With the rise of the Middle Ages, the habit of decorating the façades of main buildings and palaces with coloured paintings and frescoes starts becoming widespread. With time this custom became common practice, extending to all social classes and houses. In the 1500s, the façades of the Veronese buildings were so adorned by frescoes and decorations that Verona became known as urbs picta, the painted city. The design of buildings was influenced by this new style to the point that wide blank spaces were purposely left on the façades in order to be filled with frescoes and paintings. In some cases the decorations were modest and limited to small religious images, while in other cases they integrally covered the external surfaces.
Atmospheric agents, the devastating floods from the Adige river, and pollution, have unfortunately almost fully erased this heritage, and only little religious images, Renaissance style decorations, trompe l’œils, coloured frescoes and mural paintings con now be seen here and there.
Nonetheless, if much has been lost, likewise has been recovered, restored with care, and preserved for the future generations. Re-opened in 2015 after conscious restoration work, the Museo degli Affreschi G. B. Cavalcaselle holds, among other sculptures and other artworks, a vast collection of frescoes of heterogeneous dimensions and subjects, from various historic periods.
The Museum is located in the area of a convent complex originally dated 13th century, renewed and restructured throughout the ages to reach its current form.
Just a few steps away from the Museum, in the same complex, there is Juliet’s Tomb. According to the legend already widespread in the 16th century, this red marble sarcophagus is the place where the tragic epilogue of the Shakespearian drama took place.
An interesting site for incurable romantics or mere mortals.