Verona’s largest church, the impressive brick facade of Basilica Sant'Anastasia has been a fixture of the city for hundreds of years. Located in the historical center, it’s also one of the city’s finest examples of Italian Gothic architecture.
The basilica is named after Saint Anastasia, a martyr who lived in the 4th century AD. The basilica kept the name of an earlier church that stood on the same site, although it’s also dedicated to St. Peter, one of Verona’s patron saints. Construction of the current church started in 1290 and continued for hundreds of years. In fact, the facade is still unfinished; there’s a painting above the altar that shows how the final design was meant to look.
The basilica was the main place of worship for Verona’s ruling families, including the influential Scaliger family. The interior, with its richly decorated vaulted ceiling and ornate side chapels, often features on guided tours of the city. Another highlight: the fresco of St. George and the Princess by 15th-century artist Pisanello.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Entry to the basilica is via paid ticket, but it’s free if you’re attending mass.
- Gain combined entry into multiple attractions with the Verona Card.
- Pisanello’s famous fresco can be found above the entrance to the Pellegrini chapel.
How to Get There
The Basilica Sant'Anastasia stands on Piazza Sant'Anastasia, and it’s within walking distance of other points in central Verona. Visitors can also opt to visit the church as part of a guided bike or Segway tour. Hop-on-hop-off tour buses are also within walking distance.
When to Get There
The church is open daily; on Sundays and on holidays, it’s open only in the afternoon. It can be especially busy on weekends, so visit during the week for a quieter experience.
Visit the Scaliger Tombs
Although the Basilica Sant'Anastasia served as the Scaligers’ main church, the family also had Santa Maria Antica, a private chapel nearby. Today, this is where you can view the Scaliger tombs, which are famous for their ornate Gothic decoration. A symbol of one family’s power over the city, the tombs add an interesting depth to any visit to Verona.