Verona Porta Nuova railway station
|Verona Porta Nuova|
|The station and city bus stop.|
|Address||Piazzale 25 Aprile, 6
|Owner||Rete Ferroviaria Italiana|
|Urban / long distance / airport|
Verona Porta Nuova is the main railway station of the city of Verona. It is situated at the Piazzale 25 Aprile Square, a 25-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride from the city centre. This station was opened in 1852 but substantially rebuilt between 1910 and 1922. It was rebuilt again between 1946 and 1949 after being destroyed by allied bombing during the World War II. Porta Nuova station serves a number of railway lines connecting Verona with Milan and Venice, Bologna, Austria and Germany through the Brenner Pass. It currently handles 25 million passengers annually. Work has begun in preparation for the Milan–Verona high-speed railway (construction work has commenced as of 2014) and the Verona–Venice high-speed railway (currently under planning).
The first train that arrived at Verona Porta Nuova station, in 1852, was driven by the locomotive "Verona" on the new line from Venice, which had crossed the Adige river on a recently completed bridge. In 1853, it became possible to operate trains from this station to Mantua/Mantova on a single-track line. In the same year, construction of the Brenner railway commenced to provide a trans-alpine railway link within the Austrian Empire over the Brenner Pass at 1,371 m.
The initial station building was a temporary wooden structure in 1851, but it was replaced in 1852 by a small masonry building. The masonry, however, had an odd shape: a part of its front had eight arched openings, which went further forward than the other part with only three. Upon its opening, the Porta Nuova station was less important than the Porta Vescovo station, which was located near a major Austrian military camp. At that time, Verona, called Bern-im-Wälsch, was one of the Austrian Empire's main military strongholds with a capacity of 120,000 troops. The Porta Nuova station was initially used only by the two of the three classes of passenger trains then in the region: "omnibus" and "mixed" trains. It did not handle the fastest, most expensive "direct" trains or offer any baggage service.
Network Expansion under Austria
In 1853, the Verona-Mantua-Modena service commenced partial operation up to Sant'Antonio Mantovano station, north of River Mincio and just outside Mantova/Mantua. This railway line became connected through to Modena in 1874 and joined the railway line to Bologna.
In 1854, the railway line between Verona (Bern-im-Wälsch) and Venice (Venedig) was extended westwards to Brescia (Wälsch-Brixen) and Bergamo (Wälsch-Bergen). The Brenner railway to Bolzano/Bozen, constructed in 1859, was extended over the Brenner Pass to Innsbruck in 1867. Construction of the Brenner Railway gave further impetus to the Austrian defence in Verona, until the transfer of the Veneto region to Italy as a result of Austria's defeat in the Austro-Italian War (1866).
Expansion after 1866
With the absorption of Veneto into Italy in 1866, the Milan–Venice railway came under the management of the Upper Italian Railways. The size of this early-19th-century station was no longer sufficient in handling rail traffic; it was then decided to make Porta Nuova the main station of Verona. In 1900, the station was temporarily enlarged with a central wooden building, while projects were being developing for the new station. Architects initially envisaged the station comprising six platforms with additional tracks for the storage of rolling stock and for freight train operations.
First Reconstruction in the 1910s
Work on reconstructing the new station building, designed by the architect Dini, began in 1910 and was almost complete in 1913, albeit in a preliminary form. The proposed building would be 114 metres long and 20 metres high, contain a central dome and two smaller buildings on its side, and hoist a canopy along its facade. The central section would host the ticket office and luggage facility; there would be a waiting room on the left was and a buffet the right. Offices would occupy the second floor. These plans, however, were not well-received among the Veronese.
By early 1915, the new freight facilities were already in operation, including the commissioning of a large goods yard and locomotive depot. The outbreak of the First World War halted reconstruction work of the station. The formal re-opening, therefore, was delayed until 22 March 1922.
The re-opened station's interior was decorated with mosaics by the master mosaic artist, Amedeo Mantellato, of Venice. In the 1920s, a track connection was built between the Brenner line and the goods yard. In the 1930s a new depot for locomotives was added to the storage facilities. Electrification of the lines around Verona was completed in 1941.
Second Reconstruction after 1945
The station was partially destroyed by bombing during World War II. The first isolated bombing raid of the station was carried out by a formation of four aircraft on 21 October 1940; the raid made use of cluster bombs and incendiaries. In total, the city has suffered twenty bombing raids. Two of the toughest attacks took place on 4 and 28 January 1945 and the station was rendered unusable.
In September 1946, the station was rebuilt on the same site to a design by the architect Roberto Narducci. This rebuilt station, aesthetically very different from the original, though structurally similar, was completed in March 1949. Many types of marble from Verona were used, covering an area of 4,000 m²; the floors were laid out with mosaics composed of ceramic tiles and the furniture was installed that was designed to harmonise with the building.
The new station carried over from the previous station a gap between its elevated platforms and the level of the pedestrian areas outside the station. This peculiarity has forced services to be organised on two floors: on the ground floor there are services for business travellers and the public, while rail-related services are located on the upper floor. The platforms have metal roofs in Art Nouveau style (even with those that survived from the previous station); whereas the roofs of the central and two lateral buildings are made of reinforced concrete. The current station building, however, does not include any elements of historical and architectural heritage.
Verona Porta Nuova is used by about 68 thousand passengers each day, for a total of 25 million users annually, and it is the ninth busiest train station in Italy. The station area is the centre of the transport network, incorporating urban and suburban public transport: the complex is located near the major bus terminal of the Verona public transport company (“Azienda Trasporti Verona”, ATV) which connects Verona with Verona-Villafranca Airport and with towns of Verona (province) and the Veneto region. In the future, there would be a direct connection to Verona's town centre by trolleybus.
The Verona Porta Nuova station is built on several levels:
- the basement is occupied by Ferrovie dello Stato offices;
- the ground floor is composed of several buildings, including passenger services. The side next to the square is occupied by commercial activities and passenger services, while there are technical rooms and offices in the other buildings on the west side;
- the platform level is used for passenger services;
- the first and second floor are occupied by offices.
The following services call at this station (incomplete):
- High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciabianca): Turin - Novara - Milan - Brescia - Verona - Vicenza - Padua - Venice
- High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciargento): Bolzano/Bozen - Trento/Trient - Verona - Bologna - Florence - Rome
- High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciarossa): Venice - Padua - Ferrara - Bologna - Florence - Rome (Termini)
- Regional train (Trenitalia Regional Express or Regional): Brennero/Brenner - Vipiteno/Sterzing - Fortezza/Franzensfeste - Bressanone/Brixen - Chuisa/Klausen - Bolzano/Bozen - Ora/Auer - Trento/Trient - Rovereto/Rofreit - Ala/Ahl-am-Etsch - Verona - Isola della Scala - Nogara - Mirandola - Bologna
- Regional train (Trenitalia Regional Express or Regional): Verona - Padua - Venice (Mestre) - Trieste/Triest
- Regional train (Trenitalia Regional): Verona - Villafranca di Verona - Mantua - Romanore - Suzzara - Capri - Modena
- Regional train (Trenitalia Regional): Verona - San Bonifacio - Vicenza - Padua - Venice
- Regional train (Trenitalia Regional): Verona - Isola della Scala - Legnago - Rovigo
- Regional train (Trenord Regional): Verona - Peschiera del Garda - Brescia - Milan
(CH for Switzerland, F for France, A for Austria, D for Germany, PL for Poland, CZ for Czech Republic, GB for United Kingdom, BR for Belarus, R for Russia)
- Night train (Thello): Paris (Gare de Lyon) (F) - Dijon (Ville) (F) - Milan (Centrale) - Brescia - Verona - Padua - Venice (Mestre) - Venice (Santa Lucia)
|Preceding station||Trenitalia||Following station|
toward Paris-Gare de Lyon
- Night train (DB City Night Line): Munich (Hbf) (D) - Kufstein (A) - Jenbach (A) - Innsbruck (A) - Bolzano/Bozen - Trento/Trient - Verona - Brescia - Milan
- Night train (DB City Night Line): Munich (Hbf) (D) - Kufstein (A) - Jenbach (A) - Innsbruck (A) - Bolzano/Bozen - Trento/Trient - Verona - Padua - Venice
- Night train (ÖBB EuroNight): Milan (Centrale) - Brescia - Verona - Padua - Venice (Mestre) - Villach (A) - Klagenfurt (A) - Leoben (A) - Bruck (A) - Vienna (A) (Meidling)
- Intercity train (ÖBB EuroCity): Munich (Hbf) (D) - Kufstein (A) - Jenbach (A) - Innsbruck (A) - Bolzano/Bozen - Trento/Trient - Rovereto/Rofreit - Verona - (Padua) - (Venice)
- Intercity train (ÖBB EuroCity): Munich (Hbf) (D) - Kufstein (A) - Jenbach (A) - Innsbruck (A) - Bolzano/Bozen - Trento/Trient - Rovereto/Rofreit - Verona - (Bologna)
- Intercity train (SBB-CFF-FFS EuroCity): Geneva/Genevè (CH) - Brig (CH) - Milan (Centrale) - Brescia - Verona - Padua - Venice
- Intercity Train (RZD EuroNight): Moscow (Belorusskaja) (R) - Wjasma (R) - Smolensk (R) - Orscha Central (R) - Minsk (BR) - Brest Central (BR) - Terespol (PL) - Warsaw West/Wschodnia (PL) - Warsaw Central/Centralna (PL)- Katowice (PL) - Zebrzydowice (PL) - Bohumin (CZ) - Breclav (CZ) - Vienna/Wien (A) - Linz-Donau (A) - Innsbuck (A) - Bozen/Bolzano - Verona - Milan - Genova/Genoa - San Remo - Ventimiglia - Menton (F) - Monaco Monte-Carlo (MN) - Nice (F) 
- Tourist train (Venice-Simplon Orient Express): Venice (Santa Lucia) - Verona - Innsbruck (A) - Munich (Hbf) (D) - Paris (Gare de Est) (F) - London (Victoria) (GB)
The station has been included in the program of rehabilitation of major Italian stations, carried out by Grandi Stazioni, a subsidiary of the Italian State Railway. It would be renovated under the guidelines for the Milan–Verona high-speed railway (on which work has commenced) and the Verona–Venice high-speed railway (on which planning is still under way). The station area, managed by Grandi Stazioni, extends over an area of 127,500 m² with buildings occupying 22,840 m². Among these, 2730 m² will be involved in the first phase of the renovation. As of April 2014, the information boards (train departures and arrivals) at the station's main ticket hall has been upgraded from analog to digital display.
- History of rail transport in Italy
- List of railway stations in Veneto
- Rail transport in Italy
- Railway stations in Italy
- Facchinelli, L. (1995). La ferrovia Verona-Brennero. Storia della linea e delle stazioni nel territorio (The Verona–Bologna railway, history of the line and its stations) (in Italian). Bolzano: Athesia. pp. 86–88.
- "Chronological overview of the opening of railway lines from 1839 to 31 December 1926" (in Italian). Trenidicarta.it. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- Facchinelli, L. (1995). La ferrovia Verona-Brennero. Storia della linea e delle stazioni nel territorio (The Verona–Bologna railway, history of the line and its stations) (in Italian). Bolzano: Athesia. pp. 89–96.
- Kalla-Bishop, P. M. (1971). Italian Railways. Newton Abbott, Devon, England: David & Charles. p. 113. ISBN 0-7153-5168-0.
- Facchinelli, L. (1995). La ferrovia Verona-Brennero. Storia della linea e delle stazioni nel territorio (The Verona–Bologna railway, history of the line and its stations) (in Italian). Bolzano: Athesia. pp. 97–98.
- Priante, G. (2006). L'Arena e Verona: 140 anni di storia (The Arena and Verona: 140 years of history) (in Italian). Verona: Athesis. p. 99.
- "Verona Porta Nuova". Italy’s major stations. Ferrovie dello Stato. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
Media related to Verona Porta Nuova railway station at Wikimedia Commons