Unconventional itinerary through underground Verona
Verona hides a surprising underground city where it is possible to admire archaeological sites and finds that give glimpses of both private and public life of the city in Roman times.
Like most Italian cities of Roman origin, Verona is also composed of overlapped layers. Each of them is an important witness of the era it belongs to.
Walking through Verona you will for sure notice monuments such as the Arena, the Roman Theater and Ponte Pietra. But going down just a few meters – about three – below the current street level, you will find yourselves among domus, streets and temples dating back about two millennia ago. If in many cities the archaeological finds have been transferred to museums, in Verona they have been left in place and enhanced by architectural solutions that allow easy access.
We therefore invite you to join a real time travel to discover the most mysterious side of Verona, delving into its ancient history, just a few meters below the most popular tourist itineraries.
Dating back to the mid-1st century BC, the Campidoglio was Verona’s main temple in Roman times. Traditionally dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, it is an imposing building located on a raised platform of about 2 meters on one side of Piazza Erbe, once the Roman forum.
A portion of the Campidoglio was found in the basement of the Maffei Restaurant, where remains of the pronaos foundations, some columns of the Tuscan order and a marble podium are visible.
Thanks to a special agreement between Hotel Indigo Verona and the Maffei Restaurant, our guests will be offered a suggestive welcome aperitif in the restaurant’s underground cellar and an unmissable tour of the archaeological excavations preserved therein.
Another part of the Campidoglio was found under the loggia of Corte Sgarzarie, not far from Piazza Erbe. This site too can be visited and it reveals a portion of the underground portico (cryptoporticus) that ran around the Capitolium platform, a paved pedestrian street, parts of the pillars that supported the vault and the subsequent early medieval interventions with, for example, an ancient ice house.
The Domus in Piazza Nogara
The Roman domus were owned by patrician families, in other words the wealthiest ones. In Verona there are at least four underground sites that present more or less extensive and preserved remains of ancient domus, but the one in Piazza Nogara is particularly recommended both in terms of extension and state of conservation.
We are indeed talking about a very large underground area, about 400 square meters. It is possible to clearly see the perimeter of the house and the subdivision of the various rooms: atrium (inner courtyard) with peristyle (portico), triclinium (dining room), impluvium (water collection tank) and cubicula (bedrooms). It’s also possible to admire large areas of mosaic flooring and even the remains of the hypocaust (underfloor heating).