Piazza dei Signori. VERONA. 35. Route. 201
supported by four columns, in the centre of the Piazza, was an¬
ciently used as a seat of judgment. The Casa dei Mercanti (1301),
at the corner of the Via Pelliciai, has been recently restored and
now contains the commercial court.
Opposite the Casa Mazzanti rises the Tower of the Municipio,
about 320 ft. in height. A short street to the left of the latter
leads to the *Piazza dei Signori (PI. E, F, 3), a small square paved
with flag-stones, and surrounded by imposing edifices. Immediately
to the right of the tower is the Palazzo della Ragione (seat of the
assize-courts), founded in 1183, and lately restored and extended.
The interesting court contains some relics of the old market and a
staircase of the 14th century. Adjacent is the Tribunal, and on the
other side of the piazza is the Prefettura, both erected by the Sca-
ligers. The original architecture is seen to best advantage in the
courts, which have been restored. The portals are by Sammicheli.
At the N.E. corner of the piazza stands the —
*Palazzo del Consiglio, or Old Town Hall, usually called La
Loggia, erected before 1500, probably from designs by Fra Giocondo
(p. 200) , and restored in 1873. It is considered one of the finest
works of the early-Renaissance architecture of N. Italy, which was
distinguished rather for richness and beauty of detail than for strict
harmony of composition. Beside the portal are two bronze statues
by Campana, representing the Annunciation. Over the door is the
inscription, placed here at the instance of the Venetians: 'Pro
summa fide summis amor 1592'. Above are five statues of celebrated
natives of ancient Verona: Cornelius Nepos, Catullus Vitruvius,
the yonnger Pliny, and iEmilius Macer, the poet and friend of
Virgil. In the interior of the loggia are busts of celebrated Veronese
of mediaeval and modem times. On the upper floor are several
apartments which have been tastefully restored (porter in the court).
The entrances to the Piazza dei Signori are spanned by arch¬
ways. Above the arch in the N.W. corner is a Statue of Scipione
Maffei, the historian. Near the same arch are a picturesque Foun¬
tain of the 15th cent, and the Volto Barbaro, under which Mastino
della Scala was assassinated in 1277.
In the middle of the piazza rises a marble Statue of Dante,
by Zannoni, erected in 1865; the poet, as recorded by the inscrip¬
tions on the monument and on the palace adjoining the Loggia at a
right angle, found an asylum here with the Scaligers after his
banishment from Florence in 1316. — Opposite is the old Pal.
de' Giureconsulti, erected in 1263, but altered in the 16th century.
The passage adjoining the Tribunal leads direct to the Lombardic
church of S. Maria Antica, with a Romanesque campanile, and to
the imposing Gothic Tombs of the Scaligers, or della Scala family,
who for upwards of a century were presidents of the republic of
Verona (see p. 200). The ladder, which forms their crest, recurs
frequently on the elaborately-executed railings.