The civic and political heart of Verona is the Piazza dei Signori where the former city hall, the Loggia del Consiglio, still graces the square. Next door, the city's most powerful family, the Scaligeri, built their palazzo - not that they were trying to intimidate the councilors at all. It may after all have just been a matter of convenience, as the Scaligeri most often held the title of Lord of Verona and got to sit in the big chair anyway. Even in death they didn't like to be too far away and the tombs of the Scaligeri clan are at the far end of the piazza in Arche Scaligere.
While not huge, architecturally the Piazza dei Signori is significant, with a mixture of styles, all joined by a series of arches. One of these leads to the nearby Piazza delle Erbe, a marketplace. The arch, the Arco della Costa, contains a whale's rib which is said in legend to fall on the first just person to walk under it. So far it remains firmly in place.
In the middle of the square is a statue of the writer Dante. One of the Scagileri, Cangrande I, was his patron.
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