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You are Here: > > > > Roman Arena

Roman Arena

Also known as the Arena di Verona, this ancient Roman amphitheater is Verona’s most famous landmark. Built in the 1st century A.D., it used to be the home of gladiator fights, jousts, tournaments, as well as markets. One of the best preserved amphitheaters in the world, it is now the dream venue for many musical stars.

As one of the largest venues in the world, the Roman Arena can seat around 20,000 people at time. The present day Arena is only a part of the original structure due to an earthquake in 1117 which partly destroyed the building. With tiers made of Veronese marble, its dimensions are about 138 x 109 meters on the outside while the inner elliptic pit is about 44 x 73 meters. There are 45 tiers of steps wherein the opera audience can sit.

Starting in the 18th century, the Roman Arena began to be used for theatrical performances. Nowadays, it is the home for various cultural activities such as operas, ballets, and plays. In the summer Verona holds its famous Opera Season and the Roman Arena is the main venue for the performances. The tradition of the Summer Opera Festival started in August 10, 1913. The first opera to be performed was Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. Since then, tourists have flocked to the Roman Arena every year — with the exception of the two World Wars — to enjoy opera. On the average, an estimated half a million people visit Verona every year, just to participate in the Opera Season and experience the Roman Arena.

When there are no performances, tourists can visit the Roman Arena in the afternoon for a small fee. Most parts of the Arena are accessible to the public. Only the galleries, cells, and passageways under the tiers cannot be visited today. Marvel at this magnificent piece of Roman architecture as you climb up the steps. The history surrounding the Arena is palpable with every step you take. As you gaze down into the pit, you can almost see the scenes from ancient history. It may be tiring but the view at the top is well worth the effort. Perhaps the best reward is a bird’s eye view of the city of Verona.

The Roman Arena now serves as a backdrop for the Piazza Bra. However, when it was built by the Romans, it encompassed a larger area, reaching to the outskirts of the urban centre. Largely due to the history surrounding the Arena, it has emerged as a symbol of ancient nobility as well as the city itself. That is why the Veronese have done all they could do to conserve and restore the Arena.

Address: Piazza Bra, Verona, Italy
Phone Number: 045 800 32 34
Cost of Entry: 3.10
Opening Hours: 9.00am-7.00pm Tue-Sun, 1.45-7.30pm Mon





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