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Verona – WWII and Today

BombDropVerona1944.jpgDuring World War II Verona, because of its important strategic position as the southern gateway to the crucial Brenner route through the Alps, was an important target for heavy Allied bombings. The city suffered considerable damage during the war. To add insult to injury, in April 1945 the retreating German troops destroyed all the bridges.

After extensive postwar reconstruction, there are few remaining signs of the destruction of Verona during the Second World War.

Verona_26_April_1945_M-4_13th_ArmBtn1stArmDiv-640Nonetheless, it is remarkable to think of the destruction of so many parts of this beautiful city, and yet how well it has recovered from that horrific past. The first eight images below are comparisons from more than 70 years ago and today.

Note that reconstruction of the Castelvecchio Bridge (14th century) was finished in 1951 and the Ponte Pietra (1st & 13th century) wasn’t restored until 1957. Both were faithfully rebuilt using the original materials. 


This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Thanks for the history and pics you shared.

  2. Truly amazing reconstruction efforts and results.

    Saw similar reconstruction while visiting Austria and visited beautiful cathedral that took direct hits. Today you would never believe what was left in 1945.

    Enjoyed the suggestion for a good read and will be downloading soon.

  3. Amazing recovery of a beautiful city. Thank you for sharing this. And I agree with Bonnie. It’s always smart to learn from the past.

  4. Very interesting, I have also visited verona but did not know this.

    1. Hi Chris, Thanks for the comment. Certainly there are no outward signs that prompted me to think that the area was so heavily destroyed. But as I researched other aspects of Verona’s past I came across the WWII photos. History is much like peeling an onion … layer upon layer. C

  5. Since you are in Northern Italy, you might want to check out the book “Beneath a Scarlet Sky”. It’s a true story of an Italian resistance fighter, from his time as a teen guide for fleeing refugees trekking over the Italian Alps above Lake Como into Switzerland and through his early 20’s as the chauffeur for the German commander in charge of the area. It’s some history we missed here, and it’s free on Kindle. It will explain why people (especially the older ones) get so friendly when they learn that the pale blonde is not from Germany but the United States. That entire area is wonderful. I’m glad you are experiencing it.

    1. Merle, So good to receive such a nice comment from so long ago and so far away. My wife has read “Beneath a Scarlet Sky”, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Indeed this region of Italy is incredible, and very different from other places we have traveled. Of course, that is why we enjoy these experiences so much. Thanks for visiting, and especially for taking the time to leave a comment. Best regards, Chris

    2. Cruel times in an often cruel world. I shall make an effort to find this book.
      I love history from the turn of the 19th century through to the 1950’s and it reveals so much of the motivations for today’s ills.
      From the Russian revolution into WW1 and beyond.
      Thank you for the recommendation, always good to learn about individuals rather than the headline makers.

  6. Very nice before and after. We have to always look back to see forward.

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