Old Verona

As far as the quality and the preservation of its Roman antiquities are concerned, Verona is second only to Rome.

Its luminous marble monuments will take you two thousand years back in time: its famous Amphitheatre, the Roman Theatre (older than the Arena), Ponte Pietra ( the "pons lapideus", the Roman Bridge built over a natural ford used by people for centuries), the Arco dei Gavi (Gavi Triumphal Arch) erected to celebrate one of the most influential families of the city.

You will be able to see the monumental gateways which greet the visitor - Porta Borsari and Porta Leoni and which testify to the grandeur of the Roman Empire. A simple walk along Corso Cavour, Corso Portoni Borsari and Corso Santa Anastasia practically leads you along the ancient Roman Via Postumia which ended up in the Roman Forum, now Piazza Erbe.

Beneath the level of the street, the fascinating remains of Roman villas and mosaics have come to light, giving a glimpse of the magnificence of Verona's Roman past. For a journey back in time a visit to the Scavi Scaligeri or the Villa at Valdonega is an absolute must. The rule of the Scaligeri transformed Verona's appearance, with its fortifications, the beautiful Castelvecchio and its nearby Ponte Scaligero, Cangrande's palace and other palaces of the Della Scala Family (Lords of Verona), the Domus Mercatorum and Piazza Erbe and last but not least, their splendid intricate funerary monuments, the "Arche Scaligere".

Even the period of Venetian domination has left its mark on the city - the palaces of its nobles, the art-works of its great painters in the Castelvecchio Museum and the churches of the city. The Renaissance Palaces of noble families line the streets - Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Palazzo Pompei, Palazzo Maffei, the "Loggia del Consiglio" and the Domus Nova in Piazza dei Signori ("Lords' Square").

The figure of a great architect dominates this particular period, that of Michele Sanmicheli who designed the gateways to the city - Porta Nuova, Porta Palio, Porta San Zeno and Porta Vescovo. During the period of Austrian domination Verona becomes the lynch-pin of a perfect defensive system of fortresses and walls known as the "Quadrilatero". Bastions and fortresses guard the city, and both civil and military architecture flourishes (Palazzo Barbieri and the Arsenal).

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