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Verona sightseeing tour: Scaliger Tombs

Visit the gothic cemetery of Scaliger Family in Piazza dei Signori

Sightseeing tour of Verona at Piazza dei Signori. Why is there the rib of a whale hanging down under an arch? Have you ever heard about mr Girolamo Fracastoro? And do you know how Scaliger Tombs are and why the Scaliger family chose a dog as its heraldic symbol? Watch the full web serie Verona Slow Tour Cover pic courtesy of Flickr User Richard @ladyous

Video full text: Verona: Piazza dei Signori

I know this one, I’ve read about it on the guide, tourists know it too! It’s the rib of whale that was stranded on the banks of the river Adige. Not quite, it’s whale’s rib that is the symbol of the Order of Pharmacists that in medieval times, were based here. This is another curiosity you can see here, from Piazza delle Erbe, looking at this beautiful view that leads us towards Piazza dei Signori, and to the Arche Scaligere (Scaliger Tombs). This is Piazza dei Signori. The signori or lords are members of the Scaliger family, and those taking a slow tour of Italy would find it interesting to know how to interpret the crenels. Those are Ghibelline crenels, that’s to say for the Emperor against the Papacy. That statue is the only one of its kind… …you were saying that he invented syphilis?! He is Girolamo Fracastoro, a 16th–century physician who wanted to study this illness. He wrote the poem De Morbo Gallico in which he tells of the life of a shepherd suffering from this illness. The shepherd’s name was Syphilus. Literature, history, medicine and superstition! That gentleman there is holding a ball in his hand. It is said that the day when an honest, sinless individual passes below him, the ball will drop. But it’s always there! Are these the famous Scaliger Tombs? I was imagining boats rather than a cemetery. This is the cemetery of the della Scala family. We are in the 14th century, full gothic style. So, who is buried in these three beautiful tombs? Cangrande, Mastino II and Cansignorio. It looks like kennels! So what was it with them and dogs? In addition to the scala (ladder), which reflected their name, the Scaliger family chose a dog for its heraldic symbol. An animal that is symbolic of faithfulness and loyalty. And then of course, at that time, Marco Polo’s The Million was a very popular book. With the figure of the Great Khan, which means lord. We’re about to be run over by a wave of tourists! Let’s take this opportunity to go and visit a less well known part of Verona – in the next video.
Produced in cooperation with the Official Tourist Board
Regione Veneto

Visit Verona: helpful hints


For international flights there is the Verona Airport, connected to the city centre by bus (rides every 20 minutes, 6€, it takes 15 minutes). The nearest airport for transcontinental flights is Bologna Airport. From the airport, first you have to reach Bologna Central Station by bus (rides every 15 minutes, it takes 30 minuts, 6€).  Then either Trenitalia and Italo trains reach Verona in 50 minutes, prices change according to class and services.


Walking is the best way to visit Verona. Anyway you can move by bus, a single ticket costs 1,3€ and it lasts 90 minutes. For more information check the ATV website

What to do

Verona, the city of love, is in the North Eastern Italy and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Known wordlwide to be the city of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, here you can visit Juliet’s House with the iconic balcony (“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” – that one). But Verona is famous even more for the Arena di Verona, that is basically the greatest Opera theatre in the world! Check the official website of the Arena for the shows calendar, don’t miss the opportunity to attend a concert sit on this Roman masterpiece (Summer only, of course. No roof, above is only sky, you know). Watch Italia Slow Tour web serie about the city of love.

Last, but not least, Verona is also near the lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy (it takes 30 minutes to Peschiera del Garda or Lazise, 4o minutes to Bardolino, by car).

Italia Slow Tour

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