Verona is one of the most old and charming cities of North Italy. Tourist really love visiting it not only because it is located close to Venice, but because it is full of history, art and love. This is the city where the tragic love of Romeo and Juliet took place. Verona is one of the oldest city, this means that every historic era contributed to make it become one of the most beautiful UNESCO heritage.
In fact Verona is a city that “has layers”.
Verona’s origins goes back to the Romans, whom left an evident footprint building the roman theatre ( you can visit the ruins on san Pietro hill) and the Arena di Verona. This arena is also called the small Colosseum, and this is way Verona is called also “Piccola Roma” “little Rome”.
The arena is the best well conserved amphitheater in the entire world. The condition of the Arena are so good that during summer you can go and listen concerts of any kind of music ( opera, rock, rap..) , sitting right where the romans where enjoying the concert right under a roof of stars… if you are lucky to get a ticket!!
The Arena di Verona has some things in common to the American Red Rocks venue in Colorado. Both are outside and the singers and groups that plays in this venue can say that they have reached the wall of fame!
The arena is located in Piazza Brà, one of the biggest square in all Europe. Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori aren’t big as Piazza Brà, but each Piazza/Square has their own beauty.
Piazza della Erbe is the most old Square that you can find in Verona. It is full of history because it was built where once was located the Foro Romano and it is surrounded by old romans building. During the years, this buildings, got renewed influenced by Medieval and the Renaissance styles. In Piazza delle Erbe you will admire: Il palazzo del Comune, la Torre dei Lamberti, la Casa dei Giudici, la Casa dei Mercanti ( o Domus Mercatorum), Palazzo Maffei e le Casa Mazzanti.
Verona is also called Urbs Picta ( in Latin it means “Painted City”). When you will visit Piazza delle Erbe you will see all the frescoes that are decotating Case Mazzanti giving to the square an unique beauty.
Few steps from Piazza delle Erbe you will find Piazza dei Signori.
On your way to get there you must pass under an arch. Attached to that arch you will see a whale rib ( I thougt it was an elephant tusk) hanging. The legend says that when a honest and pure person will pass under it, the whale rib will fall down.
In Piazza dei Signori you will find other monumental buildings as: Palazzo della Ragione, Palazzo di Cansignorio, Chiesa di Santa Maria Antica, il Palazzo del Podestà, Loggia del Consiglio and, right in the middle of the square, there is a statue of one of the most important italian poet, Dante Alighieri. This is why the Italians calls this Square “Piazza Dante”.
Walking across Piazza dei Signori you will find yourself standing in front, ( probably with your mouth open) of the magnificent Tumbs of the Scala Family. The most important tumb that you will see it is the one of Cangrande,( the Man of Verona, “il Signore di Verona”, whom Dante dedicated his Paradise.
When you will go to Verona you can’t fall in love with the beauty and the history of the churches. Italy is a country that is has always been influenced by the church, this is why they have invested so much money to create stunning churches full of art. In Verona you Can not skip the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, La Chiesa di San Fermo, la Basilica di Santa Anastasia that is a gothic monument embellished with Pisanello’s frescoes.
The Adige is the river that crosses Verona. The city needs several bridges to cross the river. Some of Verona’s bridges are architecture mixed with art.
Ponte Scaligero is a medieval bridge. Walking on the Scaligero you will feel as a old medieval soldier because you have to change to see Verona from the small windows that are located in the ancient wall. Walking across the river on Ponte Scaligero will bring you directly inside Castelvecchio, the medieval castle of Verona, that now it become a Museum.
Choosing to cross Ponte di Pietra you will be a spectator of the most amazing view of the city and the Teatro romano.
Verona is the city where Romeo and Juliet takes place. Check Romeo’s and Juliet’s footprints in Verona.