Majestic Gran Guardia Palace | Palazzo della Gran Guardia | Verona

Majestic Gran Guardia Palace | Palazzo della Gran Guardia | Verona

Located in the historic centre of Verona, and next to the welcoming medieval gates of I Portoni della Brà, sits the majestic Renaissance Gran Guardia Palace | Palazzo della Gran Guardia. The Gran Guardia Palace is one of Verona’s most important historic buildings. It had been used for various military purposes over the centuries. However, today it is home to exhibitions and cultural events.

Located at 45 ° 26 ′ 17 ″ N , 10 ° 59 ′ 32 ″ E on the south-side of Piazza Brà, you can’t miss it!

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Gran Guardia Palace

An overview of Gran Guardia Palace | Palazzo della Gran Guardia

This monumental building was designed by architect Domenico Curtoni and construction began in 1610. It’s intended use was for military purposes. To this end a large porch was included in the design where military troops could be reviewed during inclement weather.

However, the work was suspended for a very long time due to economic constraints that Verona municipality had to endure. Work resumed in 1820, under the then architect, Giuseppe Barbieri. The building was completed in 1853. The palace also served as temporary housing for the Austrian military during Italy’s first struggle for independence in 1848.

The impressive Gran Guardia Palace is arranged over two-floors and an attic. The length of the building is eighty-six meters.

If you would like to include the Gran Guardia Palace in your itinerary, here’s what to expect when you visit:

Info: Giuseppe Barbieri was also the architect for Verona’s Town Hall building which is aptly named in honour of him, Palazzo Barbieri. Palazzo Barbieri sits alongside the Verona Arena on the eastern side of Piazza Brà.

The architecture of Gran Guardia Palace | What to see in Gran Guardia Palace

Officially classified as Renaissance, the facade of this impressive building showcases a combination of two different historical periods namely Baroque and Neoclassical.

The ground floor consists of thirteen majestic arches in sturdy rusticated ashlar masonry. Each arch is a diameter of three-and-half meters. These arches mirror those of the Roman amphitheatre.

Over the floors of this beautiful Renaissance building are large rectangular windows separated by paired Doric half-columns. These offer simple openings of modest size.

The stone stairway leads to the broad and grand porch of the attic. Supported by twelve pillars with full centre arches there are five grand arched windows here – sort of a crown placed on this majestic building.

Palazzo della Gran Guardia is home to prestigious exhibitions. It is open to the public only for exhibitions or other events like art shows and Vinitaly, Verona’s wine conference. The exhibitions and art shows are arranged on various floors. The rooms have varying capacities

Practical Information on Gran Guardia Palace | Palazzo della Gran Guardia and immediate surrounds

Although the Gran Guardia does not hold scheduled visiting hours, its full calendar of events means it is open to the public almost daily throughout the year.

Address: Piazza Bra, 1, 37121 Verona VR, Italy

Opening hours: 

Tuesday (Republic Day)9:30 am – 8:30 pm; Hours might differ
Wednesday9:30 am – 8:30 pm
Thursday9:30 am – 8:30 pm
Friday9:30 am – 10:30 pm
Saturday9:30 am – 8:30 pm
Sunday9:30 am – 8:30 pm
Monday9:30 am – 8:30 pm
*Hours are subject to change. Please check events and exhibitions closer to your time of travel.

Phone: +39 045 803 3400


Basic information on Piazza Brà when visiting Gran Guardia Palace

Piazza Brà is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful squares in the world! The heart of the city of Verona and a public square, it is open twenty-fours a day. A complete pedestrianised area, it’s a safe place to stroll with young children without concerns for traffic. The square is lined with bustling cafés and restaurants, and is a good place to stop for a meal or snack.

Learn more on Piazza Brà from this page which has all the information you need for your visit.

How to get to Piazza Brà

Verona is a major city in the Italian region of Veneto, and well connected by train to Milan, Florence, Venice and the rest of Italy.

The Piazza is in the city’s historic center, a short walk from the main train station.

Places to stay in Verona near Piazza Brà

Ways to experience Verona

The best way to explore and discover Verona, also popularly known as the City of Love is to join a couple of guided tours. The guided walking tours or the bike tours will cover the highlights of the City of VeronaArena, Piazza Bra, Casa di Giulietta, Gran Guardia Palace, and so much more.

If you want to take a break from the norms of sightseeing monuments (nothing wrong in this, Verona’s buildings and architecture are absolutely stunning) and experience something different, I highly recommend going on a Wine Tasting tour as the Veneto region is famous for its Amarone, Recioto, Soave, Prosecco, Valpolicella and Bardolino.

In addition, if you have a passion for Italian food, learn to prepare a delicious vegetarian 3-course meal according to the Italian (and Mediterranean) tradition.

Here are some carefully selected suggestions for you:

Verona City Tours:

Pro tip: Exploring Verona on foot with a tour guide requires a bit of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

Food & Wine Tours:

Explore more of Northern Italy – Day trips from Verona

Visit Milan for a day | Experience Italy’s beautiful high-speed trains

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Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to Gran Guardia Palace in Verona? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. Scroll all the way down for more ideas and inspiring travel stories. Subscribe to join us at My Timeless Footsteps to receive all the latest news and events. As always, I am contactable at ggdaniel166@gmail.com for any further info or to design your itinerary for you.

Have a splendid time exploring Verona and the Gran Guardia!

Georgina xx

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Sitting on the south side of Piazza Brà, next to the city's old gates is the majestic Renaissance Gran Guardia Palace. Intended for military purposes, now hosts to Vinitaly and art exhibitions. #vinitaly #verona #piazzabra #granguardiapalace #granguardiaverona #artexhibitionsverona via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/Sitting on the south side of Piazza Brà, next to the city's old gates is the majestic Renaissance Gran Guardia Palace. Intended for military purposes, now hosts to Vinitaly and art exhibitions. #vinitaly #verona #piazzabra #granguardiapalace #granguardiaverona #artexhibitionsverona via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

Piazza Bra | Verona | Best 7 experiences!

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.

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

Piazza Bra – An overview of the development of a “square”

Portoni del Bra Archway, Verona
Portoni del Bra Archway, Verona

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
Verona Arena

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.

Gran Guardia Palace
Gran Guardia Palace

3 | I Portoni della Bra

Portoni del Bra Archway, Verona

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.

Palazza Barbieri, Piazza Bra,Verona

Piazza Barbieri, Piazza Bra, Verona


Palazzo Barbieri, Piazza Bra, Verona

5 | Fontana delle Alpi – At the centre of Piazza Bra

Fontana delle Alpi. Piazza Bra, Verona
Fontana delle Alpi

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.

Vittorio.emanuele.verona.park

7 | Museo Lapidario Maffeiano – an  archaeological museum

Museo Lapidario, Piazza Bra, Verona

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

  • Piazza Bra is a pedestrian square, so it is a safe place to stroll with young children.
  • The Bra is a public square and is open twenty-four hours. Cafés and restaurants are subject to their own opening hours.
  • The square is lined with bustling cafés and restaurants, offering great choices of food and snacks.
  • Exploring Verona on foot with or without a tour guide requires a bit of walking, so wear comfortable shoes, clothing and travel light.
  • Visitors can find out more about the buildings, its history and festivals or fairs from a guided walking tour.
  • If you are planning on visiting the Verona Arena on its summer Opera festival, book your ticket early. Peruse the option on the Arena di Verona Opera Ticket package.

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.


Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to Piazza Bra in Verona? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. Scroll all the way down for more ideas and inspiring travel stories. Subscribe to join us at My Timeless Footsteps to receive all the latest news and events. As always, I am contactable at ggdaniel166@gmail.com for any further info or to design your itinerary for you.


Have a splendid time exploring Piazza Bra and Verona 🙂

Georgina xx

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A beautiful and an expansive square, Piazza Bra is the heart of life in Verona. From gardens and museums, to amphitheatre, your memorable vacation awaits. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/A beautiful and an expansive square, Piazza Bra is the heart of life in Verona. From gardens and museums, to amphitheatre, your memorable vacation awaits. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/