The Piazza delle Erbe in Verona is located at the spot where the Roman Forum used to be. Over the course of the centuries it has always been the political and economical centre of the city. There is a market every morning.
Piazza delle Erbe Verona
History and description
The Piazza delle Erbe is connected to the adjacent Piazza dei Signori by means of an archway. There are several monuments and sculptures and it is lined by some of the most important buildings of the city. The market is held in the central part of the square, which is called the toloneo.
Main attractions Piazza delle Erbe
Colonna del Mercato
The Colonna del Mercato (“Column of the Market”) was built in 1401. It is crowned by a Greek aedicula. The religious figures in its alcoves were added in 1930. The column was placed in the square by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, in order to show the symbols of his reign over the city.
Madama Verona Fountain
The fountain in the middle of the square was placed there in 1368 by Consignorio. It is completely decorated with bas-relief heads and symbolic figures, probably by Bonino da Campione. Madama Verona started her existence as a 1st century AD Roman statue. Consignorio had to have the missing limbs and parts of the head remade.
Column of St. Mark
The white marble Column of St. Mark symbolizes the Venetian Republic. The original lion was sculpted in 1523, but destroyed by the French troops. The present version dates back to 1886.
The former so-called “tower houses” on the south eastern corner of the square were built during the days of the ghetto.
Casa dei Mercanti or Domus Mercatorum
The Casa dei Mercanti was constructed in 1301 by Alberto I Della Scala. Its portico is supported by columns and pillars. Other striking architectural elements are its wide bifora’s and its battlements. After a reconstruction in the 19th century, the Casa dei Mercanti became the seat of the Camera di Commercio.
Torre del Gardello
The Torre del Gardello stakes up central position in a row of Renaissance buildings. This brick structure was built in 1370. It was commissioned by Cansignorio, who had the city’s oldest clock and bells placed inside it.
The building next to the tower is the Palazzo Maffei. This late-baroque (1668) palace used to have a hanging garden. The six statues crowning its facade depct the heathen Gods Hercules, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, Apollo and Minerva.
Case dei Mazzanti
The facades on the Piazza delle Erbe and the one on the Corso Sant’Anastasia of the Case dei Mazzanti were both frescoed in the 16th century by Alberto Cavalli. The Domus Blandorum, with shops and private houses on the ground floor, and its top floor taken up by a depository of grain, used to stand in this spot.
Arco della Costola
The last part of the square is taken up by the back of the Domus Nova and the side of the Palazzo del Comune. The buildings are separated by the Arco della Costola. This “Arch of the Rib” is named for the rib of a whale, which has been suspended from the vault since the middle of the 18th century. The arch leads to the Piazza dei Signori.
Torre dei Lamberti
The Torre dei Lamberti is between the two squares. From the tower you have a beautiful view over the entire city, although you will have to climb 35\68 steps to get to the top. It is 84 metres tall, which makes it the highest building of the city.