Architecture of Verona
By Viator, February 2015
Many cities in Italy have monuments left over from centuries past, but in Verona those vestiges of a time gone by don’t look so out of place. Verona is a rare city that’s developed over 2,000 years — as UNESCO says in its World Heritage Site designation — “progressively and uninterruptedly,” so the city’s architecture reflects the steady march from antiquity through the present day. This is a large part of the reason why the historic center was added to UNESCO’s list in the year 2000.
Verona is recognized by UNESCO as having an array of well-preserved structures from the Ancient Roman era, the medieval era, and the Renaissance. Foremost among its Roman-era monuments is the enormous amphitheatre. Only Rome’s Colosseum is larger when it comes to amphitheatres in Italy, and Verona’s is filled with the sounds of opera performances every summer. Other Roman monuments in Verona include two arched city gates, a stone bridge crossing the river, and a Roman theatre.
An early 12th century earthquake destroyed or heavily damaged many of the buildings in Verona, which led to a great deal of rebuilding in that era. Consequently, much of the notable architecture in the city dates from the 12th century — including the gorgeous basilica dedicated to the city’s patron saint, San Zeno, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, and Santa Maria Antica — the parish church of Verona’s great Scaligeri family. Add to these the beautiful buildings that surround the city’s pretty piazzas — many of the buildings have frescoes on the outside, so don’t forget to look up — and any number of historically insignificant (but still lovely) buildings lining the cobbled streets and you’ve got the makings of a treasure trove for any lover of architecture.