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Renaissance in Verona

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Venice Republic during renaissance in Italy was very strong and from 1405 even Verona became part of its domain loosing its independence and becoming a less important center in Italy compared with the importance the city had during the period under the Scala Family. This is why the Renaissance arrived later than other central Italy towns, even if in Verona it had its own peculiarities. 

Renaissance in Verona started with the decline of the gothic style. As mentioned, many other cities gave birth to this new style and even in Verona the first signs of change didn't start to appear. First of all, we can say that we due part of this development to one of the most important artists of the period, Andrea Mantegna, that came in town and created a masterpiece of this period: St Zeno altarpiece (in St Zeno church). Many others local artists and painters attempt to imitate the elements of the incoming renaissance style, but the best pieces of this period are by great masters from Padua: Benaglio, Morone, Girolamo dai Libri, Bonsignori.

 

The architecture was important too. Verona has the first Renaissance palace of the Veneto: the wonderful Loggia del Consiglio.

Loggia del Consiglio, situated in Piazza dei Signori

After that many other monuments were created, especially by works of Michele Sanmicheli, one of the mens that created the most of Verona after romans. As a matter of fact, now Verona is a wonderful open air Museum of Architecture, where Renaissance is strongly linked to the Roman Verona. The city became source of inspiration to many artists and architects from all over the world and now we can truly say that it is one of the most beautiful cities for who wants to compare different periods of the italian history that lasts from thousands of years.
An evidence of this artist activity is the name given to Verona from 16th century: Verona Urbs Picta (painted town). At that time, the walls of the palaces of the center became like "canvases" on which painters used to paint monumental frescos.

Verona Urbs Picta: huge paintings on the buildings 

If you want to see some curious monuments and remains of Renaissance in Verona have a look to the mouths of the lion, used for secret denounces against the violations of monopolies and the literary society on the corner of Piazza Bra (the arena square) and Via Mazzini (the main shopping street).
Of this period we also have the birth of the Veronese Carnival and the institution of the ghetto (to know more about it you can read my post about the carnival in St Zeno).

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