Overshadowed by the fame of Mantua and Verona, Villafranca is usually only noticed on the signposts on the way to the airport. But this little town has plenty of attractions in its own right, put it on your itinerary for your visit to Verona!
Villafranca di Verona Castle
You will have no trouble finding it! It is right in the middle of the town, or rather the town was built around the castle. Construction was completed at the start of the 13th century and it has survived many centuries of historical upheaval. From the communes of the mediaeval era, via control by the Venetian Republic to the unification of Italy. The strange thing is that this castle has never been lived in. Its sole function was to defend the town and act as an initial barrier against the Duchy of Mantua in the event of an attempted invasion of Verona.
Festivals and Events in the Castle
Throughout the month of July, the castle comes alive! Major acts from the Italian music scene, and further afield, fill the castle with life, in contrast to its long, lonely history. Villafranca Festival features rock, indie, metal and rap singers. As you can see, the music covers a range of different genres, with something to suit every taste. Follow me for updates on the upcoming events.
When the concerts are over, is that the end of summer at the castle? Absolutely not! In August, things continue with the open-air theatre, A series of theatrical performances for adults and children in the magical surroundings of the Castello Scaligero of Villafranca. The final event that I want to highlight is for fans of comics and cosplay, called ComicsFest. Over recent years, it has opened up to incorporate the world of music, cinema and TV. An event which will appeal to fans of comics and to people who know little about them.
Villafranca antiques market
For such a small town, it has a thriving antiques market. Every second Sunday of the month, something resembling a museum of objects from days gone by is set up in the shadow of the castle walls. It also gives visitors an opportunity to take in the main sights of Villafranca while browsing the antiques. The stalls are set out along the main road, from the majestic church of San Rocco as far as the castle, passing in front of the cathedral and the Chiesa della Disciplina. A beautiful walk. And what better way to round off the day than with a concert at the castle?