The Piazza's, Verona
Palazzo Barbieri occupying large space at Piazza Bra, it is neo-Classical structure built on the site of demolished Misericordia hospital. The palace was built from 1835 to 1848 by Giuseppe Barbieri and primarly had military purpose housing Grand Guardia Nuova. Later on the palace was home for the council offices.
Inside the building hang two large pictures illustrating two very important battles for the city of Verona, the first one representing victory over Barbarossa at Vacaldo in 1164, while the second illustrating victory of the Veronese over Benacensi in 1849.
Favorite thing: This is side of Palazzo del Comune which overlooking Piazza dei Signori. It was long time very neglected and I still remember it from my first visit of Verona more then fourthy years ago. Those fellow Vt members who attended meeting back in 2005 probably have the same pictures of this part of the complex as mine middle picture displaying here.
The courtyard of Palazzo della Podesta with its Renaissance well, and with its Gothic open gallery, which used to be decorated with frescoes by Altichiero painted in the 14th century, is of particular interest.
Both this Palazzo and the nearby Church of Santa Maria Antica have close associations with Dante who found his "first refuge and welcome" in the home of the Scala family.
Teatro Filarmonico is the chief theatre in Verona, and was one of the most important, as well as one of the most beautiful theatres in 18th century Italy.
Built in 1716 to the design of the well known architect and stage designer Francesco Bibiena, it was destoyed by fire in 1760 and had to be completely rebuilt.
The building was again destroyed in 1945, this time by bombing.
Thanks to the Academia Filarmonica Veronese, the owners of the theatre, it has now been completely restored by the architect V. Filippini, who has faithfully reproduced the beautiful 18th century proscenium arch.
Favorite thing: The Palazzo della Gran Guardia, the first building on the left of the Portoni, although similar in style to the work of Sanmicheli was, in fact, built in 1610 by Domenico Curtoni. The Palace remained incomplete until 1820, and is notable for its massive bulk, as well as the forceful design of the facade, the doorway, and the windows.
Favorite thing: The entrance to Piazza Bra goes through an archway known as the Portoni della Bra, consisting of two huge arches surmounted by battlements which formed part of the walls built by Gian Galeazzo Visconti at the end of the 14th century. This gateway is flanked on one side by the Torre Pentagona, which was also built at the end of the 14th century.
One of Verona's attractions, somewhat overshadowed by the Piazza Erbe adjacent, is the Piazza dei Signori.
The 19th century statue of Dante is the centrepiece and he seems to be viewing the dominant Palazzo del Capitano, once the home of the military in Verona, specifically the heirarchy. This dates from the Scaligeri times (13th and 14th centuries).
Behind Dante is the Renaissance Loggia del Consiglio (1493) which coincides with the Venetian rule and is today used as a council chamber. It is topped by statues of notable Romans who were born here, Pliny the Elder being the one familiar to most.
Fondest memory: The Statue of Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321) was erected in 1865 and was designed by Ugo Zannoni. The Palazzo del Comune is where Dante wrote the Purgatorio (Inferno), Loggia del Consiglio and the Torre dei Lamberti.
Dante Alighieri was arguably the greatest Italian poet, a statesman and a language theorist. His greatest and best known work is "Divine Comedy" written between 1310 and 1314. It is a masterpiece of world literature. He is also called the Father of Italian Language and is regarded as one of the most important writers in European literature.
Despite his fame today, he lived part of his life in exile. He stayed in Verona briefly as a guest of Bartolomeo I della Scala, the then ruler of Verona.
Following the Scaligeris, the Venetians held sway over Verona (it was the second largest town in their region) and their influence can be seen today by the white column just to the right of centre. The pedestal holds a lion, the symbol of the Venetian city state.
Column of Lion of St. Mark is also known as San Marco Column (Colonna di San Marco). It was designed by Michele Leoni and was erected in 1523. It is located at the northern end of Piazza delle Erbe just opposite Palazzo Maffei. The column was scupltured in Veronese white marble and is a bit of a standout when viewed from the opposite end of Piazza delle Erbe.
The lion on top of the column is not an original one which was brought down in the late 18th century. The current lion was replaced on the top of the column in the mid 19th century
Fondest memory: Directly behind it is the Palazzo Maffei (1668), a delightful baroque palace connected to the much earlier (1370) Torre del Gardello that was built by Cansignorio della Scala.
The facade of the palace has Baroque style of architecture. It was constructed for Marcantonio Maffei (1626 - 1630) and was completed in 1668. It's real eye candy for those who enjoy such things.
Atop the roof of Palazzo Maffei you will note six magnificent statues; they are of Hercules, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, Apollo and Minerva. Understandly, this building, along with the surrounding buildings are among the most expensive properties in Verona. Several shops are located at the ground floor of the palace.
The Piazza Erbe (from the Latin for herb) is undoubtedly one of Italy's finest, even viewed in the drizzling rain that accompanied me everywhere.
Favorite thing: Next to the tall houses of the old Ghetto is a low building with its battlements and porticos. It was formerly the Domus Mercatorum, a magnificent Romanesque building, designed in 1301 by Alberto I della Scala, and extesively altered in the 19th century.
The most important monument in the Piazza dei Signori is the splendid Loggia del Consiglio, which was built between 1476 and 1493, as the seat of the city council. Loggia is the first significant expression of the Veronese Renaissance.
It consists of an elegant portico and an order of mullioned windows flanked by small pilasters. Statues of Catullus, Pliny, Marcus, Vitruvius and Cornelius Nepos by Alberto da Milano (1493) crown the building.
Fondest memory: The statue of Dante Alighieri stands in the centre of the square, the work of Ugo Zannoni, completed in 1865.
Palazzo dei Scaligeri is known also as Palazzo della Podesta, nowadays the Prefecture of Verona.
The original building dates from the 12th century, but through the centuries it has been extensively altered. The facade itself, with its battlements in the style prevalent during the Ghibelline period, is the result of fairly recent restoration works.
Fondest memory: The magnificent doorway on the front facade of 1533 is by famous Sanmicheli. Dante and Giotto stayed here as guests of the Scaligeri.
Piazza Bra is the largest Square in Verona, in fact one of the most spacious and impressive in the whole Italy.
As a metter of fact the meaning of Italian word "braida" is large. Bra is shortage of braida.
The centre of Piazza Bra is occupied by public gardens, containing a statue erected in 1883 to Vittorio Emanuele II.
Many of the buildings which form three sides of the square are of great architectural importance.
Fondest memory: The fourth side of the square has a gracefully curving line of buildings. The line of the buildings is further amphasised by a very wide pavement, known as the Listone. Among these buildings, the most important arcitecturally is the Palazzo Guastaverza, designed by Sanmicheli.
In the countyard of Palazzo del Capitano, opposite to Porta Bombardiera, stands a big statue of Count
Mathias von der Schulemburg, an "employee" of Venetian Republic, that became famous during the defense of Corfù at the end of the XVII century and became a governor of the Serenissima. The monument of Mathias von der Schulemburg and on his left, Werner von der Schulemburg (writer), was inaugurated in october 2003. The epigraph declaims in italian:
A J. Matthias von der Schulenburg(1661-1747), raffigurato in questa statua settecentesca, feldmaresciallo della Serenissima, eroico difensore di Corfù dai Turchi (1716), poi governatore militare di Verona, rendeva omaggio Werner von der Schulenburg (1881-1958), letterato tedesco innamorato dell’Italia e di Verona, che con agile penna rievocò le gesta dell’antenato.
Favorite thing: In the courtyard of the Palazzo del Capitano you can find the door called the " Porta Bombardiera", dating from 1687. The colums of this door are really original; they represent two cannon's pipes.
Via Cappello is the main street that leads to Piazza delle Erbe, the heart of the town. If you want, you can call this it "The poetry's street", becuase of the Capuleti's house that inspired Shakespeare for his tragedy.
Vorìa cantar Verona, a una çerta ora
de note, quando monta su la luna
quando i boschi che dorme el par che i cora
dentro sogni de arche a far fortuna..
Today Via Cappello is maybe less romantic than inthe past, but very crowed and full of elegant boutiques as Via Mazzini.