San Zeno Basilica

San Zeno Basilica

We just got back from our trip to Israel last night…it was an amazing trip.  We saw and did so much!  I didn’t have a chance yet to go through photos or keep up the blog. I learned from my failed attempt to do a post a day for our European road trip that keeping up while traveling isn’t realistic. So stay tuned for future posts on Italy, France and Israel!

This post is about the Basilica of San Zeno: a must see if you are in Verona. We went to find San Zeno Basilica at the recommendation of our Italian host.


It was founded in the 5th century to house the remains of San Zeno, Verona’s patron saint.

There were hardly any tourists here; we almost had the place to ourselves! It’s a lovely, peaceful church. St. Zeno  is Verona’s patron saint because he was credited with converting the people of Verona to Christianity.


San Zeno was born in North Africa.


Many of San Zeno’s sermons survive today.

Baptismal font

Baptismal font: it’s more than 1000 years old!


The church was rebuilt a few centuries later and was consecrated in 806 AD


The church was later destroyed by Hungarian invaders!  Rebuilding began again in 963 AD.

The altar

What you see in the photos dates from the more recent reconstruction in the 12th and 13th centuries!

San Zeno

Statue of San Zeno.

Down in the crypt

The crypt dates back to the 10th century and contains a sarcophagus with the remains of St. Zeno.

the remains

According to tradition, this crypt was where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet were married!

The courtyard

San Zeno died in 380, but he is still honored and remembered here.

Our Italian host also gave us the tip that Verona’s best ice cream could be found next to the basilica of San Zeno, so of course we had to try it!

Verona was a wonderful surprise for us…we had no idea what a fascinating city it is before we spent a week there.  You can read more about our stay in Verona here:

Verona is also a great city to use as a base for exploring other amazing cities.  We did a day trip to Venice (stay tuned for that post).  We also visited Lake Garda and Vicenza.  You can see the photos here:

So, for anyone visiting northern Italy, don’t forget lovely Verona!