The Walls of Verona

One often wonders why cities grew up where they are, but with Verona, the answer is obvious:

The site lay astride the route into the Brenner Pass and, possibly more important, the most easily negotiated East-West route across northern Italy.


It is within relatively recent times that a system of dykes and drainage ways converted the Po Valley from an almost impassable swamp. East-West travel had to skirt the foot-hills of the Alps. North-South travel was easiest at a few points where the rivers ran deep and swift but permitted a quick cross ing - such as at Verona where the Adige surges against a foothill (now holding Castel San Pietro) and then rushes back into the valley, forming a loop which encloses the heart of the city.

The Etruscans recognized the strategic and economic importance of  the site and left there evidence of their high order of civi lization. Exc avations show that they occupied the right bank of the river between the present locations of the churches Sant a Eufemia and San Fermo Maggiore.

There is evidence of a wall around a portion of this area - probably built during the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C. The Romans first oc cupied Verona during the Third Century B.C. and they initially had a cluster of  buildings on San Pietro hill encircled by a wall.

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Author: James A. Gray

Keywords: Verona, Fortifications, Walls, History, Architecture, Italy


James A. Gray

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