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Historical facts


The term: "Lazzaretto" comes from the Latin "Nazaretum" ( Saint Mary of Nazareth ) as the first venetian isolation facility shelter was named by the Venetian Republic built in the 1423.


Verona, after the Venice and Milan experiences, decided to manage to isolate infected people, keep them in an isolated place, far from the city. In fact, previous experiences where infected people were confined within the City walls, or the immediate surroundings, in small wood homes called "casotti".


The chance to build a specific building were host infected people happens in 1539 when, the City Council, happens to have enough founds coming from the Tomba's Hospital, used to specifically treat infected people.


It took more than 8 years ( in 1547 ) to complete the planning phase and find the right place ( San Pancrazio ) where to build it.


San Pancrazio zone was chosen for its perfect position: an isolated territory placed in a big Adige river oxbow, far from the city so preserving the citizens from the contagious.


Again, San Pancrazio is located south, and the river flow would have been use to clean the place, would never affect the city itself.
Again, to concentrate sick people in a single place would allow having the right amount of instruments, people and guards, to avoid dangerous escapes.


Venice, the ruler of this part of Italy at the time, approved the project and in 1549 the building starts and lasts until 1628: 80 years.


In the summer of 1630, the big epidemic strike; the initiator was a soldier: Francesco Cevolini.
In few days, he and all the people who took care of him died.
Anyway, plague spreads quickly and Venice sent a Gentleman, Aloise Valleresso, with complete authority to try to stop the contagion.
He declared strict rules, but with no effects. Death toll was impressive, and as soon as recognized, ill persons were transferred by boat to the Lazzaretto that hits the hit of 5.000 hosts.
Sick people were also sealed into their houses, marked with a white cross on it.


33.000 out of 54.000 inhabitants died in Verona.


Is  widely assumed that the Lazzaretto was designed by the famous architect Michele Sammicheli, and even the small temple ( built in 1602, after Sammicheli death ) in the very center of the complex is quite a typical example of its school.


A peculiar design feature of the Lazzaretto, was the smart acoustics that allowed the Priest celebrations in the small temple to be perfectly heard everywhere inside the complex.
An impressive results considering the measures: 238,68 by 117,11 meters.


A description by Giambattista da Persico reports 152 cells for ill persons, 4 wells, and many other rooms places for Doctors, food and all the necessary to run it.


During the 700th century, the usage completely changed, and it was transformed into a powerful ammunition magazine.


It was briefly restored to the “hospital” usage around 1700/1800 to hosts France and German soldiers when they were hit by contagious disease.


During the Austrian dominion, the Lazzaretto was, again, used to store explosives and ammunitions and this until the end of the IIWW (1945).

The complete destruction happened on May 20th 1945.
A tremendous explosion devastated everything while many people were searching for useful things within the complex. More than 30 people died.

In 1960, the small temple was rebuilt as it is now.


In 1978, the Pro Loco Lazzaretto Association was constituted, with the aim to preserve what remains of the Lazzaretto.
In 2012 a Memorandum of understanding was signed in order to include the Area in the wider ”Adige South Park”.






1549-1552: First construction phase

1591-1628: Second construction phase
Fence and Temple building with the San Rocco Statue on top, to propect the onse hits from the plague.


1853: Ammunitions Deposit






Project by: MICHELE SANMICHELI (1484-1559)