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Travel: Verona, Italy (Part 2) July 1-2/2022


The segment travel to Venice starting on June 23rd, and until the 28th, is dedicated to the visit in the 2022 Biennale Arte, (work in progress)



The walk from The tomb of Giulietta, on Via Shakespeare, back to the old city center, and along the Adiges river, reveals beautiful views and architecture. If not for the gross heat wave, this walk would have been perfect.


















Church of San Fermo (by Navi Ponte)



Church of San Tomaso (by Nuovo Ponte)








The Bridges in Town

Seven bridges connect the two banks of the river Adige in the city centre of Verona.

Three bridges over the Adiges river where passed before we crossed over the old Roman bridge, as to make it to the funicular


Ponte Aleardi, Ponte Navi, Ponte Nuovo


During the Roman age there were already some bridges, among which Ponte Postumio, that lied on the homonym way (connecting Genova with Aquileia).

The bridge was built between 89 and 49 b.C. and was called “pons marmoreus” (marble bridge) or Ponte Postumio. At the beginning of the first millennium the bridge collapsed because of an earthquake and because of one of the numerous floods of the river Adige. The bridge was never rebuilt and its rests were discovered in 1891.



The Other Roman bridge




Ponte Pietra -The Roman Bridge



Ponte Pietra - the Stone Bridge, we crossed was also built in Roman times in order to replace a wooden bridge, which connected as it does nowadays as well, the it did in ancient time to the San Pietro castle side.

The Romans built the bridge and completed it in 100 BC, and the Via Postumia from Genoa to Aquileia passed over it, at the northern vertex of the great curve of the Adige, where the river bed is made up of a solid rocky base., the banks are close together, and the water is less deep. less deep.






Roman Theatre with the city center, (distinguish it from the much larger Area, built outside of the old city walls on the other part of town)





The Roman Theater -Via Regaste Redentore, 2 Tel: 39 0458000360

This smaller Roman Theatre of Verona which was built toward the end of the 1st c AD. seats about 2000 is located at the foot of the Colle San Pietro. and was always dedicated, since Roman times to higher cultural and religious events, accommodating the nobility.


It was abandoned and gradually destroyed by earthquakes, floods and the passage of time. The entire complex consists of a number of buildings dating back to different periods.

At the start of the Renaissance the entire Roman city had turned to ruin. A church and a convent had even been constructed on top of what was still left.

Excavations started in 1757 and 1907 and after World War II the theater became the backdrop for several events, Today only remains of the edifice are visible, recovered starting from around 1830


Since 1948 the theater festival Estate Teatrale Veronese is held at the Roman Theatre.

During the summer months it forms the backdrop to performances of Shakespeare’s plays.

In 1968 a dance festival was added and from 1985 jazz concerts are being held during the festival.



Up The Mountain for a view

Near the Roman Theater, the San Pietro Funiculare San Pietro reaching the top of Colle San Pietro, opened in 1941 to provide access to the San Pietro Castle and offers great views of the town, the river and its bridges


.



The painting at the Funicular Station







On the way to Bra Square

Via Mazzini which is also the main shopping avenue leads to the north end of

Piazza Bra, and parallel to it runs the Corso Porta Borsari.

The Borsari gate dates to the 1st c AD, An inscription dating from emperor Gallienus' reign reports another reconstruction in 265 AD. It was were taxes were collected.

(Bolsa - bags of money)

The Via Postumia (which here became the decumanus maximus) passed through the gate, which was the city's main entrance and was therefore richly decorated.

Albinus Postimius 99bc was the Roman consul who built the Via Postumia road added to the other famous Via Appia, Via Flaminia and Via Aemilia roads. (Roman Road System)


Borsari Gate



On the way to the main square, there is also a gate leading to a charming court -


Corte Sgarzarie

A small square where, in the Middle Ages, some processing, quality control and wool trading took place.

The square is almost entirely occupied by the Mangano's loggia, an elevated structure on a colonnade covered space,

used for the market, protecting the wool from the rain on bad weather, which

serves now as a cafe, among many others at this charming square



Piazza Bra - The "broad square" in front of the city gates.






The largest square in Verona, is its heart and functions as a kind of arrival hall before entering the city's center. It is lined with numerous cafés, bars and restaurants, along with several notable buildings, around the imposing Arena, the yellow painted neoclassical 18c town hall,- Palazzo Barbieri.



the bronze statue of Victor Emmanuel II - a monument to the first king of Italy, in which he is sat atop a horse, with a shaded cedar and pine trees at the back. Also The Portoni del Brà archway and parts of the medieval city wall enclose the square to the south. Directly by the city walls is the historic 17c neo-classical Palazzo Gran Guardia and the Museo Lapidario Maffeiano - archaeological museum.

San Michele architect a contemporary of Palladio

Many of the structures and the 14 c medieval 18 km walls, carry 2 chromatic color tones bricks already in use in Roman times as can be observed in the area.



Walking tours of Verona's center ,which leads to all these monuments on the square, are offered by the Tourist Information office which is located on the square at the Town Hall building's corner closest to the Arena .

On the Saturday we took the tour, together with our friend Dani, who drove especially from Beragamo to meet us, the tour started at 11:00am. Our German by origin guide, who taught the German language in town, guided the tour in Italian, German and English switching between all three, and occasionally also reverted to French as to accommodate everybody in the group. Just recovering from a brain stroke, he was amazingly a fountain of knowledge, but being left partly paralyzed, the walk moved in a turtle pace. The guy was a true high spirited character, with a great sense of humor and a large historical perspective, loathing the German nation and a big supporter of Israel..

He can also be booked privately.

Tour Guide -George Duhr 39 389 1778204 gduhr26@gmail.com



Arena - the Grand amphitheater - Opera House


The Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra was built in 30 AD on a site which was then beyond the city walls. It is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind. after the Coliseum in Roma and the one in Naples.

In ancient times the arena's capacity was nearly 30,000 people, which is reduced to about 20,000 in the present.

The Arena was designated for the lower ludi bloody entertainments of shows and games for the populous, in comparison to the smaller amphitheater , on the other side of town.



The oval facade of the building was originally composed of white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, But after a major earthquake in 1117, which almost completely destroyed the structure's outer ring, except for the so-called "ala" (wing), the stone was quarried for re-use in other buildings. The original third floor of the structure was never reconstructed.


It is still in use today and is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there. The stage for concerts and opera performances decreases the available seats.


In 1913, operatic performances in the arena commenced in earnest due to the zeal and initiative of the Italian opera tenor Giovanni Zenatello and the impresario Ottone Rovato. The first 20th-century operatic production at the arena, a staging of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida, took place on 10 August of that year, to mark the birth of Verdi 100 years before in 1813. Musicians Puccini and Mascagni were in attendance. Since then, summer seasons of opera have been mounted continually at the arena, except in 1915–18 and 1940–45,


The staging of Aida, was parked outdoors, just in front of the Arena on the day we visited





In modern times, at least four productions (sometimes up to six) are mounted each year between June and August. Every year over 500,000 people see productions of the popular operas in this arena

During the winter months, the local opera and ballet companies perform at the Teatro Filarmonico.


It will be used as the Closing ceremony venue for the 2026 Winter Olympics and two weeks later will be used for the Opening Ceremony for the 2026 Winter Paralympics in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo.


Opera at the arena



The Opera season runs annually in Verona at the Arena: mid June to Sept.

We lucked out and got tickets for Verdi's

2 known operas:

Nabucco

La Traviata by


The Nabucco was directed by the Israeli Dan Oren, and was amazingly staged with live horses.


la Traviata staging was not ready on time, thus the performance started 40 minutes late, with cranes working full time in front of the-impatient audience, as to assemble the needed pieces.



The Operas we saw



Nabucco




La Traviata







Lunch with Dani whom we met at the Aranui cruise to the Marquesas, and who came especially to see us in Verona , where we had lunch in this romantically decorated

Restaurante Torocolo (by the Arena)

More Verona sites


Satire sculpture on a street house






Saint Anastasia Church largest church in Verona. Gothic stuyle

of the Dominican Order near the Ponte Pietra, started in 1280 and completed in 140












To be Continued...


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