The Arco dei Gavi is a Roman monument in Verona. It is located next to the Castelvecchio and was built in the 1st century AD. After having been destroyed by the French in the 19th century, the arch was placed in its present position in 1932. The original blocks were reassembled for this purpose.
Arco dei Gavi Verona
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Corso Castelvecchio, 2 – 37121 Verona. Openinghours and entrance fee: The monument is in the open air and can be viewed at any time.
History and description
The Arco dei Gavi is located on a small square overlooking the river Adige. The Roman architect Lucio Vitruvio Cerdone designed the arch i the 1st century AD. At the time it was rare for an architect to sign his work, but Lucio was obviously proud enough of his work to break with that tradition.
The arch was built for the family Gavia, the one of the most powerful families of Verona.
Its original location was along the Via Postumia, close to the present Torre dell’Orologio. In one spot you can still see traces of where the foundation of the arch’s pillars used to be.
During the middle ages, the Arco dei Gavi, then between the tower and the city walls, was used as an entry gate into the city.
In the 16th century, several buildings were built against it. It was also used to house some shops.
In 1805, Napoleon’s occupying troops wanted to demolish the monument. They claimed it obstructed, especially military, traffic. The blocks of stone were first transported to the Piazza Cittadella, and subsequently to the Arena.
In 1932 the arch was reconstructed, using the original blocks.
It is made of white limestone and has four facades. The two main sides faced the Via Postumia. The base of the Corinthian columns is decorated with plant motives. The ceiling is decorated with a head of Medusa.
The alcoves on the pediment used to contain statues depicting members of the Gavi family and some inscriptions. Unfortunately these were lost in the course of the centuries.
The black basalt pavement underneath the monument was taken from the original Via Postumia. You can still see the impressions made by the carriages that used to travel over this road.