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One of the most important Romanesque basilicas in Italy and, together with the Arena, the most celebrated of Verona’s monuments. It is located in a wide, quiet square and its tuff façade has an arcade of paired arches in pink marble and a central 13th century rose window – the ”ruota della fortuna” (wheel of fortune) – decorated with six statues depicting the vacillations of human life.
On the left of the basilica is the 13-14th century tower, the only remaining structure of the old abbey, and on the right there is the separate 11-12th century bell tower which is divided into floors by cornices of tuff arches and rises to a double-storied bell chamber with triple mullioned windows and surmounted by a small conical spire with four pinnacles at each angle.
The interior is simple and majestic with three naves. The aisles are divided by cruciform pilasters with alternating capitals some with zoomorphic motifs and the others in the Corinthian-style, the latter coming from Roman buildings.
The open crypt houses the body of St. Zeno in a sarcophagus and has a nave with seven arches supported by ancient columns.
The left nave leads to a beautiful Romanesque cloister with double columns and capitals with pointed leaves. Under the portico are sepulchral tombs and monuments.
Address and opening hours:
Basilica of Saint Zeno Maggiore
San Zeno Square
The entrance is at payment: it is possible to buy a ticket for the single church or a ticket that combines the 5 churchs of S.Zeno Maggiore, S.Anastasia, S.Lorenzo, S.Fermo Maggiore, Cathedral of S.Maria Matricolare.
Opening hours: weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm
In the holidays from 1 pm to 6 pm.
The visits are cancelled during the religous ceremonies; information and for book guided tours you can call the ASSOCIAZIONE “CHIESE VIVE”, Corte S.Elena, Piazza Duomo 35, phone/fax 045. 592813
Web site: www.veronatuttintorno.it/chiesevive/