Via Mazzini is the smartest of Verona's shopping streets. Here you will find the fashion shops and designer boutiques such as Gucci and Versace. This is a street to stroll along, and to window shop. It is one of the streets that the Veronese themselves stroll, to see and be seen. It is also very busy during shopping hours - too busy to photograph ! So this picture was taken late at night, on our way back from the restaurant.
This house, Via Mazzini, 46, seems to be from the XVIth and has twin windows at the first, second and third levels. At the first level, they are framed with small columns that hold arches. At the second level the arches are topped by a carved décor but there are no columns and the third level has plain twin windows with no décor at all. When there was no elevator, the lowest levels were the most prided and the top levels for servants !
Actually, I noticed this carving only when I viewed my pictures and I feel sorry that I have not taken a closer look at it and taken a picture with tele lens. Anyway, I have made an enlargement of the scene. It shows, under an olive tree, a man strangling a lion with its bare hands while two sheeps keep grazing and a third is sleeping (he cannot stand, the poor thing, as it is in the far right corner and there is no head space !). After extensive research, I have found that it represented Hercules fighting the lion Nemeo.
Via Mazzini, la Loggia Arvedi was built in 1816 in a neo-classical style where formerly was Palazzo Pellegrini. Gian Antonio Arvedi, a silk maker hired the architect Giuseppe Barbieri. It is a very fine example of neoclassical style. The three arches are topped by lion's faces on the side, by Mercure's in the middle. At the upper level, the loggia, with an elliptic plan, has ionic columns and a balustra. A triangular tympan tops the whole. It is worth an enlarging (next picture)
Where Via Mazzini meets Via Enrico Noris and Via Valerio Catullo, it is wider. This part was traditionally called "alle campane" (Bells'). In the first half of the XVIIIth century, a bells smelter plant stand there. The name was only kept by a pharmacy but for an unknown reason, the bells turned to "due campane" (two bells) !
Ed Via Mazzini southwards
On the left of the picture the church of San Tommaso Apostolo (Saint Thomas the Apostle), colloquially called San Tomìo. It was already mentioned in 1409 but the church is certainly much older. In the XVIth century, a fragment of a Roman arch from the second century AD was recuperated. It was most likely to be connected with the portic that ran around the Forum (Piazza Erbe). It is now known as "arco di San Tomìo" (Saint Thomas arch).
The importance of Via Mazzini arises from the fact that it is the shortest way to walk from Piazza Delle Erbe, the old center of the city to Piazza Brà, which is now the most popular part of Verona. It was named Via Mazzini in 1907 but before that, it had been colloquially called Via Nuova (New Street) as its first part (north) was drown in 1391 after Gian Galeazzo Visconti, squire of Verona decided to demolish a few houses.
The pinnacle was carved at the end of the "Trecento" (XIVth century). It is about 1.7 high and stands on a renewed column of about 3.5 meter. The top is square and under a canopy has a statue on each face. It was not easy to find that they represented la Madonna (Virgin Mary), Santo Giacomo (Saint James), Santo Antonio Abate (Saint Antony Abate) and San Marco (Saint Marc).
I took this photo for the amazing pinnacle standing at the beginning of Via Mazzini from Piazza Brà, but when I viewed it, I found there was an engraved slab on the front wall of the house 85, via Mazzini, on the southern side, towards the Brà and I tried to read it, what you will be unable to do, as the sharpness of the picture had to be downgraded for VT.
It says :
IN QUESTA CASA
VENTICINQUENNE E INCINTA
CADDE TRUCIDATA DAGLI AUSTRIACI
DI MORIBONDA TIRANNIDE
6 OTTOBRE 1866
"In this house, Carlotta Aschieri, 25 years old and pregnant fall, slaughtered by the Austrian in October 6th 1866, last fire of a dying tyranny"
Verona's shopping street links Piazza Bra and Piazza Erbe. It only takes a few minutes to walk but you could spend ages window shopping here with designer stores such as Gucci to drool over. Its also a popular spot for the street mime artists - some are excellent to watch and really good with the children.
Via Mazzini is a pedestrian only street, on this street you will find some of the most fashionable shops in Italy, where you can buy the best 'Italian design' clothes.