"San Zeno Maggiore" The highlights Tip by iandsmith

The highlights, Verona: 64 reviews and 100 photos

  Noteworthy cloisters - but no toilet in sight
by iandsmith

Favorite thing: Definitely not my favourite thing but, for continuity's sake, I digress.
By the time I'd finished eyeing off my wall in the previous chapter and reached the church I was, as one is wont to say, dying to go to the toilet.
Alas, as the cold air penetrated my layers of clothing driving me to the ablution blocks, I was informed they didn't have any. The nearest were about two blocks away. I don't think the word "distressed" is too strong on this occasion to describe my predicament. It was with the utmost restraint that I spent my time in the church.

Fondest memory: In order to house the shrine of the patron saint of Verona, this mainly Romanesque-style church was constructed and is the most ornate of its ilk in northern Italy.
For 12 years from 1124 it was laboured on, though parts from previous buildings were used (earthquake 1117).
The alternating colours come from the use of tufa and bricks.
When the apse was rebuilt in 1386 an upturned ship's keel style ceiling was incorporated, adjacent to the bell tower that was commenced in 1045 though its current height (72m) wasn't attained until 1178.
The crypt contains the tomb of San Zeno who passed away in 380 AD after being appointed eighth bishop of Verona in 362 AD. The extraordinary thing is that he was African.
The rose window symbolizes the wheel of fortune, depicted on the rim are figures highlighting the rise and fall of human fortune.
Above the Western Doors is a multi-coloured bas relief showing San Zeno vanquishing the devil.
The cloisters, with rounded Romanesque arches on one side and pointed Gothic on the other, are also noteworthy.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 16, 2004
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