Unlike in most major cities in Italy, the important churches in Verona are not free. The “historic churches”, i.e. the Duomo, the San Zeno Church, the Basilica of Saint Anastasia and the Church of San Fermo Maggiore, all require an entrance fee. The smaller churches, several of which are almost as beautiful, tend to be free.
The historic churches San Zeno, Duomo, Santa Anastasia and San Fermo
It is recommended to buy a special pass for the four “historic churches”. The price is 6 Euros, but this is definitely money well spent. You can buy these passes at the churches themselves.
The Cathedral is characterized by an impressive facade, decorated with sculptures of evangelists, saints and knights. The Duomo is part of a complex including the San Giovanni in Fonte Baptistery and the ancient Sant’Elena Church, now underground.
San Zeno Church
The San Zeno Church is less centrally located than the other main churches. The present church dates back to the 12th century, but the original version was built on top of a Roman burial site. The church has a beautiful ceiling, but the absolute highlight are the bronze door panels.
San Fermo Maggiore Church
The San Fermo Maggiore Church is not just one, but two churches on top of one another. The bottom one is Roman, the top one Gothic. The Brenzoni Mausoleum is a highlight and so is the magnificent ship’s keel ceiling of the upper church.
Not far from the Duomo, the Sant’Anastasia Church was constructed between the end of the 13th and the 15 century. Highlights are the beautiful floor and the two baptismal fonts carried by hunchbacks. The 16 side chapels are rather ornately decorated.
Other interesting churches
Santi Apostoli Church
The most interesting part of the Santi Apostoli Church is its cellar, which contains a second church, this one dedicated to Teuteria and Tosca. The lower church contains some interesting tombs. Highlights of the Santi Apostoli church are the bell tower and the apse.
Santa Maria Antica Church
The Santa Maria Antica Church is located just off the main square Piazza dei Signori. It was the family church of the Della Scala, absolute rulers over the city. The tombs of the most notable members of this family are in the adjacent Arche Scaligere, but the one of Cangrande I is above the church entrance.
San Lorenzo Church
The San Lorenzo Church was built in 117, on top of an early Christian basilica. Its exterior alternates brick and stone strips. There are 13th century frescoes and the bell tower dates back to the 15th century. It is located on the Corso Cavour, one of the main streets of the city.
San Giovanni in Valle Church
The San Giovanni in Valle Church was built in the early Middle Ages and is located east of the river. The facade dates back to the 14th century. The frescoes in both the church itself and the crypt have almost completely faded. Highlights are the two sarcophagi in this crypt.
San Giorgio in Braida Church
The San Giorgio in Braida Church is located across the river. It was constructed in 1530 by the famous local architect Michele Sanmicheli. This Renaissance church is graced by paintings by Veronese, Tintoretto and others.
Almost directly across from the central station is a big church, which is usually called Tempio Votivo, although its official name is Cuore Immacolato di Maria. In 1943 the bishop of Verona promised to build a church if God would makes sure the city would survive the war without damage. God complied, the Cardinal kept his word, and between 1950 and 1952 Paolo Rossi de Paoli constructed the church.