Art, museum and history
Villafranca di Verona is a town and comune in the province of Verona, Veneto. The city has an important commercial tradition: every Wednesday morning in the city center there is a local flea market. Agriculture is specialized in fruit, and as a consequence of this, Villafranca owns an important trade market for peaches, kiwis and corn. As for gastronomy, typical of this town are taiadele coi fegadini (tagliatelle in broth with liver of chicken), and sfogliatine, fragrant doughnuts prepared by many pastries in the town.
For those who go to Villafranca it is a must a stop at the historic Caffè fantoni”, which is part of the “Locali storico d’Italia”. Here you can sip the famous“Aperitivo fantoni” or taste the distillate“Acqua di Fiume”, created in honor of Gabriele D’Annunzio, but above all you can taste the typical puff pastry, a crumbly and delicate cake dating back to 1870, made with flour, eggs, sugar and butter. Originally ordered by the wealthy families of Verona for celebrations such as baptisms and weddings, the dessert obtained numerous prizes at fairs and exhibitions and is today the pride of the local pastry shop.
Romeo & Juliet Castle
The Scaliger castle of Villafranca was erected between 1198 and 1202 and rebuilt after the fire of 1233 by Enrico da Egna in 1243 together with a new moat that completely surrounded it. It is huge structure that develops on a square platform of 150 meters on each side and is 2 meters high compared to the surrounding plain. The structure has four corner towers, that is, one for each corner, and three shield-type intermediate ones which, as the name suggests, served as a shield / defense and from these materials and ammunition were also thrown against the enemy. In 1243 the construction works of the Torre Maggiore, or Mastio, began, the most imposing tower of the whole complex, which has at its base stones with an inscription that is assumed to have come from an arch dedicated to the emperor Tiberius. In 1890 a clock was rebuilt and inserted, for this reason it is now also called “Clock Tower”. This castle, unlike others, has never been of princes and princesses but was intended to house the surveillance troops in the Seraglio, including 200-250 men on horseback. The shape of the castle of Villafranca is almost entirely the work of the masters who worked during the domination of the lords of the Scala; in fact, the structure was completed between 1345 and 1359. In the medieval period it was surrounded by a moat that channeled the waters of the Tione and for this the main entrances also had drawbridges.
Mansion of the eighteenth century also called “of the Treaty” because in 1859 there was the meeting between Napoleon III and the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph, who signed the armistice of peace that ended the Second War of Independence. The building is open to the public and can be visited, entirely, on the first floor there are the renovated and restored rooms where the inhabitants lived while on the second floor is housed the museum dedicated to the Risorgimento, where you can observe original weapons and costumes of the time. Recent restorations have returned shapes and colors to the monument which is now open to the public. The ground floor also houses the headquarters of the Risorgimento Museum where you can admire weapons, prints and relics of the fighters for the Unification of Italy.
The Nicolis Museum is a large private collection open to the public, created by the Veronese businessman Luciano Nicolis who has collected a large collection of vintage cars, motorcycles and bicycles from all around the world. Also there are musical instruments, typewriters, cameras and other objects that well represent the technological evolution of the last two centuries. The Museum tells the evolution of the means of transport of the last two centuries but it is also an opportunity to admire unobtainable pieces collected over the years by Mr. Nicolis and to discover all the curiosities about the world of cars.