the monument. Not far from it is the Ponte di Pietra (“Stone Wall Bridge”), another Roman landmark that has survived to this day.
The Arco dei Gavi (Gavi Arch) was built in the 1st century AD and is famous for having the name of the builder (architect Lucius Vitruvius Cordone) engraved on it, a rare case in the architecture of the epoque. It originally straddled the main Roman road into the city, now the Corso Cavour. It was demolished by French troops in 1805 and rebuilt in 1932.
Nearby is the Porta Borsari, an archway at the end of Corso Porta Borsari. This is the façade of a 3rd-century gate in the original Roman city walls. The inscription is dated 245 AD and gives the city name as Colonia Verona Augusta. Corso Porta Borsari, the road passing through the gate is the original Via Sacra of the Roman city. Today, it is lined with several Renaissance palazzi and the ancient Church of Santi Apostoli, a few meters from Piazza delle Erbe.
Porta Leoni is the 1st century BC ruin of what was once part of the Roman city gate. A substantial portion is still standing as part of the wall of a medieval building. The street itself is an open archaeological site, and the remains of the original Roman street and gateway foundations can be seen a few feet below the present street level. As can be seen from there, the gate contains a small court guarded by towers. Here, carriages and travelers were inspected before entering or leaving the city.
Santo Stefano church is dedicated to the first Christian martyr, was erected in the Paleochristian era, and houses the burials of the first bishops of Verona. Throughout the centuries Saint Stephen underwent complex architectural transformations. Particularly striking is the rare two-story ambulatory, probably built to give pilgrims visual access to the abundant collection of important relics for which the church was famous. Also to be visited is the cruciform crypt with its forest of columns, arches, and cross vaults. Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr and, according to the Acts of the Apostles, was stoned just outside Jerusalem, in a place still remembered today, near the so-called “Porta Leoni”.
Arena of Verona
A Roman amphitheater located in the historic center of Verona, it is one of the large buildings that have characterized Roman play architecture and is the ancient amphitheater with the best degree of conservation, thanks to the systematic restorations carried out since the 1600s. In the summer it hosts the famous opera festival and many international singers and musicians stop there. The lack of written sources about the inauguration of the amphitheater makes it very difficult to provide a reliable chronology, so much so that in the past, from various studies, very different dates have emerged, a period of time ranging from the 1st century to the 3rd century, built between Emperor Augustus and Emperor Claudius.
Juliet’s house is one of the major attractions for tourists visiting Verona. The building already existed in the 12th century, was derived from the union of several houses around a central courtyard. This attention often makes the courtyard of the house very crowded, on which moreover souvenir shops for tourists have been opened. The passageway that gives access to the courtyard is entirely covered with graffiti and love-themed tickets left by many visitors.
Tomb of Juliet
It is located in Verona inside the former convent of the Capuchin friars dating back to the 13th century, today the “GB Cavalcaselle” fresco museum. Tradition and fantasy want it to be the burial place of Juliet Capulets, protagonist of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Roman theater rises in the northern part of the city, at the foot of the San Pietro hill. It was built at the end of the 1st century BC, a period in which Verona saw the monumentalization of the San Pietro hill. Before its construction, between the Pietra bridge and the Postumio bridge, walls were built on the Adige, parallel to the theater itself, to defend it from any floods of the river. Only the remains of the work remain visible, because over time it has suffered, in addition to natural events, also the burial under crumbling buildings.
Piazza delle Erbe is a square that stands on the site of the ancient Roman forum. Piazza known for its market and for the fact that famous buildings overlook it, such as Palazzo Maffei with the Torre del Gardello, the Mazzanti houses, the Domus Mercatorum (house of the merchants) and the Torre dei Lamberti with the Palazzo della Ragione (or Palazzo del Comune). In the center of it are the Fountain of the Madonna of Verona, the Capitello (or Tribuna) and, in front of Palazzo Maffei, a column with a statue of the Lion of Marcian on top.
Piazza dei Signori with the Torre dei Lamberti, the Palazzo del Capitanio, or of the court or of Cansignorio (built in the Scaligera age by Cansignorio in the beginning it was a palace-fortress, then in the Venetian age it became the seat of the Captain. Under the Austrians it became a court and finally, in the post-unification period, it became a prison. Today it is set up for various exhibitions), the Loggia del Council and the Palazzo del Podestà (now prefecture). At the center of the square is the statue of Dante Alighieri (hence Piazza Dante). To the north-east of the square are the Arche Scaligere, tombs of some Veronese lords, all from the Della Scala family, and the church of Santa Maria Antica.
Scaliger Arche are a monumental Gothic-style funerary complex of the Scaligeri family, intended to contain the arks (or tombs) of some illustrious representatives of the family, including that of the greatest lord of Verona, Cangrande della Scala, to whom Dante dedicates Paradise. The arks were made in the 14th century by various sculptors. Coming from Piazza dei Signori, one finds the tomb of Mastino I della Scala, leaning against the wall of the church of Santa Maria, with a simple sarcophagus reminiscent of Roman usage. A little further on is the isolated tomb of Alberto I della Scala which, richly decorated, architecturally repeats that of Mastino I. Next to the outer wall there are three simple tombs, probably belonging, in order, to Bartolomeo I, Cangrande II and Bartolomeo II della Scala (the latter perhaps by Bailardo Nogarola). Above the side door of Santa Maria Antica there is instead the magnificent ark of Cangrande I, the greatest Scaliger lord. The sarcophagus of Cangrande is supported by four dogs holding the Scaligero coat of arms: on the front face you can see three statues, on the back you can see Verona.
Above the sarcophagus is the reclining statue of Cangrande. Four Corinthian columns support the canopy, which soars upwards, culminating in the remarkable equestrian statue of Cangrande della Scala. Then there is the ark of Mastino II della Scala: his sarcophagus rests on four pillars, and above it his statue lies stretched out. On top of the ark is the equestrian statue of the Lord, encased in solid armor. Finally the last ark, that of Cansignorio della Scala, the richest and most lively. The tomb of Giovanni della Scala was instead moved here in 1831 from the church of Santi Fermo e Rustico to the Navi bridge, and is now located at the end of the cemetery, on the outer wall of a house. The original statues of Cangrande and Mastino II have been transferred to the Castel Vecchio museum, so there are copies in the cemetery.
Basilica of San Zeno
Basilica of San Zeno is considered one of the Romanesque masterpieces in Italy. It is spread over three levels and the current structure was set up in the 10th-11th century. The name of the saint is sometimes reported in two other ways, and this is how the basilica of Verona is sometimes named: San Zeno Maggiore or San Zenone. Among the numerous works of art, it houses a masterpiece by Andrea Mantegna, the Pala di San Zeno.
Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria Matricolare)
The cathedral is located in the medieval area of Verona, inside the loop of the Adige, not far from the Ponte Pietra, and on the southern side of the bishop’s citadel. The current structure stands in the place where the first Christian church in the city was built in the fourth century (of which some mosaics can be seen in the cloister and in the nearby church of S. Elena) probably by the bishop Zeno. The construction of a new cathedral was begun in 1120. The church, over the centuries, especially in the sixteenth and sixteenth centuries, has undergone various alterations which, however, did not concern either its plan or its orientation. The current arrangement of the facade dates back to the sixteenth century, previously lower and without the rose window and the two large lateral mullioned windows. Inside there are numerous works of art, of particular importance is the painting depicting the Assumption of the Virgin (1535) by Titian.
Church of Sant’Anastasia
The current church was begun in 1290 and was never completed. Some believe that the design and the project go back to between ‘Benvenuto da Bologna and’ Nicola da Imola, but there are no documents on the matter. The church of Santa Anastasia takes its name from a pre-existing church, from the Gothic era, dedicated by Theodoric to Anastasia of Sirmio. The façade structure is divided into three sections which correspond to the internal naves. The facade is unfinished and is mainly in terracotta. The church was built by the Dominicans and has a similar structure to the basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo also belonging to the same order and built almost simultaneously.
The façade, symmetrical, it has a central hut with the upper part having in its center a simple rose window with an external circular sector and the internal part divided into six sections divided by a horizontal diameter. The lower part is occupied by the 15th century door divided into two sections with two pointed arches above it with a 1330 Gothic portal around it with a series of five superimposed pointed arches. The arches are supported by ornamental columns made of red, white and black marble. Above the arches stands the portal. Inside numerous works of art, including the The arches are supported by ornamental columns made of red, white and black marble. Above the arches stands the portal. Inside numerous works of art, including the Monument to Cortesia Serego, the Pellegrini Chapel with the fresco-masterpiece by Pisanello San Giorgio and the princess, from the mid-fifteenth century, the Cavalli Chapel with the Adoration altarpiece, the only certain work by Altichiero da Zevio.
Church of San Bernardino
The building, annexed to a Franciscan convent, dates back to the 15th century and is in Gothic style, but its current appearance is affected by numerous interventions carried out over the following centuries which have led to an extremely rich sedimentation of artistic styles. The most important of the side chapels added from the late 15th century to the end of the 16th century are: the Pellegrini chapel, the Avanzi chapel, the large chapel of San Francesco.
Scaliger Bridge (Castelvecchio Bridge)
The bridge was built between 1354 and 1356 under the lordship of Cangrande II della Scala in order to ensure an escape route towards the Tyrol for the built fortress of Castelvecchio in case there was a riot by one of the enemy factions within the city. The strength of the bridge allowed it to pass five centuries of history unscathed until, in 1802, the French, following the Treaty of Lunéville, cut off the tower on the countryside side and eliminated the battlements, rebuilt by the Austrians in 1820 on the orders of Emperor Francesco I of Austria.
The bridge was blown up on April 24, 1945 by the retreating Germans, together with all the other bridges in Verona, including the Roman stone bridge. Immediately after the war it was decided to rebuild it together with other important monuments of the city lost during the Second World War. Moreover, thanks to the study of the chromatisms of the stone, it was possible to go back to the quarry from which the blocks were extracted in the Middle Ages, located in the territory of San Giorgio di Valpolicella, from which the new stones were extracted that would have replaced the damaged original ones.
It is a castle currently used to house the Civic Museum of Castelvecchio, is the most important military monument of the Scaligera lordship. The new castle was located between the head of the wall to the right of the Adige, near the Catena Superiore, and the head of the wall to the left of the Adige, near the Porta San Giorgio. The functional and architectural essence of its position is that of constituting an element of urban defense that is inseparable from the river, and at the same time predisposed to project its action beyond the river itself. The bridge, for the exclusive use of the castle, served as an escape or access route for aid from the Adige Valley, thus preventing the river from becoming an insuperable barrier. But within the complex urban defensive system it could be used to organize sorties in order to tactically operate on the opposite river banks.
Castel San Pietro
The state barracks of Castel San Pietro or more simply Castel San Pietro, originally called Aerarialcasernen Castel San Pietro, is a military building located on the San Pietro hill in Verona, in an elevated point and characterized by a wide panoramic view of the Scaligera city, and for this privileged destination for tourists and Veronese who can reach the square in front of the castle also via the Castel San Pietro funicular. The building was designed by the Austrian kk Genie-Direktion Verona based in the city and built between 1852 and 1858, when the remains of the curtain wall of the pre-existing castle, built at the end of the fourteenth century, were also restored.
In ancient times known as the Porta Iovia for the presence of the nearby temple dedicated to Jupiter Lustral, it is one of the doors that opened along the Roman walls of Verona. The construction of the structure dates back to the second half of the 1st century BC, however the part that has remained intact dates back to the first half of the 1st century. Porta Borsari was the main entrance to the Roman city, entering the important Via Postumia on the maximum decumanus.
Porta Leoni is one of the doors that opened along the Roman walls of Verona. Built in the first century BC and renovated in the following century, it connected the main hinge of the city with the vicus Veronensium, or with the branch of the Via Claudia Augusta which continued towards Hostilia.
Arch of the Gavi
The Arco dei Gavi, located along the ancient Via Postumia in Verona, just outside the walls of the Roman city, is a very rare case of an honorary and monumental arch for private use in Roman architecture. It was in fact built around the middle of the 1st century to celebrate the gens Gavia. The arch no longer stands in its original position as it was demolished by the French Military Engineers in 1805, however the numerous reliefs that had previously been produced made it possible to reassemble it for anastylosis and restoration in 1932, when it was relocated in the square of Castelvecchio.
During the Renaissance this was one of the most appreciated among the Veronese antiquities, also thanks to the presence of the signature of a Vitruvius, which recalls the well-known Roman architect author of the De architectura treatise. The monument was then described by humanists and antiquarians, reproduced in detail and studied in proportions and decorations, finally taken up as a model by architects and painters, such as Palladio, Sangallo, Serlio, Falconetto, Sanmicheli, but also Bellini and Mantegna. It had a great influence on Veronese art in particular, as the overall scheme for the construction of portals, altars and chapels in the main churches of Verona was copied.
The strong cultural identity of Verona has resulted in the commitment of numerous personalities who with their imprint have gone to determine the current museum configuration of Verona. Of great importance was for example Scipione Maffei, who in the eighteenth century gave the start to European museology with his collection of tombstones and epigraphs which were then placed in the museum that takes his name, the Maffeian lapidary museum, located next to the Philharmonic theater.
Another important figure was Antonio Avena, director of the civic museums, who did his utmost in the acquisition of the Roman theater and therefore in the establishment of the homonymous museum, in the arrangement of Castelvecchio, in which he prepared the first museum installation, in the arrangement of Juliet’s house., in the acquisition of Palazzo Emilei Forti, which housed the Achille Forti modern art gallery (later moved to the Palazzo della Ragione ), and in the establishment of the Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle fresco museum.
The primary importance is theCastelvecchio museum which immediately became a point of reference in the museum system of Verona, in particular after the recovery carried out by the famous architect Carlo Scarpa in collaboration with the director Licisco Magagnato, from whose collaboration one of the most valuable and well-known museographic achievements of the second post-war period was born.
Verona has also assumed particular importance with regard to naturalistic collections, in fact it is the only European city to be able to boast an uninterrupted tradition in this area since the sixteenth century, when various private collections were collected in the first known naturalistic museum. then converge in the civic museum of natural history.
Then there is the Miniscalchi-Erizzo museum, a palace-museum donated to the Municipality by the Veronese noble family of the same name, where collections and objects of historical, archaeological and artistic interest are exhibited, the international photography center Scavi Scaligeri, the African museum, the canonical museum and the railway museum of Porta Vescovo.
Thanks to William Shakespeare to made Verona a city widely known to the world for his most famous work, the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. The prototype of the story is confirmed by thhe famous poet George Byron, the poet underlined how the Veronese obstinately supported the authenticity of the story of Romeo and Juliet, on the other hand the claim of the veracity of the legend and the identification of the places where the story had already begun long before.
the first place to be “rediscovered” was the tomb of the two lovers, identified in the sixteenth century in an empty tomb in red Veronese marble, near a convent. There were many who paid homage to the two lovers in this place, including Madame de Staël, Marie Louise of Austria, Heinrich Heine, Charles Dickens and George Byron himself. The tomb was moved several times in order to find a place that could enhance it, its definitive arrangement was therefore in 1937 thanks to the work of the director of the civic museums Antonio Avena: it was moved into underground rooms revisited in a Gothic and scenographic key.
At the same time there was the refurbishment of Juliet ‘s house, identified in a medieval house with the coat of arms of a hat, home of the Capulet family, which Charles Dickens describes in Pictures from Italy as a “miserable little hotel”. In fact, following the eighteenth-nineteenth-century alterations, it turned out to have become a public house with railings, even if the narrow brick facade evoked the Middle Ages. So Antonio Avena made use of bare material in the restoration work and went to insert a new balcony consisting of a slab of marble that was in a state of neglect in the courtyard of the Castelvecchio. This work made Juliet’s house become a new symbolic image of Verona, together with the Arena.
The last place to be recognized is the house of Romeo, which shows intact its nature and aspect of a fortified house; it belonged to the Nogarola family, trusted friends of the Della Scala, and is located next to the Scaliger arches, where also Bartolomeo I della Scala rests, under whose dominion the story according to Luigi da Porto took place. More than the individual places linked to the tragedy, however, it is the idea of medieval folkloric Verona in which the story that tourists, spectators and readers fell in love with would take place.
Parks and gardens
In addition to many historic gardens, it is worth noting that, after a series of re-planning, some Verona fortifications, military depots and ramparts turn into green areas.
Parco delle Mura (Wall Park)
The city walls extend for about 9 Km. The green areas around them became public green areas only during the second half of the post war period. Built with military function, they protected the city, surrounding the whole city centre. The walls are interspersed with towers, ramparts, embankments and gates to enter the city (such as Porta Nuova, Porta Palio and Porta San Zeno). In these areas there are today gardens, equipped areas and a health path which represent the “green lung” of the city: they include Raggi di Sole Gardens (next to San Francesco Bridge), the former Giardino Zoologico and the Bastioni Orti di Spagna.
Area Verde Arsenale (Green Area Arsenale)
A wide green area was built close to Castelvecchio crossing the beautiful Castelvecchio Bridge. While visiting the city centre it is possible to relax where once there was the Arsenale Militare (military arsenal), built during the Habsburg age. During the summer this is an excellent point of refreshment, as there are a wide garden with a pond, which was recently restored from a pre-existent one.
Colombare Park and Torricelle
In the part of the city from the bend in the Adige river – close to the Roman theatre – lie the green hills, called Torricelle. They were inhabited since ancient times. Among the two Austrian forts, Castel S. Pietro and Castel S. Felice, there is the Colombare Park. It is particularly suitable for those who want to try the “urban trekking”, but also for those who want to enjoy the view of Verona from the top.
Piazza Bra Gardens:
At the end of 1800 Piazza Brà began to look like it is today thanks to the gardens (with a magnificent specimen of Lebanese Cedar) and the statue of the first King of Italy. The central fountain was donated to Verona by the City of München in 1975, on occasion of the 15th anniversary of the twinning among the two cities.
Piazza Indipendenza Gardens
Next to Piazza Erbe and Piazza dei Signori, adjacent to the Scavi Scaligeri, there is a very beautiful garden, built at the end of 1800 and characterized by two male specimens of Gingko Biloba, which are particularly appreciated by Asian tourists, as they are sacred plants.
The late Renaissance GiustiGarden is worth a visit: inside there are a “parterre”, a labyrinth and the rests of a small temple. The Garden was already known and admired at the time of the travellers of the Grand Tour and by other famous people, becoming one of the most visited place throughout the centuries.
The Veronese cooking is characterized by a wide variety of local products, and by its oenologic production. Since ancient Roman times, Verona noble families became famous for the opulent banquets they offered on occasion of luxurious receptions. It has also been said that the Scaligeri princes used to delight the numerous guests of their courts with abundant potations and delicious courses.
The Veronese people are passionate about good food that, through the centuries, they have been raising cooking to a true art form, by imaginatively creating the most delicious dishes with basic local products. The city, thus, offers the opportunity to enjoy deep culinary experiences that are the best example of the “flavour” of the Veronese spirit. It is a real pleasure for the palate to taste traditional dishes, both in pubs and restaurants, and even have the chance to appreciate additional food choices and new recipes. See section where to eat.
Thanks to the rich variety of local produce the culinary tradition has taken advantage of products of excellence which, in recent years, have deserved more and more recognition and have been certified with typicity, preservation and valorization, thus gaining appellation status (DOP, DOC, IGT, DOCG certification brands and other consortia).
The most famous event held in the city of Verona is the Arena opera festival, whose seasons have taken place continuously since 1913 inside the Roman amphitheater, which with its 30,000 seats is transformed into the largest open-air opera theater in the world; the same also becomes a stop, in the spring and autumn seasons, for many international singers and musicians. During the summer season the Roman theater hosts the Verona theatrical summer, which since 1948 has offered prose shows, with the most famous and controversial texts of William Shakespeare, dance and music, especially jazz.
On the other hand, in 1969 the International Film Week was born, which since 1996 has been transformed into Schermi d’amore, a film festival of sentimental and melodramatic cinema, which therefore continues the amorous theme in natural continuity with the collective imagination that sees the home city. of the romantic story of Romeo and Juliet, and that of melodrama as a branch that has its origin in the centenary Areniano festival.The African film festival, organized by the Nigrizia magazine, has also been held since 1981and from the missionary center to give a critical image of Africa through the stories and images told by the Africans themselves with the aim of getting to know the peoples and their cultures better.
Among the various running events, particularly notable is the giving away of green cloth, established in 1208 as a walking and riding speed run to celebrate the victory of Ezzelino II da Romano against Guelph, also mentioned in the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. Abolished during the Napoleonic domination in 1796, it was reorganized starting in 2008 to celebrate the eight hundredth anniversary of the race.
More recent is Tocatì, organized by the Ancient Games Association in the streets and squares of the city, a world reference point for all fans of traditional games which aims to enhance the heritage of traditional culture starting from games, but also including expressions such as traditional music and dance.