Piazza delle Erbe (Market Square) is the bustling heart of UNESCO World Heritage–listed Verona. Cafés and elegant buildings front the rectangular square, whose centerpiece is the 14th-century Madonna Verona Fountain (Fontana di Madonna Verona)—an allegory of the city topped by an ancient Roman statue of a female figure holding a scroll bearing the civic motto.
Piazza delle Erbe has been Verona’s main market square since Roman times, and still today visitors can peruse stalls stacked high with seasonal produce, local specialties, souvenirs, wine, and olive oil, or settle in at a table outside one of the many eateries that line the square. The prominent Madonna Verona fountain was designed in 1368 by Cansignorio della Scala, Lord of Verona during the reign of the powerful Scaligeri family. The base on which the fourth-century Roman statue stands is decorated with four water-spouting masks that represent the historic rulers of the city: Vero, the Lombard King Alboino, Berengario, and Verona. In addition to the fountain, the piazza is home to the medieval Torre dei Lamberti, Baroque Palazzo Maffei, crenellated Casa dei Mercanti, and frescoed Mazzanti houses, and is an important stop during any guided tour of the city’s highlights.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Other sights included in walking tours of Verona are the Roman arena in Piazza Bra, Castelvecchio, and the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore.
- Piazza delle Erbe is a pedestrian area, so it is perfect for families with young children.
How to Get There
Verona is located in Italy’s Veneto region, halfway between Venice and Milan and just west of Padua. La Piazza delle Erbe and its famous fountain are in the historic center of Verona, about a 30-minute walk from the train station or 15 minutes by bus.
When to Get There
The best time to visit the square is when the market is open, from 7:30am to 8:30pm Monday to Saturday, and some Sundays.
A View from Above
For a sweeping view over Verona’s centro storico (historic center), walk up the hill to Castel San Pietro. The fortress itself is closed to the public, but its esplanade overlooks the rooftops of the city.