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Verona

Verona

 

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Description of Verona

Location: Veneto Region, Verona Province  Map

Verona is an Italian town of 257 683 inhabitants, the capital of the homonymous province located in Veneto. It is the second largest city in the region by population after the capital, Venice , and the twelfth nationwide.

Known to be the site of the Romeo and Juliet tragedy, Verona has developed progressively and continuously for two thousand years, integrating high-quality artistic elements from the different periods that have followed one another, including the Della Scala family's government between the thirteenth and sixteenth centurie , and that of the Venetian Republic between the beginning of the fifteenth and the end of the eighteenth century; for its art and architecture and its urban structure, "an excellent example of a fortified city", Verona has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Though close to the more popular tourist destination of Venice, many people consider Verona a more relaxed and pleasant place to visit. There are many tourists, but the number of tourists per square metre is lower.

IAT Verona (Tourist information), Via Degli Alpini, 9 (Piazza Bra), ☎ +39 045 8068680, e-mail: iatverona@provinciadiveronaturismo.it. M-Sa 10:00-13:00, 14:00-18:00.

 

Travel Destinations in Verona

Castelvecchio (Verona)

Corso Castelvecchio 2

Tel. 045 806 26 11

Open: 8:30am- 7:30pm Tue- Sun

1:30pm- 7:30pm Mon

Last admission 1 hour before closing

Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25& 26

Castelvecchio was constructed by Cangrande II between 1355 and 1375. It design influenced construction of the Kremlin in Moscow.

 

Porte Scaligero (Verona)

Constructed by Cangrande II between 1354 and 1375 it became one of the symbols of Verona. The bridge that stands today was restored after retreating Germans troops blew up the bridge.

Ancient Roman Arena (Verona)

Ancient Roman Arena (Verona)

Piazza Bra

Tel. 045 800 32 04

Open: 8:30am- 7:30pm Tue- Sun

1:30pm- 7:30pm Mon, last admission 1 hour before closing

Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25, 26, Jun- Aug from mid- afternoon for performance

Ancient Roman Arena of Verona was completed in 30 AD during reign of emperor Tiberius. This amphitheatre was third largest in the Roman empire. It as large enough to seat all residents of Verona in the Roman times. Much of stonework from the exterior wall was reused in other constructions.

 

 

 

 

 

Teatre Romano/ Museo Archeologic (Verona)

 

Rigaste Redentore 2

Tel. 045 800 03 60

Open: 8:30am- 7:30pm Tue- Sun,1:30pm- 7:30pm Mon

Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25&26

Duomo (Verona)

Piazza Duomo

Tel. 045 59 28 13

Open: daily

Closed: Nov- Feb Mondays

San Fermo Maggiore (Verona)

 

Stradone San Fermo

Tel. 045 59 28 13

Open: daily (Nov- Feb, Tue- Sun)

It actually consists of two church. The lower church dates to 1065 and upper church was constructed in 1313.

Sant'Anastasia (Verona)

Piazza Sant'Anastasia

Tel. 045 59 28 13

Open: daily

Closed: Nov- Feb Mondays

Casa di Giulietta (Verona)

 Joliet's balcony

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

Via Cappello 27

The house of Joliet is a location for fictitious story of "Romeo and Joliet".

 

San Zeno Maggiore (Verona)

Piazza San Zeno

Tel. 045 59 18 13

Open: 8:30am- 6pm Mon- Sat, 1pm- 6pm Sun

Nov- Feb 10am- 1pm, 1:30pm- 4pm Tue- Sun, 1pm- 5pm Sun

 

 

 

 

History of Verona

Foundation

The area on which Verona stands has been inhabited since the Neolithic , when there was the probable presence of a village near the southern area of San Pietro hill along the Adige river , one of the few wading points of the river. The hill of San Pietro is in fact an area rich in finds, and there were even found the remains of the houses that formed the old village. During the protohistoric period in the Verona area came the Cenomani Gauls , which settled in the west, up to the Adige River, and most probably the hill village was inhabited together by the Cenomani and the Venetians.

The Latin historians have accredited to Euganei , Reti , Veneti , Etruschi or Galli Cenomani the origins of Verona: the historian Polibio states that in his time (II century BC) the Venetian ethnic group was still numerous among the population of the city, and indeed the Venetian presence is well documented, particularly at the San Pietro hill, and this assertion is based on the Venetian foundation hypothesis; the hypothesis of the foundation by the Reti and together of the Euganei was instead formulated by Pliny the Elder (of the first among other things the presence is ascertained by the numerous findings in the Veronese territory of their ceramics ); that by the Cenomani Gauls was instead supported by Tito Livio.

 

Ancient history

The first contacts between Rome and Verona are documented around the III century BC: there were immediate relations of friendship and alliance. Probably the first contacts were in 390 BC, when the Gauls of Brennus invaded the same Rome: perhaps thanks to a diversion of the Venetians, the Gauls may have been forced to come to terms with the Romans. Cenomani and Veneti Gauls helped the Romans several times, even in the conquest of Cisalpine Gaul. In 174 BC, following the subjugation of Gallia cisalpina and the beginning of a new period of colonization of the Po Valley , the great strategic importance of Verona began to reveal itself. The Roman senate asked Cenomani and Veneti for the extension of the fortified castrum they had granted him on the San Pietro hill, while Roman settlers and indigenous peoples laid the foundations for the construction of a new city within the bend of the Adige.

Thanks to Cesare Verona, he obtained, in 49 BC, Roman citizenship and, through the Lex Roscia, he was given the rank of a city and granted fields of 3,700 km²: the town could then boast the name of Res publica Veronensium.

During the Republican period Verona developed and its economy grew: in this period the city, now moved in the bend of the Adige, began to grow and modernize. During the imperial period the city became an even more important strategic node, as it was used as a temporary base for the legions. Under the emperor Vespasiano the city reached the peak of wealth and splendor: the last great work, in the first century, was the Arena, built because the city, which had now exceeded 25,000 inhabitants, needed of a large building to allow all the inhabitants to attend the shows.

Verona then found itself also invested by the barbarian invasions, being the first bastion of Italy to descents from northern Europe. For this reason the emperor Gallieno, in 265, had the city walls enlarged to include the Arena, fortifying it in only seven months.

 

The city became important because it was at the intersection of several roads. Stilicho defeated Alaric and his Visigoths here in 403. But, after Verona was conquered by the Ostrogoths in 489, the Gothic domination of Italy began. Theoderic the Great was said to have built a palace there. It remained under the power of the Goths throughout the Gothic War (535–552), except for a single day in 541, when the Byzantine officer Artabazes made an entrance. The defections that took place among the Byzantine generals with regard to the booty made it possible for the Goths to regain possession of the city. In 552 Valerian vainly endeavored to enter the city, but it was only when the Goths were fully overthrown that they surrendered it.

In 569, it was taken by Alboin, King of the Lombards, in whose kingdom it was, in a sense, the second most important city. There, Alboin was killed by his wife in 572. The dukes of Treviso often resided there. Adalgisus, son of Desiderius, in 774 made his last desperate resistance in Verona to Charlemagne, who had destroyed the Lombard kingdom. Verona became the ordinary residence of the kings of Italy, the government of the city becoming hereditary in the family of Count Milo, progenitor of the counts of San Bonifacio. From 880 to 951 the two Berengarii resided there. Otto I ceded to Verona the marquisate dependent on the Duchy of Bavaria.

 

In the years following 1000, northern Italy was devastated by numerous wars, but Verona remained loyal to the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire during the long investiture struggle with the Papacy. The birth of the Commune took place in 1136 with the election of the first consuls, while two parties were emerging which would later be called Guelphs and Ghibellines. Verona was at first particularly struck by the struggle between these two factions, also because in the countryside there were the main forces of the Guelph party (with the greatest exponents the Counts of Sambonifacio), while the city was predominantly Ghibelline (among the major exponents of the Montecchi, made famous by the drama Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare).

Verona was also the papal seat for five years. Pope Lucius III in 1181 established the Pontifical Curia in the city and in his death, in 1185, was buried in the choir of the Cathedral . In the Conclave that was held in Verona in the same year Pope Urban III was elected. Urban was determined to excommunicate the emperor Federico Barbarossa but the Veronese, fearing retaliation by Federico, protested against such a procedure taken within their walls to the point that Urban, in 1186, decided to move together with the Curia in Ferrara, where he died a few months later.

 

When Ezzelino III da Romano was elected podestà in 1226, he converted the office into a permanent lordship. In 1257 he caused the slaughter of 11,000 Paduans on the plain of Verona (Campi di Verona). Upon his death, the Great Council elected Mastino I della Scala as podestà, and he converted the "signoria" into a family possession, though leaving the burghers a share in the government. Failing to be re-elected podestà in 1262, he effected a coup d'état, and was acclaimed capitano del popolo, with the command of the communal troops. Long internal discord took place before he succeeded in establishing this new office, to which was attached the function of confirming the podestà. In 1277, Mastino della Scala was killed by the faction of the nobles.

The reign of his son Alberto as capitano (1277–1302) was a time of incessant war against the counts of San Bonifacio, who were aided by the House of Este. Of his sons, Bartolomeo, Alboino and Cangrande I, only the last shared the government (1308); he was great as warrior, prince, and patron of the arts; he protected Dante, Petrarch, and Giotto. By war or treaty, he brought under his control the cities of Padua (1328), Treviso (1308) and Vicenza. At this time before the Black death the city was home to more than 40,000 people.

Cangrande was succeeded by Mastino II (1329–1351) and Alberto, sons of Alboino. Mastino continued his uncle's policy, conquering Brescia in 1332 and carrying his power beyond the Po. He purchased Parma (1335) and Lucca (1339). After the King of France, he was the richest prince of his time. But a powerful league was formed against him in 1337 – Florence, Venice, the Visconti, the Este, and the Gonzaga. After a three years war, the Scaliger dominions were reduced to Verona and Vicenza (Mastino's daughter Regina-Beatrice della Scala married to Barnabò Visconti). Mastino's son Cangrande II (1351–1359) was a cruel, dissolute, and suspicious tyrant; not trusting his own subjects, he surrounded himself with Brandenburg mercenaries. He was killed by his brother Cansignorio (1359–1375), who beautified the city with palaces, provided it with aqueducts and bridges, and founded the state treasury. He also killed his other brother, Paolo Alboino. Fratricide seems to have become a family custom, for Antonio (1375–87), Cansignorio's natural brother, slew his brother Bartolomeo, thereby arousing the indignation of the people, who deserted him when Gian Galeazzo Visconti of Milan made war on him. Having exhausted all his resources, he fled from Verona at midnight (19 October 1387), thus putting an end to the Scaliger domination, which, however, survived in its monuments.

The year 1387 is also the year of the famous Battle of Castagnaro, between Giovanni Ordelaffi, for Verona, and John Hawkwood, for Padua, who was the winner.

Antonio's son Canfrancesco attempted in vain to recover Verona (1390). Guglielmo (1404), natural son of Cangrande II, was more fortunate; with the support of the people, he drove out the Milanese, but he died ten days after, and Verona then submitted to Venice (1405). The last representatives of the Scaligeri lived at the imperial court and repeatedly attempted to recover Verona by the aid of popular risings.

From 1508 to 1517, the city was in the power of the Emperor Maximilian I. There were numerous outbreaks of the plague, and in 1629–33 Italy was struck by its worst outbreak in modern times. Around 33,000 people died in Verona (over 60 per cent of the population at the time) in 1630–1631.

In 1776 was developed a method of bellringing called Veronese bellringing art. Verona was occupied by Napoleon in 1797, but on Easter Monday the populace rose and drove out the French. It was then that Napoleon made an end of the Venetian Republic. Verona became Austrian territory when Napoleon signed the Treaty of Campo Formio in October 1797. The Austrians took control of the city on 18 January 1798. It was taken from Austria by the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805 and became part of Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy, but was returned to Austria following Napoleon's defeat in 1814, when it became part of the Austrian-held Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia.

 

The Congress of Verona, which met on 20 October 1822, was part of the series of international conferences or congresses that opened with the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15 - and marked the effective breakdown of the "Concert of Europe".

In 1866, following the Six Weeks War, Verona, along with the rest of Venetia, became part of United Italy.

The advent of fascism added another dark chapter to the annals of Verona. As throughout Italy, the Jewish population was hit by the Manifesto of Race, a series of anti-Semitic laws passed in 1938, and after the invasion by Nazi Germany in 1943, deportations to Nazi concentration camps. An Austrian Fort (now a church, the Santuario della Madonna di Lourdes), was used to incarcerate and torture Allied troops, Jews and anti-fascists, especially after 1943, when Verona became part of the Italian Social Republic.

As in Austrian times, Verona became of great strategic importance to the regime. Galeazzo Ciano, Benito Mussolini's son-in-law, was accused of plotting against the republic; in a show trial staged by the Nazi and fascist hierarchy at Castelvecchio (the Verona trial), Ciano was executed on the banks of the Adige with many other officers on what is today Via Colombo. This marked another turning point in the escalation of violence that would only end with the final liberation by allied troops and partisans in 1945.

After World War II, as Italy entered into NATO, Verona once again acquired its strategic importance, due to its 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 is decreasing only in these recent years. Now Verona is an important and dynamic city, very active in terms of economy, and also a very important tourist attraction thanks to its history, where the Roman past lives side by side with the Middle Age Verona, which in some senses brings about its architectural and artistic motifs.

 

 

Transport

Get in
By plane
1 Aeroporto Valerio Catullo (VRN IATA) (12 km from the city). Also known as Verona Villafranca Airport. Mostly budget flights, including from Brussels (both National & Charleroi), Dublin, London (Gatwick & Stansted), Paris Beauvais, and Madrid, and domestic routes from Alghero, Palermo, Trapani, Brindisi and Rome. Free WiFI is available with registration, SID: @FreeLuna_CATULLO.

Connections to the city:
Aerobus (Line 199). From the airport: 05:35, 06:30, then every 20 minutes until 20:30, and every 40 minutes until 23:10. From the station: 05:15, 06:10, then every 20 minutes until 20:10, and every 40 minutes until 22:50. This bus service connects the airport with Verona Porta Nuova railway station. Tickets can be bought directly from the bus driver. €6.

If you have a rental car the trip to Verona isn't difficult: take the A4 towards Padova (Padua) and follow all the way to Verona (approx 7 km).
Venice Marco Polo (VCE IATA) is further but has far more flights. From there take the shuttle bus to Mestre railway station (25 min), then the train to Verona (1 hour) – see Venice: Get in by air page for shuttle bus details.

Also within a couple of hours of Verona are Venice Treviso and Bergamo airports. These have no obvious advantage.

By train
2 Stazione di Verona Porta Nuova. The main railway station in the city. You can reach Verona Porta Nuova station by train from Milan (1:22 hr by EuroCity train (EC)[€18.00], 1hr 50min by Regionale Veloce (RV) [€9.05]), from Venice (1h10 by EuroCity (EC) [€19.00], 1hr 22min by RegionaleVeloce (RV)[€6,25], 2h10 by Regionale (R)[€6.25]), from Bologna (49min by TAV [€22], 1hr 28min by RegionaleVeloce (RV) [€7.55]), or from Munich (5hr 30min by EuroCity).
Some local trains (regionali) also stop at another station in Verona, 3 Stazione di Verona Porta Vescovo.

By bus
4 APTV stazione. Buses to destinations in the province. Ticket office is in the railway station building. There are automated tickets machines at the platforms.

Get around
City bus schedules are difficult to obtain on-line and also not available on maps.google.com. The 11, 12 or 13 bus on weekdays will get you from the train station (Stazione Porta Nuova) to the Arena (Piazza Bra). Sunday and holiday schedules differ with a separate numbering system. You can obtain bus schedules sending SMS to a number printed on bus stop. Some of them have an indication of the time left for next bus to arrive. You can pay the fare using euro directly on the bus, but only for one ticket, while you can easily buy tickets at a lower fare nearly everywhere there is a cigarette or lotto shop. ATV shops are in the railway station and in Piazza Renato Simoni, near the railway station.

 

 

 

 

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