This wonderful city along the Adige river, at the foot of the Lessini Mountains (today a National Park) has been the site of various human settlements for the past 300,000 years. Stone was used as one of the principle natural resources by these early settlers, who began working with materials other than flint. They fashioned numerous objects from instruments for use in daily life to religious artefacts.
At the time when the region was first touched by Roman civilisation, it was probably inhabited by Celts. The Emperor reinforced the city's defences with strong city walls. Extraordinary monuments were built and the urban structure began to take shape—it was an interesting mix of the Medieval and the modern.
Over the years, Verona became a very important city due to its geographical location (even today, it is an important industrial and commercial gateway to the north and the centre of Italy) and its port provided access to northern Europe. For this reason, it became one of the most highly developed urban centres in Italy.
After the succesive barbarian invasions between the fifth and the tenth century, Veron was finally made a Free City at the beginning of the thirteenth century - after a long struggle against Frederico Barbarossa, it came under the rule of the Scala family in 1260. It was the Scala family who transformed it into one of the most important kingdoms of the time. It took in most of the Veneto, as well as the large regions of Emilia and Tuscany and was dotted with magnificent buildings and works of art.
In 1405, it became part of the Venetian Republic. In 1796, it was occupied for six months by Napoleonic troops. By 1801, it had been successfully divided up by the French and the Austrians, and it was definitively annexed by the Hapsburg Empire in 1814.
During the nineteenth century, Verona took on an important administrative and military role. The city's defences were reorganised and strengthened: Verona became the principle stronghold of the "Quadrilateral" (the other three being Mantua, Peschiera and Legnano) which became the pivotal point of the Lombardy-Veneto defence structure during the War of Independence. The province of Verona officially became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.
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