The 13th edition of ArtVerona, the modern and contemporary art fair of Verona, Italy, is being held from October 13 through October 16, 2017 at Veronafiere, featuring 135 galleries. A medieval old town nestled between the meandering Adige River and Lake Garda, Verona is famous for being the city where Shakespeare’s drama “Romeo and Juliet” is based. (The “Two Gentleman of Verona” headed to Milan). Juliet’s residence is sometimes said to be a 14th-century house in the city with a little balcony facing a courtyard. (Shakespeare’s Italian knowledge is actually known to be limited.)
Adriana Polveroni, the Director of ArtVerona, is a critic and curator of contemporary art. She has been editor-in-chief of one of the leading Italian online and paper magazines, Exibart. Currently, she teaches Contemporary Museology at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. Blouin ARTINFO spoke to Polveroni about her favorite places to visit, eat and stay in the Veneto region city.
What are your suggestions for visiting best places in Verona and why?
In my opinion, anyone who comes to Verona cannot miss the entire historical city center. It is unique — something like Venice not on water, but on the ground, with magnificent huge squares and very narrow paths. Besides this, the shape and colors of the buildings, the sophisticated architecture of the squares, the “knitted” facades and monuments, the crowded Piazza delle Erbe, the more precious Piazza dei Signori and Arche Scaligere make it very charming. The Palazzo della Ragione is the site of the exhibition I curated “Il mio corpo nel tempo. Luethi, Ontani Opalka”, not to mention other squares, buildings and fascinating museums like Museo di Castelvecchio.
What restaurants, coffee bars would you recommend in Verona and why?
I enjoy a very good light lunch at bar Coloniale in the heart of the city center. I also love to have lunch or a good dinner at Caffè Carducci, a very elegant restaurant where you can have a look at the dishes you ordered right in front of you. There is also Romeo e Giulietta Restaurant, a name you can’t forget! And there are a lot of coffee bars and good hosterias (quintessential Italian restaurants) like Osteria del Bugiardo, La Molinara and Archivio where you can drink excellent wines and enjoy typical food. Verona is also renowned for its ice creams and Zeno is the best ice cream parlor in town!
Where would you go and what would you do if you had a free morning or afternoon in Verona?
If I had a free and sunny morning, I would like to walk around the city center, losing myself among the paths and discovering new spots. A visit to the garden of the Museum Castelvecchio is a good idea. In the late afternoon I’d like to have a “Spritz” or a glass of wine in one of the bars I mentioned before.
Where would you head to in Verona for the best shopping and what would you buy?
Verona is an elegant city. In the midst of the city center there are two streets that I recommend for shopping: Corso Sant’Anastasia which is full of stores selling antiques, historical fabrics and rugs and Corso Portoni Borsari which is the best street for shopping.
Where would you recommend people stay (hotels etc.) when they visit Verona?
Verona has excellent hotels. My favorite is the Due Torri Hotel, located in an old building and in one of the most beautiful square of the city: piazza Sant’Anastasia. There is also Hotel Accademia, and Giberti Hotel a few minutes’ walk away from the city center and more modern than the Due Torri Hotel. Outside Verona, at eight km away from the city center, there is the wonderful Hotel Veronesi La Torre, which is a fully renovated old and historic building and a very comfortable place to stay.
What are the best places to see and buy art in Verona?
There are two historical galleries that are also two of the most important Italian galleries: Studio La Città and Galleria dello Scudo. The owners are among the best known Italian gallerists. If a collector buys here you can be sure about his choices. Then there are several new and good galleries: Boxart Gallery, MARCOROSSI artecontemporanea, and Artericambi, among others, and some young galleries like Isolo17 gallery.
What are the best places to see live bands or musicians in Verona and why?
Verona is the city of music. There are several venues, like Time Out (via Campofiore), Osteria la Carega (vicolo cadrega), that offer popular music, like jazz and live music. This year, ArtVerona organizes Festival Veronetta (12th -15th October), a ‘widespread’ festival that includes site–specific events in the heart of the city and an electronic music and culture festival, called Path Festival. Among the various events there is the Sleep Concert (15th October, 11.30 p.m., Corte Maddalene), which will offer musical accompaniment to the audience's sleep.
What are some interesting artworks that we can look forward to at Art Verona 2017?
This year there are a lot of young and qualified galleries. In particular, I would like to mention artworks by some very good and young Italian artists like Alice Cattaneo, Flavio de Marco, Monica Carocci, Andrea Nacciariti, Ludovica Gioscia, Francesco Carone, Gabriella Ciancimino, Sabrina Casadei, Bruna Esposito, Laura Pugno, Pamela Diamante and Simone Pellegrini. Then there are some interesting international artists like Wolfgang Tillmans, Evgeny Antufiev, Alek O, Thorsten Kirchhoff, Olivo Barbieri, Charles Avery and Anna-Sophie Berger. Last but not least, in ArtVerona a collector can find some masterpieces of the most important modern Italian artists such as Alberto Burri, Pino Pascali, Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani, Giorgio Morandi and Giorgio de Chirico. Thus, there are a lot opportunities to discover new art and get good deals.
What projects are you currently working on/involved in?
When I received your questions, I was working on the final details of the exhibition I curated: “Il mio corpo nel tempo. Luethi Ontani Opalka”, in collaboration with Patrizia Nuzzo, director of Modern Art Gallery of Verona. But, besides this, there is the entire ArtVerona fair of which I am the artistic director since April 1. So, this is my first edition (fingers crossed!). The title of this year is “Viaggio in Italia #backtoItaly” and Verona is a good place to return to. I am already thinking about the next edition, but I can’t tell you anything in advance!
Click below to view a slideshow on Verona.