Built in the first century A.D., in Verona - Italy, sits the beautiful Arena di Verona. This amphitheatre has been used for centuries as a public gathering place and place of entertainment and those interested in both history and the arts, must place this Italian landmark on their trip itinerary. This monument is one of the most preserved of the kind, and happens to be accepted as the first true open-air theatres in the world where people can enjoy amazing operas, concerts and many other unforgettable events.
In its day, the Verona area was a spectacle to behold. Encased in pink and white limestone, this beautiful building would attract visitors from far and wide, who would travel here to watch the shows performed on its stage. It could hold 30,000 spectators then and these seats would often be filled. Today, due to safety concerns, the maximum number of spectators allowed inside is 15,000.
In Roman times, Gladiator fights would take place here and prisoners would be executed. There would also be circus-type shows and singing and dancing. The variety of spectacles to see was unending. In medieval times, there would be jousting games and tournaments.
To this day, the Verona Arena is considered the best place in the world to watch an Opera performance. Due to its open air construction and circular shape, the acoustics within are perfect and up until very recently, there was no electronic sound system installed in the building.
Underground tunnels to and from the arena made it easier to service the facility, which was done by hundreds of slave labourers.
The Arena di Verona is still in use today and is used for concerts, ballets and festivals. Each year close to a half million people attend this venue and due to its acoustics and atmosphere, it is thought to be one of the best places in the world to watch an opera. Many famous performers have also graced the stage of the Verona Arena such as Paul McCartney, Adele, Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd and Whitney Houston, just to name a few!
When purchasing tickets to a performance in this amazing venue, keep in mind that buying seats on the stone steps of the amphitheater is much more budget friendly than paying for the padded chairs offered on the lower levels. You will also be given candles upon entering which can be lit after dusk since there is no electric lighting inside. This adds to the magical and authentic ambiance.
There are many things to see and do while visiting Arena di Verona and the surrounding area. Some of the most popular are:
The Verona Arena and the surrounding city of Verona are amazing historical sites that helped to inspire some of the greatest writers, artists and composers of our time. The amazing history here is sure to intrigue you and a visit to this arena will take you back to the time of gladiators and ancient fights to the death, giving you an inside glimpse into the life and ways of the ancient Romans.