Castelvecchio Museum is a gorgeous museum housed in a mid-14th century castle. It was built on top of a fortress, most likely Roman. Verona was partitioned between the French and the Austrians in the 19th century and Castelvecchio was used by the French who were trying to defend themselves. Many works of art were taken to Paris, including paintings by Mantegna and Titian. Museums started to appear after the French and the Austrians left, but it was at its peak during the Fascist regime of the 20th century.
Castelvecchio was transferred from the Italian State to the Municipality of Verona in 1923. Thus it stopped being used as barracks and it was repurposed as a museum. The building was reconstructed and refurbished. During WWII the building was damaged, with Germans fleeing who blew up the nearby bridge, in 1945. The Germans also blew up Ponte Pietra, but I will talk about that bridge in the post about Verona.
The museum is big, with 29 exhibition rooms, filled with paintings, sculptures, archaeological finds, and weapons. There are over 600 items on display in the museum. I would suggest allowing at least a couple of hours to properly appreciate all what the castle has to offer.
The sculpture gallery is beautifully displayed. I picked up this 14th century representation of Saint Bartholomew. The red that is still visible dates back to the 16th century, when the sculpture was restored. On the scroll is written something about protection against demons.
The bell on the left is from the 11th century.
There are so many wonderful paintings on display in the museum.
The museum has military items on display too, not only religious and artistic.
This part of the castle was opened to the public in 2007 and links the Clock Tower with the castle.
This is the statue of Master of the ark of Mastino II. The equestrian statue of Cangrande I della Scala was made in the second quarter of the 14th century in soft stone.
One of the most interesting paintings must be this one: Portrait of a Young Man with Child’s Drawing, circa 1520. It is oil on panel, by Giovan Francesco Caroto.
This was the bridge blown up by Germans, Scaliger Bridge, which was built in the same period with the castle, in the mid-14th century. It was not the only time it was destroyed as the French (under Napoleon) did that too. It was rebuilt after the war. In the picture above is seen from the museum, while in the picture below is seen from ground level.
Castelvecchio Museum is on corso Castelvecchio 2 – 37121 Verona. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm.