A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 40 of 493
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THE SELF-GOVERNING COMMUNE 23
east shore of Lake Garda, some miles north of Malcesine. In
1184 the whole of the east shore of Garda below Malcesine
belonged to the Veronese, with the one exception of the Castle
of Garda, and this they purchased nine years later from the
Emperor Henry VI. for a thousand silver marks. This district,
possessing as it did great variety of soil and climate,
from mountains where the snow lies nearly all the year round,
to hot and marshy but fertile plains, provided the growing city
with supplies of all descriptions. The plains produced abundance
of corn and vegetables, and great quantities of reeds,
which were very valuable, being used for thatching houses and
making fences. Fromthelower hillscame oil and excellentwines,
and the higher ranges yielded good pasturage, and wood both
for building and fuel. A plentiful supply of fish came from
the rivers and the lake, and from the quarries of S. Ambrogio,
just below the defile of the Chiusa, was brought the celebrated
"peach-blossom " marble of which so much of the city itself is
built. The site of Verona is an excellent one. It lies just
where the hills sink into the plain, so that its climate, though
variable and somewhat sharp in winter, is healthier than that
of many other towns. In particular this situation enabled the
Veronese to obtain an abundant supply of spring water. The
purity of the water supply was, indeed, always felt to be of
such vital importance by the Veronese that, from the very
earliest times of the Commune, the protection of the streams
and wells from contamination was the subject of repeated
enactments which were duly entered among the statutes of
The advantages which the Veronese gained from lying at
the meeting-point of two of the great trade-routes, i.e., that
between East and West Italy and that to Germany over the
Brenner, have already been alluded to. The possession of
Legnago, the only other point where the Adige could be crossed,
gave them complete control of more than half of the navigable
portion of the river, which served as the great highway for
their trade with Venice. In addition they controlled the
upper waters of the Mincio through Peschiera, which stands
where that stream flows out of Lake Garda. Commercially
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Allen, A. M. A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps., book, 1910; New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1025/m1/40/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .