Arena di Verona is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres. It was built in the first half of the 1st century. Visitors from distant places came to Verona to watch the gladiatorial fights and other events that took place on the arena. Over the years, the theater had been destroyed several times and little of the original structure is preserved. In the 12th century a strong earthquake struck the city, leaving visible damages on the arena. The area that was destroyed consisted of three rows of arches in Tuscan style which used to rise to height of 31 meters. On the outside wall there were only four columns left. When in 404 the emperor Honorius prohibited the gladiatorial fight the arena sank into oblivion. In the following centuries the monument was plundered and its stones were used for the construction of other buildings in Verona.
Description: arena di Verona /picture source: Shutterstock/;
The inner ring consisted of two rows of 72 arches, made of pink and white stone. Recent excavations reveal a complex hydraulic system by which water was brought to the arena. This water was used both for water shows and for cleaning after the bloody gladiatorial fights.
The Venetians were those who during the Renaissance undertook the restoration of centuries-old walls. Gradually the arena came to life again. Theatrical performances, concerts and even bill fights were organized on it. The opera festival was launched on 10 August, on the hundredth birthday of the composer Gauseppe Vedri. Arena di Verona quickly established itself as one of the greatest opera houses with a capacity of 20,000 seats.
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