Friday, March 31, 2006

Arena di Verona – The Amphitheatre of Verona

The “Arena di Verona” is the third largest Roman amphitheatre in Italy, superceded only by the Coliseum in Rome and Anfiteatro in Capua (Campania). Built in the first century A.D. the Arena is still fully functional. Initially it was estimated that the Arena would have held 30,000 people while today it seats about 22,000.

The Arena was built outside of the original city walls because the main attraction was the gladiator. It was feared that bringing all of the people into the inhabited areas could have created unrest and congestion. During the sixth century parts of the outer walls of the Arena were disassembled for building materials. The great earthquake of the twelfth century finished off the outer ring leaving the existing structure.

During a modern renovation, the 1800s, a complete hydraulic system was found under the main field along with numerous rooms and staging areas. The artifacts found were collocated in the Museo Archeologico del Teatro Romano. This is another destination well worth visiting if you have the opportunity to see the Arena.

Today the Arena is famous for its opera season. The wide stage and natural setting make the Arena perfect destination for the most elaborate scenes of the great opera companies. In 1913 the Arena became the premier stage for both opera and symphony; the Arena’s unique dimensions are the perfect compliment for the elaborate scenes of the Aida.

This year’s season begins the 24th of June and ends the 27th of August. If you are in Italy during the summer this is unique experience that cannot be matched in a different location. Whether or not you appreciate opera, this experience will remain impressed forever on your soul and is well worth your time.

The various presentations, dates and the actors can be found through these links:

Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci
Madama Butterfly


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Blogger ChickyBabe said...

It would be awesome to be there, just for the experience even if one doesn't like Opera.

2:04 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Chickybabe - Awesome does not describe it! The experience absorbs you. I saw Aida performed there and at times had a difficult time remembering that I was in Verona and not Egypt. The atmosphere, the scenes and the music transport you to another time.

The colors and lights explode in your mind and no matter where you sit, you feel as if you were in the middle of the orchestra.

It amazed me that a structure created 2,000 years ago, ravaged for building materials and survivor of a devastating earthquake could surpass the acoustics of any structure we have today.

This is an experience worth living.

2:45 PM

Blogger Ash said...

Great pictures and text!

4:38 PM

Blogger Jerry said...

beautiful. wish i'll travel the place oneday. my experience in italy is too poor.

5:14 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

jerry, Ash - thanks for the compliments! The subject matter is fantastic and a close study can help us learn from the past to make a better future.

6:35 PM

Blogger a.c.t. said...

Lovely photo - it looks amazing at night and I even prefer it to the Coliseum in Rome. I love Verona, it's such a beautiful city. It's such a pity that Romeo and Juliet's balcony is full of grafiti otherwise it would be perfect.

1:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found you through Blog Mad and will be back. One of my goals is to visit Italy in the near future.

8:27 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

ACT - Verona is a beautiful city, overlooked by most vacationers (except for the Germans). Grafiti is a serious problem across the world. Unfortunately, many Italian youth believe their need to express frustation is more important than their culture.

Bella - Thank you for stopping by. Italy is a great place to visit and will give you numerous opportunities to explore your interests.

9:47 AM


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