Verona’s main square, the Piazza Bra, often shortened to Bra is one of the largest piazzas not only in Italy but in Europe. It functions as a kind of arrival hall before you enter the center of the city. The term “bra” is derived from the German word “breit” which means broad. It Pizza Bra refers to the broad square in front of the city gates. Up to today, the Piazza Bra is a beautiful and extensive square in the heart of Verona lined with numerous teashops and restaurants, along with several prominent buildings. Many historic buildings from the ancient times to the present surround the Piazza Bra.
The Piazza Bra is cemented with pink marble from the Valpolicella region. The center of the large square is dominated by an horse-riding statue of the Italian King Vittorio Emanuele II, the first ruler of united Italy.
The fountain in the park, also known as the Fontana Delle Alpi was constructed on the occasion of Verona’s pairing with Munich and was built by the Germans. In turn, a statue of Juliet was set up at the ancient town hall in Munich. The residents of Verona often refer to the fountain as the “Lemon Squeezer” because it is shaped like one. Also, a result of the pairing is a memorial for the displaced Italians into German concentration camps, which is under the trees at Piazza Bra.
Restaurants, outstanding palaces, and buildings that are over 2,000 years old surround the Piazza Bra in Verona. Including the Verona Arena, which was initially built as an amphitheater closely to two centuries ago by the Austrians. Verona arena is now a world-famous music venue with several contemporary music performances. From its steps, you can enjoy magnificent views over the Piazza Bra.
In the northern side of Piazza Bra, the notable Roman amphitheater rises high above the Bra square. The Portoni del Bra archway and parts of the medieval city wall enclose the Piazza to the south. Directly by the city walls, you will see the traditional Palazzo Gran Guardia and the Museo Lapidario Maffeiano archaeological museum.
Palazzo Barbieri, on the eastern side of the Piazza, was built in the 19th century by architect Giuseppe Barbieri. It has been the offices of the municipal administration since 1869. In mid 1940s, the interior of the City Hall was destroyed by a fire. It was later rebuilt adding the rear portion and semi-circular wing.
Began in the seventeen century on a design by Domenico Curtoni, the Grand Guard is an impressive building, whose stone stairway leads to the broad and grand porch, which is supported by twelve pillars with full center arches. The high floor aligns five great central arched windows.
Other attractions to see on the Piazza Bra include Palaces on the Listòn. According to the design by architect M. Castellazzi, the Ottolini Palace, was built in the Sammichelian style. It is on the corner of Via Roma, near the Guglienzi-Brognoligo Palace, which is in the Renaissance style of the 15th century. The beginning of the 16th century is represented by nearby Fracasso-Gianfilippi Palace, which has a painting attributed to Caroto on its façade. The Guastaverza Palace was built in the mid-sixteenth century according to a design by Sammicheli.
The Piazza Bra is a place full of activity with many historical buildings, excellent restaurants, and street cafes. If you have enough time, you should certainly stay for a while and enjoy the impressions of this beautiful and historic square.