The church of San Zeno in Oratorio, also known as San Zenetto so as not to confuse it with the homonymous basilica, was probably built in the 8th century AD, not far from the crossing of two major Roman roads, the via Postumia and the via Gallica, and near a pre-existing Roman necropolis. The complex and discontinuous architectural development of the church was due, above all, to the floods of the river Adige, and the composite structure we see today dates back to the 13th century.
Apparently Saint Zeno used to come right here to prey (the name of the church could come either from San Zeno Oratore, or Saint Zeno the Orator, or from San Zeno Orante, or Praying Saint Zeno). The small church houses an interesting relic attributed to the saint: the rock on which, according to tradition, saint Zeno used to sit while fishing by the river Adige. The relic has a strong symbolic meaning: it reminds us at the same time of the saint’s sober, simple life, and his mission as an evangeliser and a fisher of men.
Several of the works of art and architectural elements we can see today come from other churches, now demolished. They were brought here once the church was reopened after the Napoleonic suppression and spoliation.
The church of San Zeno in Oratorio is part of the itinerary called “Rebirth from Earth. Verona, crossroads of civilizations, history and culture”. Admission is free thanks to the Verona Minor Hierusalem volunteers.
Saturday: 10 am – 5.30 pm
Sundays and holidays: 10.30 am
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