Situated in the heart of northern Italy lies Verona, a city brimming with romance, history, and charm. With its iconic amphitheater, winding streets, and the timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet, Verona has long captured the imagination of travellers from around the world. Amidst this rich tapestry of culture and architecture stands a remarkable gem: the Mazzanti Houses. These frescoed Renaissance dwellings, with their vibrant hues and intricate designs, are a testament to Verona’s glorious past.
Located prominently in the cityscape, the Mazzanti Houses not only serve as a bridge between the medieval and modern eras but also hold a special place in Verona’s cultural narrative. Their richly painted exteriors tell tales of mythology, politics, and daily life, providing onlookers with a unique glimpse into the Renaissance period. As iconic as the city itself, the Mazzanti Houses remain an enduring symbol of Verona’s artistic and historical legacy.
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Mazzanti Houses, Verona
One of the oldest in the charming city of Verona, in northern Italy, the Mazzanti Houses is a group of frescoed Renaissance houses. The building is breathtakingly beautiful, painted in both subtle and vibrant colours. They are located from via Mazzanti and all the way round to Corso Sant Anastasia, facing one of the most famous historical squares in Verona, Piazza delle Erbe.
TOP PICKS FOR VERONA
For the best experience of Verona, consider these tips:
⭐ STAY at Due Torri Hotel, overlooking the historic centre and enjoy breakfast over sunrise or dinner over sunset from its large roof terrace.
⭐ BOOK Food Walking Tour: Eat your way through Verona, taste their famous wines and see the city’s highlights with a local guide; An all-round experience in one 3.5-hour tour.
⭐ See More! Go to the Dolomites or Sirmione + Lake Garda for a day and be completely awestruck by the scenic views. Transportation is provided so, just sit back, relax, and enjoy. After all, you’re on vacation.
⭐ Download the VERONA CITY PASS for free local transport, including entry to the Arena, Lamberti Tower and museums
Historical Background of the Mazzanti Houses, Verona
Step back in time, way back to the 1300s, and imagine a bustling Verona in the midst of the Middle Ages. It was during this vibrant era that the foundation stones of the Mazzanti Houses were laid, setting the stage for a legacy that would span centuries.
The influential Scagliari (Scala) Family that would soon become synonymous with power and prestige in Verona. Not yet the lords of the city, but their fingerprints were everywhere. They recognized the potential of the Mazzanti Houses and transformed it into a bustling hub, using the edifice to store their abundant wheat supplies. Beneath the grandeur of the house’s upper levels, local merchants would hawk their wares in lively shops.
Transition of Ownership: From Gonzaga to Mazzanti:
Ownership of property, like the sands of time, often shifts. The Gonzaga family, seeing an opportunity, seized the Mazzanti Houses but, in a twist of fate or perhaps financial need, passed the torch to the Mazzanti family in 1527. This transition marked a new chapter in the house’s storied history.
Verona in the 1500s: Verona – The ‘Urbs Picta’:
In the 1500s, Verona transformed into the ‘urbs picta’ or the painted city, a canvas of colour and artistry. Streets and squares came alive with vibrant frescoes, turning the city into a living, breathing masterpiece. These houses stood as a radiant testament to this golden era, their walls echoing the city’s newfound identity.
The colourful houses weren’t just a random trend; it was a statement. The city’s affluent and nobility took to this artful expression with enthusiasm, turning their homes into public art galleries. Brightly painted front walls became symbols of status and sophistication, reflecting the city’s flourishing artistic spirit and the Veronese nobles’ deep pockets and deeper appreciation for art.
Mazzanti Houses today
Journey through Verona and find yourself wandering the captivating stretch between Via Mazzanti and Corso Sant Anastasia. Here, the Mazzanti Houses stand in all their grandeur, framing the vibrant heart of the city. Their facade, adorned with tales of times gone by, gracefully overlooks the historic Piazza delle Erbe. This isn’t just a location; it’s an experience. Each brick and fresco whispering secrets of Verona’s past while pulsating with the rhythm of the present.
A look at the Mazzanti houses and you will instantly be intrigued by the many frescoes of mythological and allegorical scenes painted by Alberto Cavalli. For some, these images may tell a story and find them interesting while for some, these could be an eye-sore, yet others may not even give it any attention! Nevertheless, it is a colourful collection from the middle ages that blends well with the historical and delightful Piazza delle Erbe.
The ground floor of Mazzanti Houses, Verona
Where once merchants plied their trade, the aromas of garlic, basil, and simmering tomatoes now beckon. The ground floor of the Mazzanti Houses has gracefully transformed into a haven for food enthusiasts. Wander in and be greeted by menus flaunting an array of Italian delicacies. And while every dish promises a burst of flavour, the pastas and seafood linguine deserve a standing ovation. So, pull up a chair, let the ambiance of the Piazza delle Erbe envelop you, and dine like Veronese nobles. There is additional seating on the first floor.
Georgina: The first floor rooms are small (as to be expected of medieval homes) but the tables were arranged in a way that there was just enough room to go around. My visit was off-season, in November. The restaurants were not busy and we could easily get a table without having to wait.
Albergo Mazzanti: The Veronese Retreat
If the walls of Albergo Mazzanti could talk, they’d weave tales of countless travellers who’ve sought its embrace for an authentic Veronese experience. Nestled within the heart of the Mazzanti Houses, this accommodation isn’t just a place to rest but a voyage into Verona’s soul. From its rustic charm to its warm hospitality, Albergo Mazzanti offers guests more than a stay – it offers a story.
Piazza delle Erbe is a vibrant square and if you want to experience an authentic Veronese culture, staying in the heart of the square even for one night will be an enriching experience. You may wish to consider Albergo Mazzanti.
Albergo Mazzanti is a 3-star superior hotel located in the heart of enchanting Verona. It is popular among tourists because the best of the beaten path are all within a few minutes reach. The infamous balcony of Shakespeare’s star-struck lovers is located less than one kilometre (200 yards) away. The world famous open-air amphitheatre is also less than five-minutes walk. Being close to everything means that there will probably be no need for use of public transportation to get to the attractions.
The non-smoking hotel is inviting and decorated with warm and pleasing colours. It’s refined decor goes well with the history of the square. With a buffet breakfast, friendly staff and 10% discount at Caffè Dante Bistrot, you are sure to have one of the best memories of your vacation in Verona.
To book your stay at Albergo Mazzanti for a memorable experience, checkout their discounts and offers on this page
The Mazzanti Houses, while often overshadowed by Verona’s more renowned attractions, hold a unique allure that beckons the discerning traveler. Easily overlooked in a cursory stroll, these frescoed gems truly deserve a pause, a moment of observation, and admiration. For those who seek to truly understand and embrace the heart of Verona, the Mazzanti Houses are an unmissable chapter.
Joining a food walking tour in Verona effortlessly blends gastronomic delights with iconic landmarks, offering first-time visitors a comprehensive taste of the city’s essence. Amplify your stay by booking at the Due Torri Hotel, where a welcoming roof terrace awaits, inviting guests to relish breakfast during a serene sunrise or savour dinner against the backdrop of a golden sunset.Enhance your journey with side trips to Sirmione, Gardaland, or Milan, and unlock numerous attractions seamlessly with the Verona Card – an essential for savvy travelers.
As you continue your journey through this historic city, don’t forget to navigate our other posts on Verona. Dive deeper, explore further, and enrich your Veronese experience with every tale and tidbit we have to offer.
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This post was first published in July, 2020. Last updated on September 29, 2023.