Piazza delle Erbe

Piazza delle Erbe is a square in Verona. It once was home to the town’s Roman forum during the time of the Roman Empire.

The northern side of the square is occupied by the ancient town hall, the Torre dei Lamberti, the Casa dei Giudici (“Judges Hall”) and the Mazzanti Houses. The western side, the shortest one, features the Baroque Palazzo Maffei, decorated by statues of Greek gods. It is faced by a white marble column, on which is St. Mark’s Lion, symbol of the Republic of Venice.

The north-western side occupies the site of the ancient Roman Capitol Hill, which looked towards the Forum. Numerous of its buildings facing the square have maintained façade frescoes. On the southern side is the Casa dei Mercanti (“House of the Merchants”, also known as Domus Mercatorum). Other buildings are reminiscent of medieval tower-houses.

The square’s most ancient monument is the fountain, surmounted by a statue called Madonna Verona, which is however a Roman sculpture dating to 380 AD. Also historical is the capitello, dating to the 13th century, during which it was used for several ceremonies, including the oath of the city’s medieval podestà and pretors. Towards Via Cappello is another column, with a 14th century aedicula with reliefs of the Virgin and the Saints Zeno, Peter and Christopher.

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