Roman Age Verona Tour

Verona, after Rome, is the city with more visible remains from the I century BC to the IV century AD. So many that the city is also referred to as "small Rome".
The same urban structure of Verona city center preserves the typical layout of the Roman grid with decumanus and cardus (parallel and perpendicular streets) and the forum in the middle (today Piazza delle Erbe). Large remains of the defensive wall and two of the four monumental doors are still well preserved (Porta Borsari and Porta Leoni). The Arena, the magnificent amphitheater, is certainly the most evident monument from Roman Age, but in Verona there are also the remains of a theater from the 1st century B.C., various domus (noble family house) with their mosaics, paved roads, and much more to visit both above and below the current street level.

Guided Itineraries

Half day tour

Duration: 2h30'

The itinerary includes the following monuments:

  • Porta Borsari: the defensive system of the Roman city with the walls (remains still visible) and the gates that controlled the access.
  • Corso Porta Borsari: the ancient main street. Description of the urban grid layout of the Roman cities.
  • Piazza Erbe: the ancient forum, the central square of every roman city. Illustration of the social, political and economic function of the forum and the public buildings that stood there.
  • Remains of the original Roman pavement and mosaics of domus in Piazza dei Signori.
  • Porta Leoni gate with the excavation.
  • Arena (optional entrance): focus on entertainment industry in Roman Age, the gladiators' games, etc.

All day tour

Duration: 4h-4h30', generally divided in half between morning and afternoon.

The following monuments are added to the itinerary of the half-day illustrated above:

  • Arco dei Gavi and the remains of via Postumia: the extra-urban road system with the consular roads and Roman monumental arches.
  • Ponte Pietra, the old Roman bridge, the oldest construction in Verona.
  • Roman Theater: The theater in ancient Greek-Roman times, actors and masks.
  • Ancient Christian churches (IV Century). The beginning of the Christian era in ancient world.
  • Underground remains.

In-Depth Focus

The guided tour through the Roman Age Verona can be further explored by visiting the following museums and archaeological sites.

Museums

  • Archaeological Museum. In a breathtaking location inside an old monastery above the Roman theater overlooking the city. The exhibition is divided into thematic areas: the Roman house, funeral rituals, entertainment, monumental statuary, religion.
  • Lapidary Museum. Latin epigraphy.

Underground

Verona has numerous underground spaces that allow to see some very interesting finds from the Roman era still where archeologists found them.
Access is subject to restrictions on time, number of visitors, and must be agreed in advance with the guide and the property of the buildings under which the excavation is located.

  • Corte Sgarzarie: the remains of a portion of the base of the Capitolium, the main temple of the Roman city.
  • Domus of Piazza Nogara: remains of a patrician domus of 400 m2 in which, although very ruined by time, i is possibly to clearly see the layout of the various rooms: atrium (courtyard), impluvium (water collection tank), peristyle (porch), triclinium (dining room), cubicle (bedrooms), along with extensive remains of mosaics.
  • Scaligeri excavations: the extraordinary underground museum of Verona with remains of Roman roads and sewers, mosaics of domus, Lombard tombs, medieval towers. (Currently closed for restoration).
  • Villa di Valdonega: remains of a portion of a patrician villa built in what was once a suburban area. Large portions of the mosaic floor and decorative frescoes on the walls are visible.
  • Dodici Apostoli restaurant excavation: under the wine cellar of a famous restaurant an extensive excavation made visible portions of two large public buildings from the I Century A.D..

History

In the second century B.C. Verona was a small village of a local Veneti or Raethian population. Since the bronze age (1000 B.C.) there had been a small settlement, simple huts protected by a wooden fence, on the top of a hill close to the river Adige, today St. Peter's hill. The river provided water and a natural way for transportation.
The Romans arrived in the II century B.C., following their expansion in the Italian peninsula, and initially built a military camp. Verona was in a very important strategic position in northern Italy.

Roman Roads

The Romans were building their roads network that soon was to connect the whole Western Europe. Verona was built to control the traffic on the via Postumia, the main East-West axis in northern Italy, from the city to Aquileia to the city of Genoa. The camp and then the city was built over the black stone paved Roman road. After the via Postumia, via Gallica, connecting Verona to Mediolanum (Milan) and the via Claudia Augusta connecting Brenner pass to the north with Ostiglia to the south, were built.
As the border of the Roman Empire moved north, Verona became a peaceful city in the middle of a great Empire. Being in the middle of an important network of roads Verona became an important business center and wealthy town, rich in monuments, public buildings and villas of noble families and merchants.

The end of the Empire

After the fall of the Roman Empire Verona found itself on the invasion routes of the barbaric tribes that invaded the rich territory of the Italian peninsula. Verona, as many other Italian cities was devastated by these invasions, sieges, wars and then earthquakes and the terrible floods of the river Adige. Nevertheless still nowadays in Verona there are more Roman remains then in any other city except Rome: a magnificently preserved Amphitheater (the Arena), a triumph arch (Gavi Arch), two gates, a theater and then roads, mosaic floors, defensive walls, remains of public buildings and a countless number of statues, columns, inscriptions scattered all over the old town and in Verona museums.

Together with the tourist guides of Verona who will explain you all the fascinating tales, legends and episodes of the history of Verona you'll be able to visit all Roman remains with a comprehensive tour.

For additional information on Roman Verona guided tour or to book one of our exclusive guided itinerary you can contact Verona Tourist Guides.