The beautiful city of Verona, on the River Adige

The Adity River is the focal point of the city. In 49 BC, the Romans designed Verona in the bend of the river, which is a natural barrier. Today, that region corresponds to the core city and connects to Verona’s other series of bridges.

From it began in a mountain through about 1500 meters, the river is clear, shiny bright green and pink gray. However, during the rainstorms, this pearl water turned violent brown quality, dragging mud, branches and ducks through the city. The flood was devastating, and there was a bank mark above the water level of 3 meters on September 17, 1882, when the embankment was established.

 

Best building

 
Through invasions and earthquakes, San Zeno stands tall
Through invasions and earthquakes, San Zeno stands tall

Local people love San Zeno church. Not just for religious reasons, but because the big square in front is where old people chat, others read and children play. Of course, they also love its beauty: San Zeno is a magnificent example of Romanesque architecture. After invasions, destructions and a major earthquake, what is left today is the version built in 1138, with a few changes made in 1398.

the worst

 
The ugly neighbour next door
The ugly neighbour next door

Less than two hundred metres from San Zeno, there’s a large underground car park. Completed in 2013 despite neighbourhood protests, Park San Zeno dramatically changed the look of the area, and according to some who work there, it’s ugly, expensive, not very busy and floods when it rains.

Homeground talent

C+C=Maxigross are a musical collective. The band records in a small village in the Lessini mountains to the north east of Verona – a place to which the group feels a strong connection. The titles of their albums: Singar, Ruvain and Fluttarn mean respectively “singing”, “making noise” and “fluctuate” in Cimbrian – a German dialect spoken only in the Lessini area. C+C=Maxigross have performed their mountain psych-folk at renowned national and international festivals including Arezzo Wave and Primavera Sound in Barcelona.

Biggest controversy

Since mayor Flavio Tosi was first elected in 2007, the town hall has sold many historical buildings owned to private companies, often despite public opposition.

An ongoing case concerns the vast Hapsburg arsenal from the 19th century that was given to the city by the Italian Army in 1995. It functions as a large public garden, yet a big part of the building still needs to be structurally secured. The city’s administration recently approved a project with private firm Italiana Costruzioni, which is likely to alter the structure of the building, but a citizen-founded committee is opposing this decision. They are instead asking for a cultural centre, designed in collaboration with Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI), a national trust protecting Italy’s natural and cultural heritage.

Most under-rated location?

Ex Macello is an ancient building on the River Adige. Once a butchers’ headquarters,the building is now home to bars and a few artisan shops. Despite its great potential, Ex Macello still isn’t too popular with Veronesi people.

How green is your city?

According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat), only 4.4% of Verona is public green space. This is mostly made up of villas or gardens of cultural interest – and parks. Moreover, people have been actively using recycling facilities since 2004, and many move around by bicycle, especially in the centre. However, a high presence of PM10 air pollution is an issue: even if the level of particles has decreased in recent years, PM10 pollution continues to be above EU limits.

Moment in history

On 10 August 1913, Giovanni Zenatello, a tenor from Verona, and a theatre manager, Ottone Rovato, decided to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, by presenting Verdi’s Aida opera inside the Roman amphitheatre in the heart of the city. That was the beginning of the famous Arena Opera Festival, which continues to takes place every summer in our city.

What does your city does better than anywhere else?

Wine. The countryside around Verona is cultivated primarily with vineyards and the range of wines is incredibly diverse: from homemade Valpolicella Classico to the award-winning Amarone, from Custoza (a white wine perfect with lake fish) to the sweet red Recioto dessert wine. The list is so long that in the city it’s normal to drink only wine from Verona. Vinitaly – the world’s largest fair for winemakers and sellers – takes place here each spring.

Best local artist

Luca Trevisani was born in 1979 in Verona and lives between Italy and Germany. His art cross disciplines such as sculpture, graphic design and video. Trevisani presents some of the most important spaces dedicated to contemporary art from the Venice Biennial to the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art.

Top insider tips

 
Cantine de l’Arena
Cantine de l’Arena

Cantine de l’Arena, an old wine cellar turned into a cosy and charming space, is where people go to listen to excellent jazz and blues while sipping a good glass of local wine.

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