The Town of Verona
Verona is a town of Paleo-Venetian origins lying on the banks of the river Adige. Its first inhabitants were the Raethians, followed by the Etruscans, who lived in the area till 89 bC, when the town started to take on Roman features. Roman traces are now visible in the Arena, built in the first century and, among the many picturesque monuments of the town, the “Arco dei Gavi”, “Ponte Pietra”, “Porta dei Borsari”, “Porta dei Leoni” and the Roman Theatre.
The Ostrogoth king Teodorico chose Verona as seat of his kingdom and built his Royal Palace on the surrounding hills. Later, King Alboino made it the first Longobard capital in Italy. When Desiderio, the last Longobard king, was defeated by Charles the Great, Charles’ son, Pipino, made Verona his residence. In the Middle Ages, the town became the seat of the Della Scala family. At that time, it welcomed important artists such as Giotto, Dante and Petrarca, thus turning into a key cultural centre. Throughout the Renaissance, Verona was part of the Republic of Venice, thus sharing its artistic and social magnificence.
The nobles of the Della Scala family turned the town into an architectural and artistic gem. Cultural activities – e.g. theatre, music and literary debates – developed in the aristocratic palaces, still present in the historic centre of the town. Famous people, such as Scipione Maffei, Ippolito Pindemonte, Abramo Massalongo, along with many other talented Italians, moved their first steps in Verona offering their contribution to the cultural history of the nation. After the falling of the Republic of Venice and Napoleon’s arrival, Verona and its territory became strategic from a military and economic point of view. In the first half of the 19th century, the town was a military stronghold of the empire.