Verona, between Dante and Shakespeare

Teresa Scarale
Teresa Scarale
Read Time: 3'
A journey through the streets of the Venetian capital with Francesca Rossi, director of the Civic Museums. To discover that "poetry is always truth"
When one thinks of Verona, the image that resonates in mind is that of the Arena. Or perhaps of Juliet's balcony. Instead, it is a city that can provide surprises, even in terms of cultural vibrancy. However, the ideal walk of a traveler who happens to be "in fair Verona," to quote Shakespeare, can be broader, more far-reaching, and surprising. "I would start my walk from above, from the terrace of the archaeological museum." The suggestion comes from Francesca Rossi, director of the city's civic museums. From that elevation, the city's passages through history can be admired. Ancient, medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Habsburg, 20th century." A route that leads to Pietra bridge, Verona's oldest bridge over the Adige, of Roman origin. It was blown up by the retreating Germans and then rebuilt. A symbolic junction of the waterway and the city. "With the flood of 1882, there was a break in the relationship between river and community," recalls Francesca Rossi. "Today we can get a view of what Verona was like before the devastating flood thanks to the beautiful views by Bernardo Bellotto (1721-1780, ed.)." If an appetite comes along on the way, one of the best places to find refreshments for lunch may be Masenini - Contemporary Italian Trattoria. Alternatively, you can indulge in a mouth-watering snack at the traditional bakery-pastry shop De Rossi. Arriving in the vicinity of the City Hall building, you will catch a glimpse of the Gam building, the Achille Forti Gallery of Modern Art. "Not to be missed. The palace is a splendid example of 13th-century civil architecture, and the tour is twofold: both architectural and artistic. The art collection has works from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present day, enhanced by the recent rearrangement that emphasizes the role of patrons." Works by Felice Casorati, Medardo Rosso, among others, can be found there. Thanks to his estate and artistic legacy, the museum was created at the behest of botanist Achille Forti (1878-1937). "Among the most important figures in the development of the Gam is that of Ugo Zannoni (1836-1919): sculptor, collector, patron, and patriot. Zannoni was the first to donate his 200 pieces to the city in 1905 to create a gallery of modern and contemporary art." Zannoni's is the monument to Dante Alighieri in the Piazza dei Signori. To the initial core of the Gam also belongs one of the most beloved paintings of the Risorgimento: the hypnotic Meditation by Francesco Hayez, a gift from Pietro Velati in 1937. Today, thanks to a thoughtful policy of acquisitions and the generosity of citizens, the collection of the GamEcan can count on an estimated 1,600 works. Those on display in the most recent exhibit, number 150, some of them dedicated to Dante and the myth of Shakespeare. "Civic pride is combined with the love of country," comments Francesca Rossi. Veronese museums "are civic in the literal sense of the word. Moreover, citizens are not only their primary users but also the recipients of our gratitude." Arriving at aperitif time, one can indulge in a good wine at the Dal Zovo Wine Bar, near the Gavi Arch and the Castelvecchio Museum, restored and set up by Carlo Scarpa between 1958 and 1974. Those who happen to be in Verona in late summer cannot miss Tocatì, International Festival of Street Games, which has entered the UNESCO Good Practices Register. The 20th edition will be held in 2022—one of the many beads of the city of Juliet. By the way, is not the ultra-pop home of the Shakespearean heroine a historical forgery? "The dwelling was identified in 1820. It is a legend that is part of Verona's identity and has been historicized. Let us not forget that the story of Romeo and Juliet was told by the Vicenza intellectual Luigi da Porto (1485 - 1529, ed.) and that William Shakespeare read it in translation, later making it the masterpiece we all know. Da Porto, in turn, may have been inspired by Dante's Montagues and Hats (canto VI Purgatorio, verses 105-106-107, ed.). Moreover, in any case, I think poetry is always truth."
Editor-in-chief of Pleasure Assets. A professional journalist from Gargano, she holds a degree in Economic and Social Disciplines from Bocconi University in Milan. She writes about finance, economics, art, and luxury markets. Teresa has been part of We Wealth since its founding.


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