In 1815 Verona became part of the Austrian empire. The city had a strategic advantage as a fortress town providing a strong defence system throughout the Veneto region, making it the capital of Austrian territory in Italy. During their occupancy, Vienna architects were inspired by the various styles of buildings in Verona. They used local materials to blend their works among other buildings in the city. Despite the fact that they were there only for its strategic military position, the Austrians built beautiful and elegant buildings which are pictured and described throughout this post.
The Ex Arsenale, a beautiful building near the river, was used for weapons and ammunition during their period of takeover. At first glance, it looks as if it were an old school building that had been closed down. The building has not been well conserved but is worth checking out! Apparently there are occasional exhibits and events held there so look it up to see if anything is going on during your stay first.
If you continue to walk along the riverbank you can see San Pietro Castle in the distance, at the top of the hill of Verona. This is where rulers built fortresses and the Austrians decided to build their castle. It is difficult to see from some angles as large cypress trees were planted after Verona became part of the Italian Kingdom in 1866. These trees were to cover up and hide any sign of Austrian domination.
Palazzo Barbieri, today the city hall or Gran Guardia Nuova, also used to be an Austrian headquarters in Verona. It is located in Piazza Bra, the arena square. The building is massive and with its huge Corinthian columns, seems almost similar to a greek temple.
These three buildings were our favourites, but there were many others built during this period. They include: the Military Hospital, the University of Economics Verona (used to be Santa Marta, an old bakery for the soldiers), the NATO headquarters (used to be Carli Palace where Austrian field marshal lived) and many fortresses throughout the city.