Verona Unveiled: A Journey Through History and Romance
Verona is the second most popular city in the Veneto, after the urban agglomeration of Venice, with 263,000 people. It is on the Adige River and is a major hub for both the motorway and the railway that lead to the Brenner Pass. It has been an important site for communication routes between Italy and Central Europe since Roman times.
Symbolic building in the city, which made it famous around the world, is the best way to see how Romans ruled there. It is clear that we are talking about the Arena, which is the center of Scaliger culture and one of the best-preserved amphitheaters in the world. Its beautiful sets are the site of most of Verona’s cultural events, especially the opera season.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in Verona
To tourists, Verona immediately brings to mind Shakespeare and the moving parts of his play “Romeo and Juliet,” which is set here and still draws hordes of lovers to the world’s most photographed balcony. But let us do things in order.
Even though the pretty girl never lived in that house, the Municipality of Verona bought it through Cappello 23 in 1907 because legend had spread and many people thought it was the Capulets’ home. In reality, the Dal Cappello family lived in the beautiful 13th-century building, as shown by the coat of arms on the internal arch of the courtyard. What can be said about the fact that the famous balcony, where Juliet is said to have waited for Romeo, wasn’t built until the 20th century? A trick to attract tourists clearly worked, as tens of thousands of people from all over the world come here every year. Inside the house, there is a small museum, and in the garden, Nereo Costantini made the famous bronze statue of the tragic heroine. It’s lucky for people to touch her right breast. A lot of people hold their weddings at the house.
Verona’s Must-See Attractions
The Loggia del Consiglio and the palace of the Scaligeri family, which is the most important family in the area, are located close to Juliet’s House. Piazza dei Signori, which was the center of politics at the time, and Piazza delle Erbe, which was the ancient marketplace, are also close by.
In fact, this last area is the real heart and soul of the city. The most important ancient buildings in the area look out over the area, which has been the center of life there for hundreds of years.
We remember the Palazzo della Ragione, also called Palazzo del Comune, which was built in the 1300s and is now home to the “Achille Forti” Modern Art Gallery, as well as the 84-meter-tall Torre dei Lamberti, which was built next to it in 1172 and is the city’s tallest building.
The famous Arco della Costa connects the House of Judges, which used to be the mayor’s home, to the Town Hall. A big rib hangs from this arch. In the past, people thought that the rib hanging from the Arco della Costa was the rib of the devil. However, it is actually a whale rib that was used to let people know that a spice shop was nearby. Folklore also says that the bone will fall on the head of the first honest person who walks under it one day.
In addition, there are the 44-meter-tall Gardello Tower (also called Torre dell’Ora because of the clock it houses), the 44-meter-tall Mazzanti Houses with expressive frescoes on their facade, the characteristically baroque Maffei Palace, and the Domus Mercatorum, the old headquarters of the Arts and Crafts corporation.
The Column of San Marco
The fountain of Madonna Verona, the marble capital, the Ancient Column, and the Column of San Marco, which has the figure of the lion on top, complete the picture of one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, if not the world.
Also, Verona is proud to show tourists the five different city walls that still, if only symbolically, protect it: the Venetian embankments, the Austrian walls and bastions, the Scaliger walls with attached towers on the hill San Pietro, the ruins of the imperial Roman walls, and the thirteenth-century walls, where the Pentagon Tower of the Porti della Bra stands out.
San Zeno Maggiore
Another amazing place to see is the basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, which is a stunning Romanesque church. It was first built in the 5th century AD to honor the patron saint of Verona. Over the years, it has been rebuilt to look the way it does now. The present house, on the other hand, is from the 1200s. Also inside is a beautiful altarpiece by Mantegna.
The Antiquaria Verona market is held in front of the church on the first Sunday of every month except August.
The Arena of Verona
In the last part of our introduction to Verona, we’ll talk about the Arena, which is the city’s main attraction and major character. The arena is still very big even though it was built in the first half of the first century AD. Its base is elliptical, with sides that are 75.68 meters long and 44.43 meters wide. It can hold about 15,000 people.
The Arena has been used for entertainment shows of all kinds for over 2,000 years. It wasn’t until the 19th century that it became a place for music, especially opera, which is still a big part of Veronese culture today. There are Christmas markets inside its tall walls during Advent, and the Veronese Carnival runs from January to March.