A city with history and the myth of Romeo and Juliet

Categories: Verona Venice Italy

The Italian city of Verona is located in the north-east of the country in the Veneto region. The townscape is characterized by its Roman and medieval history. Thus Verona has numerous monuments and historical buildings worth seeing. Since 2000, the old town has been part of the UNSECO World Heritage Site.
Verona - View of the city and river© serawood / Fotolia

Verona's Roman past
Verona was a Roman colony from 89 B.C. Some impressive buildings from this time have been preserved. The amphiteater, which was probably built in 30 AD, is older than the amphiteater in Rome. Today, operas are performed there in summer.

Although little remains of the Roman city wall, for example a stretch between Castelvecchio and Ponte Aleardi, some of the city gates can still be visited. The Romans once entered the city through the Porta dei Borsari and the Porta dei Leoni. The Arco dei Gavi was indeed demolished in the year 1805 by the French, but in the year 1932, the arch was rebuilt.

Verona's medieval past
In the Middle Ages, the Scalacians, the lords of Verona from 1260 to 1387, built a new fortification around the city. The Castelvecchio was the fortress that was to secure the escape route over the Ponte Scaligero bridge, which spans the Adige river. In the course of time the building was used as a camp and barracks. Today it houses a museum that displays works by Veronese artists from the Gothic period to the 17th century. Around Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori there are numerous medieval town houses, Gothic palaces and ancient fountains to admire.

The myth of Romeo and Juliet
Not far from Piazza delle Erbe is the Casa di Giulietta, the house of Juliet. The building, which used to be an inn, was extended in the 1930s with a balcony modelled on the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Although there were no historical models for the characters of Romeo and Juliet in Verona, the city is inextricably linked to it as the setting for the tragic love story.
Verona - Amphitheater© darkside17 / Fotolia

Important sacred buildings of Verona

Among the most important church buildings in Verona are the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Matricolare. San Zeno Maggiore dates from the 12th/13th century. The bell tower and the large rose window of the façade are particularly impressive. Santa Maria Matricolare was consecrated in the 12th century and is particularly striking for its portal by Nicolò with its Romanesque stonework, the altarpiece by Titian and the Romanesque baptismal font carved from a single pink marble monolith.

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