Straddling the Adige River in Veneto is Verona, situated in northern Italy is one of the seven chief-lieus of the region. Verona is the third largest city in northeast Italy and the second largest in the region.
Due to the artistic heritage it owns and annual fairs, operas and shows it is one of the main touristic destination in northern Italy.
Because of the urban structure, architecture and the importance of its many historical buildings, the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city strives to preserve its many Roman monuments since the early Middle Ages and even though many were badly damaged or destroyed by the January 1117 earthquake. After the earthquake, reconstruction began in a Romanesque style. An important description of Verona in the early medieval era represents the Versus de Verona from the Carolingian period.
When you’re in Verona there are many Roman edifices still available to visit, such as the Roman military settlement which is located in the centre of the city now. The structure can still be seen by air and has been carefully preserved to the present day. Mostly hidden from view, the roman city sits virtually intact at about 6 m below the surface.
Near the Roman forum is the Piazza delle Erbe which was rebuilt using materials such as marble statues and blocks from Roman villages and spas, by the lord of Verona Cansignorio della Scala I and Cangrande I.
One famous construction that makes Verona famous is its amphitheatre, the Arena. The Arena is located in the Piazza Bra, the city largest. The construction was completed around the year 30 AD and it measures up to the width of 110m and length of 139m. It is ranked third largest construction in Italy, after the Colosseum and the arena at Capua. Inside this gladiator games and shows took place and when it was in use it attracted people from way beyond the city. Only a part of the outer perimeter wall original size has remained made in white and pink limestone from Valpolicella and the current two-story facade is the internal support for the tiers. The interior however is fairly intact and is still being put to good use for public events, open-air opera and fairs.
There are several other Roman monuments that can be seen in town, for example the Roman theatre of Verona which was built in the 1st century BC and after not being used for some time, it was built upon and used for housing. A wealthy Veronese bought all the houses built over the theatre in the 18th century and demolished them thus saving the theatre. Near this location there is the Roamn landmark Ponte di Pietra which survived through the time to this day
Another significant construction, which was built in 1st century AD, was the Arco dei Gavi. The construction is famous because it has the architects name engraved on which was unusual in those times. Near the Gavi Arch there is the Porta Borsari, an archway located at the end of Sorso Porta Borsari. It is what’s left of a 3rd century gate that was attached to the original Roman city walls. The inscription gives the name of the city as Colonia Verona Augusta and it is dated back to 245 AD.
Another noted ruin from the 1st century BC is Porta Leoni, which was part of the Roman city gate. It is an open archaeological site the street and from the present street lever you can see the gate contains a small court which was guarded by towers. This is where inspections of the carriages entering or exiting the city were done.
Verona is a city full of the mysterious aura of the history of a great civilisation and it has a certain romantic feel to it. It is amazing to be able to see so many constructions, which just show how fragile and ephemeral life can be and at the same time it show how what we leave behind can be a testimony of our lives. Many visit Verona and fall in love with the wonderful atmosphere and decide to move there. If you are one of those you can just relax and leave it all to us. We can and will help you to make your transit a stress-free one.
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Photographer: Lo Scaligero