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Verona: the river runs in the middle

Verona is united and divided by the embrace of the Adige river, it is the sparkling outdoor theatre for the opera and more intimate when the Season of the XVIIIth century Philharmonic theatre was inaugurated.

Verona reminds old times, its history goes through the centuries and offers a wide range of artistic and cultural expressions that enabled it to be included in the Unesco’s Heritage in the year 2000. This Venetian town has gone through centuries of history and it is featured nowadays by a mix of plasticity from the past and a modern and dynamic soul. A very lively heart palpitates in piazza Bra, overlooked by the Arena (I century A.D.), the third Italian amphitheatre after the Coliseum in Rome and the one in Capua (Naples), a thousand-year old theatre for playful shows: a perfect combination of modern shows and history and the world stage of lyric singing, it welcomes 25.000 people each year during the Lyric Festival.

Before reaching Piazza delle Erbe you’ll see the house of Juliet, the famous towered-house with a brick facade that was the set of the Shakespearean drama; even “The Taming of the Shrew” and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” were set here”. Not far from the house of the young Capulet’s family member (Juliet), there is Piazza delle Erbe – the ancient Roman Forum that is the place where the city market is held nowadays -, it is surrounded by palaces and towers belonging to different historical periods and featured by the fountain of the Madonna of Verona. Walking under the Arco della Costa you get into piazza dei Signori, an ideal link between the Roman town and the Renaissance one, surrounded by a number of houses and arches among which the huge palaces of Ragione, of Capitano and of Cangrande represent a landmark. After crossing the arch you’ll reach the Arche scaligere, marble baldachins dating back to the XIVth century surmounted by equestrian statues and placed against the church of S. Maria Antica. The sacred and profane represent an irresistible combination in Verona and also a coffer of both aspects.

Among the different sacred buildings there are two masterpieces of the Roman art, the Cathedral and the Church of San Zeno Maggiore: the first keeps an altar piece by Tiziano, the second a triptych by Andrea Mantegna on the main altar. The Gothic church of S. Anastasia is majestic too, it keeps the fresco of San Giorgio by Pisanello.

The biggest “civilbuilding of the whole area is Castelvecchio that dates back to the XIVth century and it was built with cotto tiles around 1356. Crenellated, asymmetric, it is considered a masterpiece of engineering since it has survived to the floods of Adige for ages and it links the fortification to the left edge of the river. And, on the “rive gauche” there’s what the inhabitants call the “Veronetta”, when the river started to mark the border between the French people and the Austrian-Hungarian people in 1801 and the town was split into two parts. The Roman Theatre area is important too, stretching on the hill and featured by a number of concentric terraces made of marble that go high for a hundred meters; an incredible open-work museum.

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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