Verona, Italy

Duomo of Verona

Duomo, the Verona Cathedral, located on the banks of the Fiume Adige in northern Italy, is one of Verona’s most sacred Catholic sites that attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to worship and to admire its beautiful architecture. Inside, you will discover a series of small chapels, arched ceilings and breathtaking sculptures and frescoes. Attend a morning religious service delivered by Verona’s bishop is a must do and ensure to enjoy a moment of private reflection in one of the chapels.

Duomo di Verona is dedicated to S. Maria Assunta under the designation Santa Maria Matricolare. It is the sacred seat of the Verona Diocese. It was erected after two Palaeo-Christian churches on the same site had been destroyed by an earthquake in the early years of the 12th century.

Built in Romanesque architecture, the cathedral was consecrated in 1187. The structure was later improved by numerous renovations, although the plan has remained the same. Since the 12th century, Duomo features the most exquisite Romanesque carvings, early unique Christian artifacts, and lovely wall paintings. Duomo is the dominant structure of a complex of architectural buildings which include the Canons’ cloister, S. Giovanni in Fonte, the Capitular library, S. Elena, the bishop’s residence and the square in front of the church.

On entering the Cathedral, one is immediately struck by the statues of holy guards that mark the entrance to the church, the huge polylobate columns in rose-colored marble, the marble spans through the crossed vaults and is reflected in the delicate coloring of the floor. The decoration of the walls is the same thanks to the paintings of various artists of the first Veronese renaissance who used systems for composition on a large scale that bring to mind the frontispieces of the miniature pages. Gaze up at the high, arched ceilings to admire the Renaissance details of the roof. Gothic windows beautify the church’s front-view and the rose-colored columns that appear between the three aisles.

Walk down the first row of the three aisles that run down the center to reach, a small chapel on the left side of the church, the Cappella Nichesola. As you enter, admire Titian’s massive renaissance mural of Assumption of the Virgin. Continue through the cathedral to arrive at the other chapels, including the Capella Mazzanti, home to the sarcophagus of St. Agatha. Explore the baptistery of San Giovanni and notice the octagonal font, which was carved from a single block of marble. Next to the baptistery is the small chapel of St. Helen, where Roman floor mosaics adorn the floor.

Admire more altarpieces that decorate the chapels, like the Assunta by Tiziano which is the only work of the master conserved in Verona. In the right nave, in the chapel of the Calcasoli, in the center of a particular ensemble executed later, there is one of the more representative pieces from the production of Liberale da Verona who was a local miniaturist who found his fortune in Florence.

The wandering eye of the more distracted visitor will be immediately attracted to the elegance and the harmony of the area of the presbytery, where the delicate polychromatic of the local marbles used in the choir stall by Michele Sanmicheli are subtly mixed with the gentle tones of the wall painting.

A visit to Duomo will leave you refreshed and inspired. The Verona Cathedral is open daily and services are held throughout the week. A small admission fee may apply to enter, and the cathedral can be reached on foot or by bus. Some metered street parking can also be found in the area.