The Santa Maria Antica Church is located on a corner of the Piazza dei Signori in Verona. It used to be the favourite church of the family Della Scala, which for more than a century was the most powerful family in the city. The famous Gothic cemetery known as the Arche Scaligere is right next to the church.
Santa Maria Antica Church Verona
Address, opening times and admission
The address of the Chiesa di Santa Maria Antica is Via Arche Scaligere, 3 – 37121 Verona (tel. +39 045 595508). The church is open every day during normal church hours. Admission is free.
History and description
Despite it being a rather small church, the Chiesa di Santa Maria Antica was the family church of the most important family of the city. It was originally built in the 8th century, but had to be completely reconstructed after the earthquake of 1117.
Cangrande I Della Scala, one of the most powerful members of the dynasty, is buried in a Gothic sarcophagus attached above the church portal. Other members of the family are buried next to the church, in the Arche Scaligeri.
The three naves of the church, the decorations of which are fairly sober, are separated by two rows of seven columns and end in three small apses. The apses were sculpted into the thick wall of the chapel. The walls of the side apses are characterized by alternating layers of tuff stone and red brick.
The frescoes in the central apse were painted in the 14th century.
The floor mosaic in the left apse was laid in the 8th century.
The baptismal font is decorated with two Lions of San Marco.