Verona – Castelvecchio – San Zeno Maggiore

Do Castelvecchio

The most impressive Roman monument in Verona, not counting the Arena, jest Porta dei Borsari (the zbiegu via Diaz and Corso Porta Borsari), construction, which - like the amphitheater - had a great influence on the architects of the Renaissance. Currently, it is only a monumental rainbow that connects both sides of the road, but once the Porta dei Borsari was the largest Roman gate in Verona; the inscription gives the date 265 r., but the structure is probably much older.

A little further on Corso Cavour, which starts at Porta dei Borsari, Archo dei Gavi rises, Roman triumphal arch from the 1st century. This is the best place, from which you can admire the Ponte Scaligero; the bridge was built in 1355-1375 Cangrande II, a w 1945 r. it was blown up by the Germans — rubble was used for reconstruction.

Around the same period, Cangrande II ordered a fortress to be built (next to the bridge) Castefcecchio, the fortress of the successive rulers of Verona. W 1925 r. the fortress was opened as a municipal museum, bombed during the Second World War, but after a meticulous restoration, it was reopened in 1964 r. (codz. 8.00-23.00; 5000 L).

Image collections, jewelry, weapons and other relics are exhibited at Castelvecchio in a maze of halls, courtyards and passages, whose sightseeing is fascinating in itself. In the courtyard there is the equestrian statue of Cangrande I, removed from his tomb. Watching the statue up close, it is difficult to reconcile the simpleton's smile with the image of a ruthless prince conveyed by history. Two works by Jacopo Bellini stand out among the paintings, two Madonnas by Giovanni Bellini, another Madonna Pisanella, The Descent from the Cross by Paola Veronese, Tintoretto's Christmas, portrait by Lotto and the works of the Tiepol family. The most pleasant way, however, is to wander among the rooms, often filled with anonymous sculptures and frescoes from the late Middle Ages.

San Zeno Maggiore

Just over a kilometer northwest of Castelvecchio is the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, one of the most significant Romanesque churches in northern Italy. The first church was erected here on the tomb of the bishop of Verona, Zeno, already in the 5th century, but the present structure and campanile date from the first half of the 12th century, with additions from the period up to the end of the 14th century. A large rosette, depicting the wheel of fortune, dates back to the beginning of the 12th century., and so is the great portal, on the lintels of which there are reliefs symbolizing the months (it is worth paying attention to St.. Zeno trampling on Satan). Unusual bronze door frames, depicting scenes from the Bible and the life of St.. Zeno, they carry Byzantine and Ottoman influences; most of the doorframes on the left are from the period around 1100 r., and on the right - a hundred years later. The high and simple interior is covered with frescoes, sometimes superimposed on top of each other, sometimes obliterated under ancient Roman graffiti. Though the frescoes are quite interesting, the greatest painting in the church is the altar Madonna and Saints Mantegni.

North of Adige

On the other side of the Ponte Garibaldi is the Church of San Giorgio in Braida, which is accessed either along the waterfront, or through public gardens. It contains the most works of art of any of the temples in Verona. Tintoretto's Baptism hangs over the door, while in the main altar designed by Sanmicheli there is the miraculous Martyrdom of St.. Jerzego Paola Veronese.

Next to the 12th-century Church of Santo Stefano and Ponte Pietra, you will walk along the waterfront to the Teatro Romano from the 1st century. p.n.e. (wt.-nd. 9.00-12.00 i 14.30-18.00); this largely rebuilt theater is now the venue, where concerts and dramatic performances take place. High above the theater, in the buildings of the old monastery, is located Museo Archeologico, which is reached by an impressive dilapidated elevator; Here you can see a well-structured collection of Greek finds, Roman and Etruscan.

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