Construction on the Santa Corona church was begun in 1261 by the Blessed (Beato) Bishop Bartolomeo di Breganze to house a thorn from the supposed relic of the crown (corona) of thorns forced on Jesus during his passion. The thorn had been given to this bishop as a gift from Louis IX of France. The church belonged to the Dominican order until suppression during the Napoleonic era.
The church has an altarpiece depicting, the Baptism of Christ (1500-1502) by Giovanni Bellini. The Thiene chapel has frescos by Michelino da Besozzo, and an altarpiece depicting an Enthroned Madonna and child venerated by Saints Peter and Pius V by Gianbattista Pittoni. Other works in the church include an Adoration of the Magi’’ by Veronese, a Madonna of the Star‘ by Marcello Fogolino, a St Mary Magdalen with Saints Jerome, Paola and Monica, (1414-1415) by Bartolomeo Montagna, a canvas depicting St Anthony and friars distributing alms to poor (1518) by Leandro Bassano, and two canvases with depictions of St Sebastian and St Martin by Battista da Vicenza.
After the death of one of his patrons, Antonio Valmarana, likely in 1576, Palladio designed this funereal chapel. Santa Corona had already been the church were other members of the family had been interred. Ten years earlier, Palladio had designed the Palazzo Valmarana in town for the family. The chapel was constructed by 1597, and family members transferred here. While there is no documentary evidence linking this design to Palladio, it highly resembles his chapels found at the Il Redentore in Venice.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.