Sunday, April 22, 2018

Verona, Italy, Part Two

Beautiful Verona, Italy. It is a city often overlooked by tourists, whose focus is on the cities of Milan or Venice, yet Verona holds many interesting and historical sights and is easily explored in a day or two.  Many visitors are interested to explore the sites in Verona made famous by Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet, as I showed in my prior blog post, click here, but there is so much more to see and do.
Piazza delle Erbe in Verona is one of the most historical and picturesque city squares in the whole country. Once the site of the Roman Forum, where chariot races were held, it is now the site for the local market.

Please remember, all photos and photo collages in this post can be enlarged for easier viewing of details by clicking on the photo.

Many stalls and shops line the piazza, as well as cafes and restaurants.

The highlight of this square is the Madonna Verona Fountain, which was created by Cansignorio della Scala in 1368. This 14th-century Roman statue is also known as The Virgin of Verona and is actually a Roman statue that dates back to 380 AD.

The three-story Palazzo Maffei is also on the square and is famous for its Baroque architecture and facade decorated with statues of Greek gods. Standing in front of the building is a white marble column topped with a statue of St. Mark's Lion, a symbol of the Republic of Venice which once ruled Verona.

Piazza Erbe is dominated by the tallest of Verona’s towers, the Torre dei Lamberti, built by the powerful Lamberti Family in 1172. Verona in the Middle Ages was a city dotted with tall towers which were a visible symbol of the wealth and power of the noble families which lived in them. Torre dei Lamberti is a surviving tower to a whole group of towers which rose next to the Palazzo della Ragione and is 276 feet high (84 m).

My husband and I purchased tickets to go up to the top of the tower...

...where we enjoyed seeing the views of the city of Verona and surrounding area.

The tower houses two famous bells at the top, the Rengo, and the Marangona, which kept time and regulated city life. The Marangoni signaled the end of the working day for the artisans and also sounded the alarm in case of fire, whilst the Rengo summoned the Town Council and citizens of Verona in times of war. The bells still ring during funerals.

Close to Piazza Erbe are the very ornate Scaliger Family Tombs. They are a group of five Gothic funerary monuments in Verona, Italy, celebrating the Scaliger family, who ruled in Verona from the 13th to the late 14th century.

We visited the nearby Sant’Anastasia Basilica, which is one of Italy’s rare gems built in the Gothic style. It was constructed by the Dominicans from the 13th to the 15th century.

The Basilica is famous for its fresco of  “Saint George and the Princess of Trebizond” painted by Pisanello, which is located in the Pellegrini Chapel.

Like all churches in Italy, the basilica is full of magnificent artwork and sculptures

A true feast for the eyes!

The hunchback figurines supporting the two stoups at the base of the first columns of the church’s central nave are also famous. The one seen on the top right of the collage is the work of Gabriele Caliari, eldest son of Paolo Caliari, better known as the Veronese.  The one in the bottom of the photo collage above is attributed to Paolo Orifice. Both statues symbolize the humility and poverty of the Veronese population. 

In the Piazza dei Signori stands a statue of the poet Dante Alighieri. It's the work of Ugo Zannoni and was erected in 1865. Verona was where Dante lived for six years between 1312 and 1318 in Cangrande's residence, editing the Inferno and Purgatorio and working on the final part of the Comedia, Paradiso.

In my last post--click here--I also spoke a little bit about Verona's first century Arena, located next to Piazza Bra. Built by the Roman Empire, it was here where gladiators fought to the death before the eyes of 30,000 spectators. After the Empire fell, the arena became the scene of jousts, tournaments, and trials. The Verona arena also became a quarry of fallen stones, when earthquakes knocked down many of its surrounding walls. It is still in remarkable shape and now seats 15,000 inside.  It is most often used for opera productions, but the day we visited Verona a Music Festival Finale was being televised that evening from the arena, and we were fortunate to receive complimentary tickets to attend it.

It was a thrill to walk into the ancient arena that was constructed so long ago. Our seats were one of the cement block rings that lined its inner circular walls, where we had a wonderful view of the stage.

The show began with the finale of a summer-long singing competition, sort of like an American Idol Finale, with three singers that were from Naples, Ragusa, and Milan. Afterward, singers and dancers from around Italy performed.  If you'd like to listen to one of the performers singing you can click here to view the video on my Mille Fiori Favoriti Facebook page. Our very full day in Verona had come to a delightful end. The next day we were traveling on to Padua, another exquisite city in the Veneto region. I hope you will join me again to view some of its treasures in my next blog post.

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Festival Show 2017: here is the grand finale at the Arena di Verona with Alex Britti and Francesco Gabbani
Naples, Ragusa and the band Thema from Milan.


 CHIARA RANIERI from Naples, the singer NICO from Ragusa and the band THEMA from Milan.
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eileeninmd said...

Hello, Verona looks like a beautiful city. I enjoyed your photos and tour.
I have been watching our American Idol, but I prefer The Voice. The Piazza Bra is amazing. The Basilica is beautiful. Lovely photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week!

Maggie said...

Verona is a city steeped in History with a capital H! I loved touring Verona with you both in this post and the previous one. I would love to see it all for myself but can't see that ever happening. Well done you for climbing the highest tower. We visited Siena in 1990 and actually climbed the Torre del Mangia, I don't think I could do that again.
Happy Mosaic Monday.

Tom said...

...WOW, a nonstop photo op! The bird's eye views are great. Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your week.

photodoug said...

Pat, enjoyed the scenic photo tour of Verona. Thanks for sharing.

Calendula said...

Very interesting insight of this historical town! Thanks for it!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

We didn't get to Verona when we were in Italy. I am glad you are sharing your visit with us!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

If I ever get to travel to Italy, I will research the cities you spent time in. I drool over each and every photo you share and post your write! Sweet hugs, Diane

Vee said...

Beautiful, busy city. How did you come to visit? (Forget that...I visited former post and learned that you were visiting relatives nearby. ☺️) I doubt that I would have considered it and so would have missed out.

Tamar SB said...

I love the old style buildings and amount you saw!!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I was amazed at the end of the post to read that you saw all of that in one day! What an amazing place to visit. I can only imagine watching that concert in such an historical place. The town itself is fascinating. I am loving this trip and again am so glad you were able to share it with us.

Lowcarb team member said...

I know if ever I see a programme on the television about Italian Churches and the Basilica it always looks so wonderful.
Your photographs show this too, both the artwork and sculptures are magnificent.

A lovely post Pat, thank you.

All the best Jan

Carol Z said...

I've been to Verona, but I think I need a return trip. Long overdue for a trip to Italy. Hoping to go next summer.

NC Sue said...

Beautiful photos!
Thanks for sharing at

rupam sarma said...

Awesome post. Beautiful pics.

Lady Fi said...

Such a beautiful place and lovely shots! Amazing how two fictitious characters have taken on life!

Lorrie said...

It seems that almost every town in Italy is full of beautiful sights such as Verona has. The view from the tower is amazing. Did you have to climb a lot of stairs? I love the puzzle of red roofs from that viewpoint. Thanks for sharing more of your visit to Italy.

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Love, love, love! Now I want to go there even more! Have a great week! Thanks for sharing!

Wandering Wren said...

I don't know Verona, well I do now through your post... am putting it on my "to visit list" now!
Wren x

Kay L. Davies said...

You have me hooked! If we ever return to Italy, I'd love to visit Verona.
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

ellen b. said...

Looks like a great city to visit, Pat!

Jeanie said...

I think Italy must be a walking art history and architecture tour, Pat. Those basilicas, the art, the wonderful views. I am so impressed. Thank you for taking me there thought your marvelous photos. I just posted about the wines of Italy but I confess, I'd rather be tasting them where you were!

italiafinlandia said...

Nice and precise report about my hometown once again.

annie said...

Verona is forever linked to Shakespeare.
Wonderful photos as usual. Your pictures are always amazing and I am so glad you share them.

Sharon said...

You've convinced me to include Verona in any return trip to Italy. I've been only to the major cities (Rome, Venice) and Cinque Terra. I would love to visit this smaller Italian place!

indah nuria Savitri said...

such an amazing city indeed! we went here back in 2010 and now I miss it! Hope to be back here soon

diane b said...

I'm enjoying your posts about your trip to Italy. getting seats for the concert in such an historical building must have been exciting.

Jill Harrison said...

I've never visited, but I hope I will one day. Till then, thank you for the tour. Happy travels and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.