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Monday 5 December 2016, San Saba
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Chiesa di Santa Anastasia

Historical Notes. The Basilica of Saint Anastasia is definitely the most important gothic style religious monument in Verona.
Construction on the church started around 1290 and lasted a century. It was supported by the Scala family, however the name of the architect is not known.
The site chosen for the construction is very near to Lords’ Square, where the Scala family had their palaces; therefore Saint Anastasia presumably became the official church of their court.
The church is in the Italian gothic style, with three crossed naves and five polygonal apses. It was admirably restored in 1878-1881.

Architecture and Art. The unfinished façade has a magnificent twin portal with polychrome marble, base relief and frescoes; on the left, there is the suspended arch of Guglielmo of Castelbarco.
The wall, up to the portal, dates from the years of Castelbarco (1315-1320). He also built the perimeter wills. The renaissance style marble panels date from the XV century and narrate the life of St. Peter the Martyr: following the Napoleonic pillage, only two of these remain.
The inside of the majestic church, with its twelve great white marble columns with gothic capitals, is divided into three naves joined by a crossed vaulted ceiling. The plan of the church is a Latin cross, with a great apse flanked by four chapels. So as you enter the nave and turn right after reaching the baptistery and the plaque with the bust of the poet Bartolomeo Lorenzi, you gradually encounter sixteen splendid altars and marvellous chapels, with works by Pietro da Porlezza, Danese, Cattaneo, Michele da Firenze, Liberale da Verona and Giolfino. The pensile tomb of Cortesia di Serego, walled in the presbyterial area in front of the “Judgement” by Turone, is of great interest. Above the Pellegrini chapel there is a famous fresco by Pisanello, “St. George and the princess”. There is little information about the bell tower: it rises light and quickly over the last chapel on the left as you look at the main altar. The style dates from the early 1400s.

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Guides: Firenze, Roma, Venezia, Verona.