The rooms of this restored medieval fortress are home to a fascinating museum, which has collections of Veronese art and sculpture.
Take a step back in time to life in Verona during the Middle Ages at Castelvecchio. This riverfront castle is among the most significant military buildings erected by the noble Scaligeri family, who once ruled the city as the Lords of Verona. Wander the grounds of Castelvecchio and then spend time browsing the art exhibitions of the excellent Castelvecchio Museum (Museo di Castelvecchio).
Cangrande II della Scala commissioned the castle in 1354 as a private residence and fortification. It commands a strategic location on the banks of the Adige River, which would have provided a fast escape route in the event of an attack. Walk amid the courtyards and through the many tunnels. Spot the imposing keep, look up at the many towers and gaze along the fortified Ponte Scaligero bridge.
After the Scaligeri reign the castle was used as barracks for Austrian troops and the army of Napoleon I. It suffered heavy damage as a result of World War II bomb raids and was redesigned into a functional museum by the acclaimed Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa in the 1950s. Today the Castelvecchio Museum has 29 exhibition rooms with examples of medieval, Renaissance and modern art.
Discover around 90,000 coins and medals, 2,500 paintings and 500 sculptures in addition to decorative arts, ethnographic objects and weapons. Admire masterpieces such as Madonna of the Quail by Veronese painter Pisanello. The sculpture collection features works from the 1100s to 1500s, most notably a group of religious figures called the Maestro di Santa Anastasia. See Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins and weapons used by the World War I general Alberto Pariani.
The castle and museum sit in the southwestern corner of Città Antica, Verona’s historic quarter. The city’s railway terminal is 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) to the south. Public buses stop at the entrance to the castle.
Castelvecchio and Castelvecchio Museum are open daily and there’s an admission fee. Note that on Monday the attractions are open in the afternoon only. Purchase the VeronaCard for free entry to this and 15 other citywide sights.