Together with a tourist guide discover the hidden treasures of Verona.
Sometimes you just have to turn a corner, to go behind a wall, to enter a square or a courtyard to discover the artistic, architectural, historical jewels of the town, outside the usual tourist itineraries and without the crowds. Here are some proposals to build or enrich your guided sightseeing itinerary in Verona.
One of most celebrated gardens of Italy, also visited by Cosimo de' Medici, Goethe, Mozart. Designed in the second half of XV century on the back of the palace built by Giusti family coming from Florence. They probably wanted to reproduce the beautiful renaissance gardens that were in fashion in Florence at that time. The Giusti garden suffered changes and alterations, and only in recent years has been brought back to its original shapes. Build on the side of a hill, in the lower part is the typical Italian garden with box bushes, a maze, cypresses and mythological statues. In the upper part the garden structure is more free and take the shape of a small wood with artificial grottos. From the top of hill you can enjoy a secret view over the town.
Cloister of the Canonicale Museum
Built over the remains of early Christians basilicas, whose mosaics floors are still visible in some areas, the cloister of the Canonicale Museum is one of most fascinating places in Verona, with its red Verona marble double columns. Ask a tourist guide to bring you to this jewel of romanesque architecture, hidden in the maze of the Duomo complex. You can add its visit in a tour to the Duomo complex together with the Canonicale Museum, Saint Elena church, the Cathedral and the Baptistery.
Morone Hall (Sagramoso Library)
Ask a tourist guide to bring you to visit the Sagramoso Library (it is not a place of easy access), the beautiful room entirely painted by Domenico Morone with the help of his son Francesco. The so called Sala Morone (Morone's hall) is one of most important renaissance art work in Verona. On its walls are painted countless eminent Franciscan friars, painted full size on podiums designed with a very accurate perspective. Their realism is so intense that you feel as if they are really there looking at you. On the main wall, a holy Mary with saints and martyrs, draw its inspiration from Mantegna's work.
Saints Teuteria and Tosca Church
Let a tourist guide bring you in one of the most ancient and fascinating churches of Verona.
First documents attesting the existence of the church dates back to 751 but, according to the ground level on which it was build, it is almost two meters underground, it is probably a V century building. This makes Saint Teuteria and Tosca probably the oldest church in Veneto.
Its shape is the ancient latin cross, with a raised central part, similar to the mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna. The church was probably built on a Roman burial area, remains of human bones were found in some archeological excavations. The dedication to Saints Teuteria and Tosca is very ancient, based on peculiar stories and legends.
Tarsias of Santa Maria in Organo
In the church of Santa Maria in Organo, on the walls of the presbytery, hidden behind the altar, one of the most incredible works of art in Verona: the wooden tarsias of Giovanni da Verona. They are forty one panels, framed with carved wooded pillars, representing astonishing landscapes in perspective made with wood of different colors. In the same church, carved by Giovanni da Verona are also a beautiful book stand and a huge wooden candelabrum.
It was designed by Ettore Fagiuoli, the architect author of the renewal of Verona at the beginning of the XX century and which marked the city, with works like the Duomo bell tower, the Vittoria bridge, the synagogue and conceived the scenography for the first performances of the opera at the Arena. This work of art deco architecture, with even the rusty iron doors elegantly decorated, lies in abandonment and degradation, almost unnoticed by those who passes by. Recently it seems to have been approved the project for its restoration and re-use.
SAN GIOVANNI IN VALLE
Together with a tourist guide, discover the church of San Giovanni in Valle. Built in the Vallum (from which the name), the defensive area on the hillside of Verona, were in the dark ages which followed the fall of Roman Empire, Lombard rulers lived. San Giovanni in Valle too suffered major damages in the 1117 earthquake. Rebuilt in 1120 took its final shape: a perfect, small masterpiece of Veronese romanesque architecture. The inside is dark and mystical, with apses decorated with intricate sculptures recalling the islamic art which was in fashion in Venice. In the inside there are still trace of unique romanesque frescos.
Through a small lateral entrance in the dark church of St Bernardino, you find yourself in the "virtual" space of the Pellegrini's Chapel, designed by the great Michele Sanmicheli, a place out of time and space. Its beauty and atmosphere bring the visitor into a particular mystic mood. There are no words to adequately describe this place. Just ask a tourist guide to bring you there.
San Giovanni in Fonte (Baptistry)
The baptistery, since the early centuries of Christian era became integral part of cathedrals in major Italian towns. In Verona too, next to the duomo, a baptistery was built at the beginning of the XII century following the rules of romanesque architecture. Named San Giovanni in Fonte, it is structured as a small church divided in a nave and two aisles, with the typical, simple facade with friezes and decorations. The inside is dominated by the mystic presence of a huge christening font in the center of the nave. Realized at the beginning of the XIII century by master Brioloto, who had already worked at San Zeno rose window, is an octagonal basin in red Verona marble. Surfaces, divided by twisted columns, bears scenes of Jesus childhood, sculpted with great mastery, attention to proportions and details.
This outstanding basilica was built just outside the Roman walls around the IV century a.D. and dedicated to Saint Lawrence. After the 1117 earthquake it was rebuilt in the actual shape, a jewel of romanesque art with its graded towers, women's galleries and the complexity of its nave, aisles and apses. A rare example of northern European architecture in Italy.
Let a tourist guide bring you to one of most fascinating monuments in town.
St Zeno in Oratorio
Close to the river Adige, well hidden by the surrounding buildings and a small courtyard in front of it, there is this small Romanesque architectural jewel, almost a miniature of the church of St Zeno Maggiore. Inside, in its quiet atmosphere, the huge fluvial stone on which, according to the legend, Verona patron saint Zeno, sat to fish on the Adige, his favorite hobby when he wasn't fishing for souls in pagan Verona. Ask a tourist guide to bring you to visit this hidden treasure of Verona, maybe on the way to the bigger St Zeno.
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