The play, Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare, was based in Verona. One of Shakespeare’s early comedies was titled The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The play, The Taming of the Shrew, also by Shakespeare, is based in Verona.
Verona has a continental climate characteristic of Northern Italy’s inland plains, with hot summers and cool, humid winters, even though Lake Garda‘s quasi-Mediterranean climate has a partial influence on the city. The relative humidity is high throughout the year, especially in winter when it causes fog, mainly from dusk till late morning, although the phenomenon has become increasingly less frequent in recent years.
In 2009, there were 265,368 people residing in Verona, located in the province of Verona, Veneto, of whom 47.6% were male and 52.4% were female. Minors (children aged 0-17) totalled 16.05% of the population compared to pensioners who number 22.36%. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06%(minors) and 19.94%(pensioners). The average age of Verona residents is 43 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Verona grew by 3.05%, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85%. The current birth rate of Verona is 9.24 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births. As of 2009, 87% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant group comes from other European nations (the largest coming from Romania): 3.60%, South Asia: 2.03%, and sub-saharan Africa1.50%. The city is predominantly Roman Catholic, but due to immigration now has some Orthodox Christian, Muslim and Hindu followers.
The Roman military settlement in what is now the centre of the city was to expand through the cardi and decumani that intersect at right angles. This structure has been kept to the present day and is clearly visible from the air. Further development has not reshaped the original map. Though the Roman city with its basalt-paved roads is mostly hidden from view it stands virtually intact about 6 m below the surface. Most palazzi and houses have cellars built on Roman artifacts that are rarely accessible to visitors. Piazza delle Erbe, near the Roman forum was rebuilt by Cangrande I and Cansignorio della Scala I, lords of Verona, using material (such as marble blocks and statues) from Roman spas and villas.Verona is famous for its Roman amphitheatre, the Arena found in the city’s largest piazza, the Piazza Bra. Completed around 30 AD, it is the third largest in Italy after Rome’s Colosseum and the arena at Capua. It measures 139 metres long and 110 metres wide, and could seat some 25,000 spectators in its 44 tiers of marble seats. The ludi (shows and gladiator games) performed within its walls were so famous that they attracted spectators from far beyond the city. The current two-story façade is actually the internal support for the tiers; only a fragment of the original outer perimeter wall in white and pink limestone fromValpolicella, with three stories remains.The interior is very impressive and is virtually intact, and has remained in use even today for public events, fairs, theatre and open-aired opera during warm summer nights.
There is also a variety of other Roman monuments to be found in the town, such as the Roman theatre of Verona. This theatre was built in the 1st century BC, but through the ages had fallen in disuse and had been built upon to provide housing. In the 18th century Andrea Monga, a wealthy Veronese, bought all the houses that in time had been built over the theatre, demolished them, and saved the monument. Not far from it is the Ponte di Pietra (“Stone Wall Bridge”), another Roman landmark that has survived to this day. The Arco dei Gavi (Gavi Arch) was built in the 1st century AD, and is famous for having the name of the builder (architect Lucius Vitruvius Cordone) engraved on it, a really rare case in the architecture of the epoque. It originally straddled the main Roman road into the city, now the Corso Cavour. It had been demolished by the French troops in 1805 and was rebuilt in 1932.Nearby is the Porta Borsari, an archway at the end of Corso Porta Borsari. This is the façade of a 3rd century gate in the original Roman city walls. The inscription is dated 245 AD and gives the city name as Colonia Verona Augusta. Corso Porta Borsari, the road passing through the gate is the original Via Sacra of the Roman city. Today, it is lined with several Renaissance palazzi and the ancient Church of SS. Apostoli (left), a few metres from Piazza delle Erbe. Porta Leoni is the 1st century BC ruin of what was once part of the Roman city gate. A substantial portion is still standing as part of the wall of a medieval building. The street itself is an open archaeological site, and the remains of the original Roman street and gateway foundations can be seen a few feet below the present street level. As can be seen from there, the gate contains a small court guarded by towers. Here, carriages and travelers were inspected before entering or leaving the city.
The weathered Veronese stone gives a warm golden glow and the restrained lines of the pillars, columns, cornices and the gallery with its double windows give the façade an air of harmonious elegance. The huge rose window is decorated as a Wheel of Fortune. The lintels above the portal have carvings of the months of the year. Each side of the doorway is embellished with 18 bas-relief panels of biblical scenes, and the inner bronze door has panels have 48 primitive but forceful Biblical scenes and depictions from the life of St Zeno. The meaning of some of the scenes is now unknown, but the extraordinarily vivid, barbaric energy of the figures is a superb blend of traditional and Ottonian influences. The interior of the church is divided into a Lower Church, occupying about 2/3 of the structure, and the Upper Church, occupying the remainder. The walls are covered with 12th and 14th century frescos and the ceiling of the nave is a magnificent example of a ship’s keel ceiling. The vaulted crypt contains the tomb of St. Zeno, the first Bishop of Verona, as well as the tombs of several other saints. North of the church is a pleasant cloister. The church also houses the tomb of King Pippin of Italy (777–810).
The small Romanesque Basilica of San Lorenzo is one of the finest and most important in the city. Its dates from around 1177, but is built on the site of aPaleochristian church, some fragments of which remain. The church is built of alternating tracks of brick and stone, and has two cylindrical towers, housing spiral staircases to the women’s galleries. Inside, the atmosphere is rather severe, but is still quiet and peaceful. The striped bands of stone and brick and the graceful arches complement the setting. With a span length of 48.70 m (159.78 ft), the 1356 completed segmental arch bridge Ponte Scaligero featured at the time the world’s largest bridge arch. Santa Maria Antica is a huge Romanesque church was the parish church of the Scaligeri clan, and is famous for the Gothic Scaliger Tombs. The Duomo is also a notable Romanesque church.Sant’Anastasia is a huge and lofty church built from 1290–1481 by the Dominicans to hold the massive congregations attracted by their rousing fundamentalist sermons. The Pellegrini chapel houses the famous fresco St. George and the Princess of Trebizond by Pisanello as well as the grave of Wilhelm von Bibra. The famous square also holds its art festival in May.
- Arnoldo Mondadori, editor
- Aleardo Aleardi, a poet
- Paolo Bellasio, composer of the Renaissance; member of the Roman School
- Damiano Cunego, former world number 1 cyclist and former Giro d’Italia winner
- Girolamo Fracastoro, also known as Fracastorius, renowned scholar, physician and poet
- Giovanni Francesco Caroto, painter
- Catullus, Latin poet
- Franco Donatoni, composer
- Giovanni Giocondo, architect and scholar
- Romano Guardini, theologian
- Marc’ Antonio Ingegneri, composer, teacher of Claudio Monteverdi
- Cesare Lombroso, criminologist
- Scipione Maffei, writer and historian
- Marcantonio Negri, Baroque composer, associate of Monteverdi
- St. Peter Martyr, Dominican preacher and Saint.
- Ippolito Pindemonte, poet
- Ratherius, Medieval bishop and writer
- Vincenzo Ruffo, composer of the Renaissance
- Emilio Salgari, novelist
- Antonio Salieri, composer
- Michele Sammicheli, architect
- Bartolomeo Tromboncino, composer of the Renaissance period
- Paolo Caliari, well known as “Veronese” painter
- Carlo Pedrotti, 19th-century composer, conductor, voice teacher and opera administrator
- Mario Capecchi, Nobel prize in Medicine, 2007
- Massimo Bubola, singer-songwriter born in Terrazzo
- Gigliola Cinquetti, singer who brought Italy its first Eurovision Song Contest in 1964
- Walter Chiari, actor
- Sara Simeoni, former world high jump primatist and Olympic gold medalist
- Matteo Manassero, British amateur golf champion, 2009
- Stefano Bernardi, baroque composer
- Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, fictional characters from the Shakespearian play Romeo and Juliet
Verona was the birthplace of Catullus, and the town that Julius Caesar chose for relaxing stays. In its history many important names passed and events happened that were relevant for the European history, like Theodoric the Great, king of Ostrogoths, Alboin and Rosamunda, the Lombard Dukes, Charlemagneand Pippin of Italy, Berengar I, Dante. Conclaves were held here, as were important congresses. Verona was in the travel diaries of Goethe, Stendhal and Paul Valéry.
The town has two football teams. Historically, the city’s major team has been Hellas Verona, who is now in the second division of Italian football, Serie B. The secondary team, Chievo Verona, is currently playing in Serie A. Hellas Verona won Italian Championship in 1984/1985 entering the European Cup the following year.Verona has a volleyball major team named Marmi Lanza Verona, now in Serie A1; and a basketball team named Scaligera Basket, now in Legadue.Verona has hosted the Football World Cup in 1990; has twice hosted the UCI Road World Championships, in 1999 (co-hosted with Treviso) and 2004. Verona has also hosted the baseball world cup in 2009 and the Volleyball World Cup in September–October 2010.
Infrastructure and transport
Buses are operated by the provincial public transport company, Azienda Trasporti Verona (ATV).
Verona lies at a major route crossing where the nouth-south rail line from the Brenner Pass to Rome intersects with the east-west line between Milan and Venice, giving the city rail access to most of Europe. The city is, therefore, served by international, regional and local services. Verona’s main station is Verona Porta Nuova railway station, to the south of the city centre. It is considered to be the ninth busiest railway station in Italy, handling approximately 68,000 passengers per day, or 25 million passengers per year. There is a lesser station to the east of the city at Porta Vescovo, which used to be the main station in Verona, but now only receives trains between Venice and Porta Nuova.
Verona Airport is located 2.7 NM (5.0 km; 3.1 mi) southwest of Verona. It handles around 3½ million passengers per year. It is linked to Porta Nuova railway station by a frequent bus service. There are direct flights between Verona and Rome Fiumicino, Munich, Naples, Frankfurt, Catania, Paris Charles De Gaulle, London Gatwick, Palermo, Vienna Schwechat, and Cagliari among others.
Twin towns — sister cities
- Pula, Croatia, has a similar Roman amphitheatre
- Nîmes, France, has a similar Roman amphitheatre
- Munich, Germany, shares with Verona the title of “twin portal to their country”
- Salzburg, Austria, shares a common heritage of musical tradition
- Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority
- Ra’anana, Israel, since 1998
- Mashhad, Iran
- Ningbo, China, the city where Chinese romantic tragedy, “Butterfly Lovers” take place.
- Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium