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HISTORY OF VERONA in a NUTSHELL
148 BC – The Roman presence in Verona began with the opening of the Via Postumia, the
Roman east-west road that crossed the Italian peninsula from Genoa to the Adriatic sea.
49 BC – The founding of the Roman city is confirmed in an inscription on Porta Leoni,
the Roman gate that still stands near the part of the river Adige.
30 BC – The Roman theatre in Verona was built on the hill overlooking the great bend in the river Adige and is a monumental background to the rest of the city. As a scenic ensemble it was unmatched in northern Italy.
30 AD – The Roman amphitheatre was built outside the town walls. The facades of the city gates elegantlyrenewed , and the via Postumia, leading out of the western gate, was lined with temples and triumphal arches (Arco dei Gavi).
265 AD – The old Roman walls were rebuilt in the short space of nine months. The Empire started to break apart under the strain of political and military instability. Invaders started coming down from north of the Alps.
312 AD – Constantine the Great defeats Massenzio, who had taken refuge in Verona.
313 AD – Emperor Constantine extends tolerance to the Christians.
372 AD – The death of St Zeno (San Zeno), 8th bishop of the town and Patron Saint of Verona.
493 – Theodore, King of the Ostrogoths, became King of Italy, and of Verona, as well as of Pavia and Ravenna, his royal cities.
568 – After the Ostrogoths, the Lombards under King Alboin settled in Verona.
774 – After the Lombards, the Franks of Charlemagne settled in Italy and Verona benefit from a period of political and cultural Renaissance rebirth.
950 – The invasions from northern Europe stopped.
1117 – A terrible earthquake destroyed the town and surrounding territory.
1136 – Verona became a self-governed municipality. Reconstruction of the entire town began. The Romanesque brickwork is evident in civil and religious buildings.
1138 – The beautiful church of San Zeno was rebuilt and became pride for the whole city.
1196 – The city government headquarters was completed. It still displays the characteristic striped brickwork in Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori.
1200 – Factional unrest among rival families, among which the Montagues and Capulets, led to the end of the Commune and to thebeginning of the Signoria.
1277 – The Scaliger Signoria officially started its rule over the town of Verona and its territory.
1304 – Dante Alighieri, exiled from Florence, found refuge in Verona as a guest of Cangrande, the first Lord of Verona.
1329 – Cangrande I died after conquering the town of Treviso. He made Verona the capital of the Veneto Region.
1387 – The end of the Scaliger family rule.
1405 – Verona was ruled by the Doge in Venice and enjoyed four centuries of peace. The ancient glory of Verona was revived under the guidance and X protection of the Most Serene Republic of Venice.
1796 – The Most Serene Republic of Venice, after a millennium of existence, surrendered to Napoleon.
1801 – Verona was divided between the Austrians, who had conquered the left bank of the Adige and the French who held the right bank.
1805 – Verona was absorbed into Napoleon’s Kingdom of Italy.
1814 – After Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow and his defeat at the ‘Battle of Nations’ near Leipzig, Russia, Prussia and Austria, the victorious allies, restored the Austrian presence in northern Italy.
1815 – After the ‘Congress of Vienna’ , Verona became one of the Austrian controlled northern Italian cities.
1822 – ‘The Congress of Verona’, one of the periodic summit conferences intended to preserve the peace and balance of power in post-Napoleonic Europe, was held in the town. A glittering event on the diplomatic and social calendar that was attended by crowned heads and the greatest statesmen of eleven nations.
1830 – Insurrections against Austria all over northern Italy transformed Verona into an immense military camp and supply centre.
1848 – The wars for independence began. Verona was the Italian civil capital of Habsburg Empire and also its main communication centre.
1866 – After the Austrians were defeated at Sadowa, the Veneto Region was annexed to Italy. The Italian State continued to keep Verona as a garrison against Austria until the end of the First World War.
1882 – High banks along the river Adige were built to put an end to the many floods caused by the river overflowing its banks.
1943 – World War II – Verona was the capital of Mussolini’s ‘Repubblica di Salò’.
1945 – On the arrival of the Allies, the Germans mined all the bridges on the river Adige and blew them up to protect their escape to Germany.
1950 – Reconstruction of the town and all the bridges. Considerable care was taken in rebuilding the historical bridges, by retrieving every single stone and brick, which had been part of the original bridge, from the river.
1960-70 – Exemplary reconstruction of the Castelvecchio Museum by the great Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa.