Palazzo del Podesta, also known as Palazzo del Governo (Government Palace) or Palazzo di Cangrande, is a medieval palace in Verona, located in Piazza dei Signori, between Loggia del Consiglio and Palazzo di Cansignorio.
Palazzo del Podesta was comissioned by the Scaligeri in the second half of the 13th century for Alberto I della Scala, who came to power in 1277. In 1311, his son, Cangrande I della Scala, took up residence in the palace.
During the lordship of Cangrande I, many illustrious men found hospitality in the palace, including prominent personalities such as the poet Dante Alighieri and the painter Giotto di Bondone.
Dante, exiled from Florence, stayed for a long time in the palace. In fact, Piazza dei Signori is also called by the locals Piazza Dante, and in the center of the square we can find the statue of the poet.
With the fall of the Scala dynasty, the palace became, during the Venetian occupation, the seat of important magistrates. The palace also hosted the offices of the podesta (chief magistrate), from which took its name.
Remodeled several times over the centuries, the palace was restored to its medieval appearance in the 1920s by the historian Antonio Avena.
Palazzo del Podesta is an articulated complex of buildings that develop on three sides around a large rectangular courtyard. The palace has a facade overlooking Piazza dei Signori and another facing Via Santa Maria Antica, both in terracotta, separated by a large vault surmounted by an elegant balcony.
The facade on Piazza dei Signori is adorned with a portal in Renaissance style commissioned in 1533 by the podesta Giovanni Dolfin to the architect Michele Sanmicheli. The portal recalls in its structure the ancient Roman triumphal arches, and in particular Arco dei Gavi.
Dominated by a winged lion, symbol of Venice, the portal is formed by a round arch, adorned with four Ionic columns, with coats of arms between them. On the sides of the portal there are two groups of arches supported by columns. The left ones are blind and the right ones open, leading to a portico with painted walls and a splendid wooden coffered ceiling.
In the courtyard of the palace, we can find the Gothic loggia with two orders of arches built by Cansignorio della Scala in 1364.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo del Podesta is located about 2.2 kilometers from the Verona Porta Nuova railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazza Viviani, about 130 meters away, on the bus Lines 70, 96 and 97.
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