Castel San Pietro
How to get there and what to see
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.