Santa Maria in Betlemme


On the top of the hill overlooking the city

Today it is known as San Zeno in Monte and it belongs to the Opera Don Calabria, but originally it was called Santa Maria di Betlemme. The link with Bethlehem is ancient, the earliest records date back to the Carolingian era when, according to a 1444 papal bull, the church was subject to the annual payment of a tax toward the bishop of Bethlehem.
As for Santa Maria di Nazaret, this church was also part of a Minor Hierusalem: as Bethlehem stands about 8 kilometers from Jerusalem, here, just outside the old city walls, on a terrace from which to enjoy the most beautiful panorama on Verona, stands this church dedicated to Bethlehem.
After many renovations, there is almost nothing left of the original church, especially its interior. Nevertheless, its entrance is noteworthy: on the right is in fact a map of the Holy Land engraved on a marble slab, and the entrance portal is covered with six bronze panels that illustrate the main episodes of Jesus’s childhood: the announcement of the prophet Micah (5.1-5); the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem; the birth of Jesus; the announcement of the angels to the shepherds; the massacre of the innocent; the adoration of the Magi.

The church of Santa Maria in Bethlehem (today San Zeno in Monte) is owned by the Opera Don Calabria. It is included in the itinerary “Rebirth from Water. Verona Beyond the River” only on the occasion of the urban pilgrimages organized by Verona Minor Hierusalem.

Opening times: Thursday to Saturday: 7.30 am – 8 pm; Sunday: 8 am – 12.30 am; 3 pm – 7.30 pm
Mass Schedule: Daily Mass 7.20 am; Saturday Mass 6 pm; Sunday Mass 8 am, 10.30 am, 5 pm
Address: Via San Zeno in Monte 23, 37129 Verona (Map)