For seven centuries, the elegant fortification has been a sentinel on the Adige River.
Leaving Piazza Bra, walking down via Roma, one of Verona’s shopping promenades, one reaches Castelvecchio, a sp/endid Scala fami/y cast/e commissioned by Cangrande Il and built between 1354 and 1357 on the foundation of an earlier fortress. This was the residence ot the lordship, but also served to defend their realm.
lt is composed of two parts, one of which is separated by walls dating back to the 13th century, boasting seven bordering towers. The other part, on the right side, constitutes the enclosure of the main courtyard, with its parade ground. The left side was the actual home of the ruling Scala family, with a somewhat narrower courtyard and double enclosure wall. In the middle between the two parts, there is the tal! Torre del Mastio (1375), which leads to the castle’s bridge, the Ponte Scaligero, which is one of the most enchanting sites on the Adige River, a perfectly romantic meeting spot for lovers.
After the fall of the Scala rule, it was used as an arsenal by the Venetians, whose beloved Republic, housed their military academy during the 18th century. After that, when Verona was ruled by the French and then by the Austrians, it was used as military barracks. In the year 1923, the castle underwent radical restoration work, dismantling its military character. and in 1928 it became the seat of a museum, bearing the name of the castle: Castelvecchio, or Museo del Castelvecchio.
lt has been the site of important foca/ events, for example in 1943 it housed the assembly that gave fife to the Repubblica di Salò, and, later, it was the piace where the fascists announced the death penalty to the men who tried to depose Mussolini, among whom there was Galeazzo Ciano (Mussolini’s son-in-law). After having been damaged by bombs during World War Il, in 1957 the famous architect Carlo Scarpa and the director of the museum, Licisco Magagnato, made important changes to restare and reorganize the cast/e for it to be better used as a museum, which brings us up to today’s version.