Santo Stefano

The reliquary of the first Christian martyr

The church, dedicated to St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was erected in the early Christian era, and houses the burials of the first bishops of Verona. Throughout the centuries, Santo Stefano underwent complex architectural transformations. Particularly striking is the rare two-storey ambulatory, probably built on two levels in order to give pilgrims easy visual access to the church’s abundant collection of important relics. Go down to the cruciform crypt: you will be fascinated by the forest of columns, arches and cross vaulted ceilings. Worthy of note are the four central dark granite columns, of clear Egyptian origin.

Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr: according to the Acts of the Apostles, he was stoned just outside Jerusalem, near the so called “Lions Gate” or “Sheep Gate“, a place still remembered to this day.

Interesting facts

the church of Santo Stefano is graphically depicted in the upper left-hand corner of  the Raterian Iconography (mid-10th century), the oldest known representation of Verona.

General information

The church of Santo Stefano is part of the itinerary called “Rebirth from Water. Verona Beyond the River”. Admission is free thanks to the Verona Minor Hierusalem volunteers.

Opening times

Thursday to Saturday: 10 am – 5.30 pm; Sunday: 12.30 pm – 5.30 pm

Mass Schedule

Sunday Mass: 8.30 am, 11.00 am, 6 pm; Saturday Mass:  6 pm; Daily Mass: 9 am (Tuesday), 6 pm (Monday and Friday)

Address: Vicolo Scaletta Santo Stefano, 2 – 37129 Verona

For further information, please email

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