Piazza Bra | Verona | Best 7 experiences!
Simply known as Bra, Piazza Bra is the main square and heart of life in Verona. It is one of the largest squares in Italy as well as in Europe. Located inside the City’s gates, Piazza Bra is a beautiful and an expansive square. It’s like a huge arrival hall from whence you get to various places and attractions. The pink marble liston is perfect for a stroll. Bra is also a destination for to observe and people-watch over a cup of coffee. Enjoy a meal at one of the al frescoes restaurants that are lined alongside prominent historic buildings from medieval times to present day. Piazza Bra should top your visit list to Verona. The square is a frequent stop on guided walking or bike tours of the city.
About this post on Piazza Bra | Verona
This post on Piazza Bra sets out brief historical notes on its development as a square together with the limitations of its perimeter by notable constructions. Along with this, is a list of popular attractions in the square which you should not miss when visiting Piazza Bra.
Piazza Bra – An overview of the development of a “square”
The word “Bra” has its origins in German from the word “breit” which means “broad“. It began to be defined as a “square” in the mid sixteenth century.
The Palace of Honours was built by architect Michele Sammicheli on the west of the Square with the purpose of limiting the perimeter of the square from future expansion. On the southern side, the Grand Guardia Palace was constructed and you will also find Portoni del Bra archway which encloses the south. Then in the nineteenth century, Palazzo Barbieri, the neoclassical City Hall was constructed alongside the Arena on the eastern side of the Square, with the Arena on the north of the square.
The Square was paved off completely with pink marble from the Valpolicella region in 1782.
Piazza Bra – Historical use of the Square
A notable use of the square was in the mid twelfth century as a “livestock” market. Along with it, the Bra was also used for wood, hay and straw.
Piazza Bra is no stranger to the ancient custom of holding a fair. The one that had survived through the centuries to today is the fair of St Lucy. The fair of St Lucy takes place each year between 11th and 13th December.
7 Popular attractions at Piazza Bra that should not be missed
This beautiful and expansive square in the heart of Verona has several historic buildings, gardens, and fountains. Here are the popular attractions which you may want experience:
1 | Verona Arena | Arena di Verona
Verona Arena is the largest open air amphitheatre in the world. It was built in the first century, survived two earthquakes and all the challenges throughout its 2000 years. It is a true marvel that it is standing in all its glory. Today, the Arena hosts musical events and their popular annual summer Opera evenings. A visit here is highly recommended. All you need to know for a memorable visit is available on this page. You could also peruse and book to join Verona Arena Skip-the-Line Guided Tour. A tour is an opportunity to learn of its long history and marvel at this ancient architecture from within its arched walls.
2 | Gran Guardia Palace | Palazzo della Gran Guardia
Palazzo Gran Guardia is one of Verona’s most impressive of historic buildings. It was designed by Domenico Curtoni and construction began in early seventeenth century. However it took over a hundred years to complete, in the mid nineteenth century by Giuseppe Barbieri. The Gran Guardia is an impressive building with stone stairway, grand porch, pillars and arched windows. Learn more about this beautiful architecture from this page.
3 | I Portoni della Bra
A beautiful piece of architecture and the gateway to the old city, I Portoni della Bra are the two arches on the south side of the square. It has a clock in the centre and on both sides of the arches. It was built by Gian Galeazzo Visconti in late fourteenth century.
4 | Palazzo Barbieri
Palazzo Barbieri sits on the eastern side of Bra. It is of a Neoclassical architecture built in the nineteenth century. This building was designed by Giuseppe Barbieri. Formerly known as Palazzo della Gran Guardia Nuova but was later named Palazzo Barbieri in honour of Giuseppe Barbieri. It has been home to the offices of the municipal administrations since 1869. In the 1940s, the interior of the City Hall was destroyed by fire. This led to internal modifications, rebuilt by adding the rear and the semi-circular wing.
Piazza Barbieri, Piazza Bra, Verona
5 | Fontana delle Alpi – At the centre of Piazza Bra
This fountain is in a small park in the centre of Piazza Bra. It offers a pleasant shady area to walk or to take a break from walking. The Veronese refer to Fontana delle Alpi as a “Lemon Squeezer” (struca limoni) because of its shape.
6 | The statue of King Vittorio Emanuele II – at the centre of the park in Piazza Bra
An equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele II, the first ruler of unified Italy dominates the centre of the park in Piazza Bra.
7 | Museo Lapidario Maffeiano – an archaeological museum
The Museo Lapidario Maffeiano in Piazza Bra was constructed in the middle pf eighteenth century and inextricably tied to Marquess Scipione Maffei (1675-1755). Maffei spent thirty-years collecting hundreds and hundreds of inscriptions. He made his collection displayed to the public, believing that “what is useful to the public must become public domain”. The collection includes 650 findings.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
closed on Mondays
Practical information on Piazza Bra:
1 | Location of Piazza Bra and all attractions listed
Piazza Bra is located at: Piazza Bra, 37121, Verona Italy.
Here is a map on the locations of the places listed in this post so you can easily locate them when you visit.
2 | Basics about the Bra that you need to know
3 | Best time to visit Piazza Bra
The busiest time for tourism in Verona is between June to August. Undoubtedly this is the busiest time at Piazza Bra as well. A visit in the off-season is highly recommended if you are wanting a quieter vacation but still see all the attractions without wrestling the crowds! Learn more on best time to visit Italy from this page to support your visit to Verona.
In any case, whether it is the peak season or the shoulder season, find yourself a seat in one of the al frescoe restaurants lined up at the Bra on early evenings. Over coffee, watch and take part in the daily passeggiata, a tradition when Italian families and groups of friends take a stroll before dinner. Learn more about Italian culture from this page.
4 | Getting to Piazza Bra
Piazza Bra is located in the center of Verona. It’s accessible on foot, by bus, taxi, or as part of a bike or Segway tour of the city center.
Once at the square, all attractions listed here are located within walking distance.
5 | Places to stay near Piazza Bra
The following hotels are within very close proximity of Piazza Bra and other attractions in Verona. Click on the images, peruse and book your stay.
6 | More than one way to experience Piazza Bra and Verona
My thoughts on Piazza Bra…
A visit to Piazza Bra in Verona and you will note that this expansive square has it all! From gardens, fountains, restaurants, street entertainers to grandeur palaces and Roman amphitheatre. A day spent here will be a day well-spent.
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