A new, exclusive itinerary organized by tourist guides of Verona will take you to discover the amazing and mysterious underground city. A guided tour which is ideal as a didactic itinerary for students who want to deepen their knowledge of Roman age, or an unusual tour for those who are looking for something special for their trip to Verona.
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Underground Verona Sites
Like many Italian towns of ancient origin, Verona too is made of different layers, each bearing the signs and remains of the civilizations of the past. The town become a sort of "time machine" so that the deeper underground you go, the further you go back in time. But Verona has also a very rare peculiarity. Not only is the town that after Rome has the largest amount of Roman remains, but the archaeological finds have often been left where they were discovered and are still visible, from 2 to up to 9 meters underground, in the basement of building that have been constructed over them through the centuries. Although sometimes these sites are located in private buildings they can be accessed by appointment and admired thanks to a careful restoration and very modern and functional display.
Among the many accessible sites there are the remains of a Roman domus: the typical Roman noble family residence. It is an amazing place, few meters under a bank in the very center of Verona. From a nicely built foot bridge it is possible to see the remains of the peristilium, the inner courtyard with it colonnade, the rooms with colorful mosaics as a floor, the particular heating system. It was a very comfortable and luxurious residence built on one side of a road in the Roman town grid in the I century b.C. and inhabited until the VI century a.D. when a big blaze, whose sign are still visible in the remains, devastated Verona.
Piazza delle Erbe, the very heart of Verona historical center, in Roman time was the forum, the center of every Roman town. Among the many public building around the forum there was the capitolium, the main temple where Jupiter, Era and Juno were worshipped. Today, in the basement of a gorgeous palace facing the piazza, under the cellar of a famous restaurant it is possible to admire the remains of the capitolium. The first findings were excavated in 1975 and the archaeological researches went on until 1984. The temple was built on one side of the forum, placed on an artificial platform 2 meters above the ground accessible through a stone staircase. On top of the platform the temple was constituted by a colonnade of huge rusticated columns lined up on three rows.
Today, in the underground site it is visible part of the platform made of big blocks of stone, few columns and a pedestal of white marble, possibly of a statue of the temple.
Not far from piazza delle Erbe, the ancient forum of Roman age there is the International Center of Photography, Scaligeri Excavations, a unique museum whose display area is structured around a wide archaeological area 3 meters under an entire block of houses of the original chess board-like grid of the Roman town. It is a very complex area, with remains of buildings dating from I century b.C. to XV century a.D., a time journey across Verona history.
The first findings were excavated between 1981 and 1986, while the museum was opened to the public in 1996.
Among the most interesting finds a domus, the house of Roman noble families, with an elaborate mosaic floor and a paved road with its sidewalks and sewer still perfectly preserved.
Beside the Roman remains there are the signs of the fast change that took place in Verona too with the end of the Roman Empire between the V and VI century a.D. with Longbardic tombs and traces of a terrible blaze that probably damaged the whole town.
Roman Public Buildings
On one side of piazza delle Erbe, the ancient forum of Roman age Verona, in the cellar of one of the most famous restaurants of Verona, it is possible to admire a very interesting archaeological underground site with the remains of the curia, the building of local government in Roman towns. It is possible to see 37 meters of the of this big public building, together with the paved road that flanked it. The finds where built around the first half of I century a.D.. The finds are 7 meters underground.
Other Underground Sites
Other finds that can be added in this underground tour of Verona are the remains of Roman walls that emerge from the ground in various places in Verona city center.
In the Duomo (cathedral) area, 1.5 meters under the 3 churches and cloister that consititute the cathedral complex, there is the almost perfectly preserved mosaic floor of one of Verona early christian churches of the IV century.
At Porta Leoni, one of the two gates of Roman Verona, in 1980s, an excavations brought back to light, leaving them in their original location, the remains of the gate basement with two circular towers and of the paved road that entered the town.
Some of these location, being museums, are always accessible, other, being in the basements of private buildings, can be accessed only by booking with few days of notice. Included in the guided tour is the organization and booking of the visit where required.
The guided itinerary in underground Verona can be a half day tour or a full day. According to the available time, various locations will be selected and included in the tour.
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