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Castelvecchio in Verona: a corner of history

In Verona there are places to explore such as the Castelvecchio Museum which finds its home in the majestic Castelvecchio, a castle built in the 14th century by Cangrande II della Scala. Its history, intertwined with the events of the city, is a mirror of the long evolution of Verona.

A city that has known dominations and changes, and which has preserved the traces of every era in its walls and in its artistic treasures. Castelvecchio was a strategic work, built as a fortified nucleus of control over the Adige and today presents itself as an authentic work of art in itself, thanks to the restoration genius of Carlo Scarpa .

The history of Castelvecchio in Verona

Exploring the Castelvecchio Museum is a compelling journey through the centuries, an immersion in Verona's artistic past that spans medieval, Renaissance and modern eras. The Castelvecchio Museum, overlooking the banks of the Adige in Verona, embodies the troubled and fascinating history of a building that went from a mighty medieval fortress to a refined art museum. Its transformation is a testimony to how the architecture and function of a place can evolve over the centuries, adapting to the changing needs of society and culture.

The history of the building begins in the 14th century, when the noble Cangrande II della Scala , lord of Verona, had the Castelvecchio built. The strategic position on the Adige river gave the castle a role in defense and control of the northern access to the city. Castelvecchio was built by incorporating parts of a medieval city wall and the remains of an ancient church.

As the centuries passed, it underwent various transformations and adaptations:

  • It was used as a barracks and powder magazine;
  • it hosted the Military Academy.

With Napoleonic and Austrian rule, the castle lost part of its defensive structures, but was also enriched by an additional fort. In 1923, the building was transferred from the Italian State to the Municipality of Verona and became a museum.

Thanks to the work of the director Licisco Magagnato and the architect Carlo Scarpa , the castle underwent a radical restoration and rearrangement between 1958 and 1964. This intervention marked a turning point in the museum and architectural concept. Carlo Scarpa transformed Castelvecchio into a “ museum within a museum ”. The interiors of the castle were restored and reorganized to create a coherent and engaging exhibition itinerary.

The collections of the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona

The collections kept inside the Castelvecchio tell stories of works of art and the men who protected and preserved them over the centuries. The origin of the collections dates back to the 19th century, when the painter Saverio Dalla Rosa committed himself to saving the works of ancient municipal and ecclesiastical property from the risk of dispersion, donating them to the new municipal gallery established in 1827.

These works constituted the initial nucleus, to which marbles, ancient objects, medals and paintings from donations and bequests were added. This succession of generous donations and acquisitions has constantly enriched the collections, transforming the museum into a priceless treasure.

The museum itinerary offers a fascinating insight into Veronese and Italian art. It starts with medieval art, evidenced by the Gothic sculpture of the Master of Sant'Anastasia and the masterpieces of Turone and Altichiero. The Renaissance arrives in Verona thanks to Andrea Mantegna, and the exhibition hosts works by Liberale da Verona, Domenico and Francesco Morone. Great Venetian names such as Giovanni Bellini and Tintoretto find their place alongside Flemish and Dutch artists.

The section dedicated to the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries reveals the richness and variety of artistic styles and themes of those periods. The paintings of Paolo Morando known as Cavazzola, Gianfrancesco Caroto, Paolo Caliari known as Veronese and many others convey the artistic and cultural evolution of those centuries. The Castelvecchio Museum is a journey through time through the works of the masters who have shaped the history of art.

The collection of sidearms of Castelvecchio

 The collection of modern and contemporary sidearms and firearms is one of the most interesting in northern Italy. A journey through the history of weapons, an immersion in the evolution of war technologies through objects that tell of wars and strategies, of social and cultural changes.

An interesting collection which in itself deserves a thorough visit to the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona .

Visit the Verona and the Castelvecchio Museum

The Castelvecchio Museum is a symbol of conservation and valorization of the artistic and cultural heritage. Through the efforts of generations of curators, scholars and enthusiasts, the museum has become a beacon for lovers of art and history. It is a place that celebrates art in the context of history and architecture, offering visitors a complete and fascinating experience.

This place represents a cultural jewel where past and present merge in an intense and evocative dialogue. For those wishing to visit Verona and discover all its charms, the best choice is to stop and stay overnight in the city.


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