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Castel San Pietro:

History, curiosities, and legends of the most exciting places in Verona, a stone's throw from the ruins of the ancient Roman Theater.

Castel San Pietro is located on the left of the Adige river, the area that the French renamed Veronetta – little Verona – because it belonged to the Austrians. Its position on Colle San Pietro, which rises a few hundred meters, is strategic for controlling the surrounding area. For this reason, already during the Iron Age, a first residential nucleus was created on the hill. During Roman times, a sacred and fortified place was built beyond the river to guard the passage of the Via Postumia and the urban center on the Adige.

Today Castel San Pietro is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Verona because from its square you can admire one of the most suggestive panoramas of the city embraced by the Adige. Unmissable.

Here are some suggestions on how to get there and what to see along the way to Castel San Pietro.

Castel San Pietro: what to see

What everyone calls the Castle is truly an Austrian barracks, which Field Marshal Radetzky had built – between 1854 and 1856 – similar to a castle so to be in harmony with the existing Scaliger walls. The location on the San Pietro hill allowed the Austrians to dominate the city.

The barracks are four stories high with two side towers and 87 rooms; they could accommodate up to 460 soldiers. Unfortunately, it is currently not accessible and only the external area can be visited.

The hill has always been a fortified place: after the Romans, it was Berengario, between the ninth and tenth centuries, who consolidated its defensive function by building a castle. Then Cangrande della Scala continued the work, also erecting mighty walls, 8 – 9 meters high and protected by a deep moat. The Scaliger walls, made up of curtains and towers, are an integral part of the urban walls that can be admired today for 9 km.

Gian Galeazzo Visconti in 1393 had the Visconti Castle built by Venetians, superimposing it on the previous buildings. Unfortunately, the French army of Napoleon, in 1801, almost destroyed the castle and its internal buildings, including the church of San Pietro which dated back to the 8th century.

It is thanks to the rich history of sites such as Castel San Pietro, that Verona was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Its architecture and urban structure are exceptional examples of a fortified city belonging to the European history.


Castel San Pietro: how to get there

If you are driving to Verona, you can park the car in the square right in front of Castel San Pietro. There are also other parking lots in the area. The closest ones: piazza Martiri della Libertà, vicolo Botte, via Santo Stefano, piazza Cisterna, piazza Isolo (the largest; the entrance is in Via Ponte Pignolo 6 / C and the cost is 2.10 euros / h).

Castel San Pietro can be easily reached with the historic funicular railway of Verona, which is located near the Roman theater (via Fontanelle di Santo Stefano 6). It was inaugurated in 1941 and was closed a few years later due to the economic difficulties brought on by the war, the funicular railway went back into operation in 2017. It is open from 11.00 to 21.00 (last ride at 8.45 pm) from April and October and from 10.30 to 16.30 from November in March. Festive closings: December 25th and January 1st . The cost of the ticket is 2 euros for ascent and descent.

Our advice is to take a walk, to savor this path in history.

You can start from Ponte di Pietra, one of the most ancient testimonies of Roman Verona and, flanking the archaeological area of the Roman Theater, take the stairs to Castel San Pietro, which leads to the top of the hill.

Those who leave their car in the parking lot in Via Ponte Pignolo can reach Castel San Pietro with a walk of about 20 minutes. Going along Via San Giovanni in Valle, you pass in front of a green area delimited by ancient buildings of medieval origin called Corte del Duca: in this area stood the Palazzo of Teodorico, and subsequently the palace of Alboino, king of the Lombards, who conquered Verona in 568 AD. Not far away, you will find the Church of San Giovanni in Valle, built in the 6th century on a Roman temple dedicated to the God of Sun, which was later used by the Goths and Lombards for Aryan worship. In the underground crypt, which houses early Christian and pagan finds, there are traces of the succession of cults. Taking the Salita Fontana di Ferro, on the left you will finally reach Castel San Pietro.

Our room in Verona

If are looking for an evocative setting for your stay, then Hotel Veronesi La Torre is the perfect starting point for discovering Verona and the beauty of its territory. Red bricks alternating with white stones, our hotel was built inside an ancient 16th-century monastery, immersed in a relaxing green courtyard outside the city.

To reach the historic center and the airport, we offer a free, convenient and fast shuttle service.

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