Mazzanti Houses, Verona: A Frescoed Renaissance Gem in Piazza delle Erbe

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.


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.

the beautiful Casa dei Mazzanti, richly decorated with frescoes by Alberto Cavalli in the first half of 1500s. The house overlooks Piazza delle Erbe, the oldest square in Verona, and the heart of the city.
the beautiful Casa dei Mazzanti, richly decorated with frescoes by Alberto Cavalli in the first half of 1500s. The house overlooks Piazza delle Erbe, the oldest square in Verona, and the heart of the city.

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.

detail of Mazzanti Houses in Verona, Italy. This building was owned and frescoed by Mazzanti family in the 16th century.
detail of Mazzanti Houses in Verona, Italy. This building was owned and frescoed by Mazzanti family in the 16th century.

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.

Mazzanti House Verona by Alberto Cavalli c1500s
Mazzanti House Verona by Alberto Cavalli c1500s

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.

Restaurants line the perimeter of Piazza delle Erbe, Verona
Restaurants line the perimeter of Piazza delle Erbe, Verona

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

Albergo Mazzanti | Verona
Albergo Mazzanti, Verona

In sum…

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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Important Tips for Your Verona Trip

Here are the seven important tips for you when exploring Verona:

🏨 Book Accommodation in Advance: Verona is a popular destination, so it’s advisable to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. This ensures you have a comfortable place to stay that suits your budget and preferences.

🌞 Consider Peak Seasons: Be mindful of peak tourist seasons, such as summer and major holidays, when Verona can get crowded. If possible, plan your visit during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) to enjoy pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

🚶‍♂️ Join Guided Walking Tours: To make the most of your Verona experience, consider joining guided walking tours. Knowledgeable guides can provide historical insights and take you to hidden gems you might miss on your own. READ: The BEST 9 Charming Walking Tours in Verona and choose the one for you.

🚍 Explore Surrounding Areas: While in Verona, take advantage of its strategic location to explore nearby attractions like Venice or Lake Garda. Day trips to these destinations can enhance your Italian adventure.

🎫 Verona Card: Consider getting a Verona Card, which offers free or discounted entry to many of the city’s museums and attractions such as the Verona Arena and Lamberti Tower. It can save you money and provide convenient access to Verona’s cultural heritage. Verona Card includes free public transport which means you save on €€!

🎢 Go to the largest theme park in Italy, a stone’s throw from Verona for a fun day for all the family.

🔌 Ensure you have the correct plugs, and adapters. Take some Euro currency along and figure out a suitable eSim mobile data roaming for Verona.

By following these tips, you can ensure a more enjoyable and memorable visit to Verona while making the most of your time and resources.

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This post was first published in July, 2020. Last updated on September 29, 2023.