This photo was taken during the December holiday season on a Saturday. It was quite a busy day as there was a Christmas Market and the weather was excellent. You can see the two walls of the arena.
I have another tip on concerts in the arena on Virtual tourist, if you are interested in that sort of thing.
The Roman amphitheatre, the Arena, is the most renowned Veronese monument.
Today the Arena is set in the historical centre and acts as a backdrop for Piazza Brà. But once upon a time, when the Romans built it, the monument was located at the margins of the urban area, outside the circle of the walls. The Arena summarises in itself almost twenty centuries of local history. Through time, it has become the very symbol of the city. Its cult has far away roots, that go back to Carolingian humanism. The fame that the amphitheatre has enjoyed in the civic consciousness of the Veronese has gradually led the monument to increasingly assume the character of the very symbol of ancient nobility.
From here the measures for its conservation and many deep restorations originate. The Arena has always served the special purpose of spectacular events. During Roman times, for example, it was used for spectacles of gladiator fighting.
In Medieval times and until the mid eighteenths century, games and tournaments were common events at the Arena.
In 1913, the Arena was finally discovered for what it has become known for today, as the first true and most important open-air opera theatre in the world.
At most places you will not see the outside walls of the arena any more, as it was destroyed in an earthquake plenty of centuries ago and the inhabitants from Verona took away the stones to build and restore their own houses..
There is only a small part of the outside-facade left and you may see it on my picture. It simply was a seperate wall with walking-arcades for the visitors.
The Arena of Verona is dating back to the year 30 A.D and it is big enough for 25.000 visitors today. The Arena was built by the Romans as a place to watch the fights of Gladiators against wild animals. In the Middleages it was partly destroyed, as people were trying to use the bricks in order to build their houses. In later times inquisition-trials were held there and people were also hanged directely after the trial there.
The Roman Arena in Verona is one of the major focal points of interest. It is not only in fantastic condition for a 2,000 year old beast, but it is still used for operas and shows. Unfortunately, when the arena is being prepared for a show, the inside is off limits to the public. The link is for performance information.
The best-preserved Roman amphitheater in the world and the best known in Italy after Rome's Colosseum, the elliptical Arena was built in a slightly pinkish marble around the year A.D. 100 and stands in the very middle of town, with the Piazza Brà on its southern flank. Built to accommodate more than 20,000 people (outdone by Rome's contender that could seat more than twice that), it is in remarkable shape today (despite a 12th-century earthquake that left only four arches of the outer ring standing), beloved testimony to the pride and wealth of Verona and its populace.
Its acoustics (astoundingly good for an open-air venue) have survived the millennia and make it one of the most fascinating venues for live performances today, conducted without microphones. If you're in town during the summer opera performances in July and August, do everything possible to procure a ticket for any of the outdoor evening performances. Even opera-challenged audience members will take home the memory of a lifetime. Other events, such as orchestral concerts, are also staged here whenever the weather permits
The arena was begun to be constructed in AD 30 and the information in the guidebook says that it could hold 30,000 spectators in ancient times.
The stone was taken from the Valpolicella area of Italy. It survived a large earthquake, but then the stone was scavanged for other structures until during the Renaissance it began to be admired and used for productions.
It is now used for the famous Summer Opera productions and concerts brought in by the city.
One thing I thought was interesting is the the steps up to the top are very large and without hand holding railing, when it is crowded, people are falling and tripping, etc. Maybe the old Romans had long legs??? ha
There is a restroom inside the area, in case of emergencies, and only that, because it is sometimes not very clean. Best to go over to Piazza Bra and use one a vendor restroom.
Seats are hard stone, but you can buy a soft seat for more cash during productions.
You have to bring your imagination with you, as it was bigger before the earthquake.
The Verona Arena (Arena di Verona) is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra, which is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind.
The building itself was built in AD 30 on a site which was then beyond the city walls. The amphitheatre could host more than 30,000 spectators in ancient times.
The round façade of the building was originally composed of white and pink, but after a major earthquake in 1117, which almost completely destroyed the structure's outer ring, except for the so-called "ala", the stone was quarried for re-use in other buildings. Nevertheless it impressed medieval visitors to the city, one of whom considered it to have been a labyrinth, without ingress or egress.
Tue-Sun 8.30 – 19.30
On this daytime photo you can see the various seating categories in the Arena. I have heard and read various estimates of how many tickets they put on sale for each performance, with 14,000 being the lowest estimate.
The most expensive seats look white in the photo because they are protected during the day by heavy white plastic covers. These are the "Poltronissime" seats or first sector stalls, now subdivided into "Poltronissime GOLD" at EUR 198 per seat and normal "Poltronissime" at EUR 168. (These are the Friday and Saturday prices. On other days they cost a bit less.)
The red seats are the "Poltrone" or 2nd sector stalls, which cost EUR 127 on Fridays and Saturdays.
The grey seats on the lower half of the steps are the "poltroncina numerata di gradinata" or numbered seats on the steps, which cost EUR 104 in the middle sections and EUR 84 on the sides.
These are the prices as of 2012. They have not changed since 2009.
People over 65 or under 30 years of age are entitled to reduced price tickets, but these cannot be bought online.
The prices for all categories are lower for Gounod's Roméo et Juliette than for the other operas.
Second photo: Here's what these grey numbered seats on the steps look like. They aren't padded, so you might want to rent a cushion, but at least they have a back rest and they are reserved.
Third photo: The top sections are the "Gradinata" or unreserved stone steps. On Fridays and Saturdays these cost EUR 27.50 for the middle sections D and E, EUR 23.00 for the side sections C and F. The far-forward sections B and G used to cost EUR 12.00, but they are no longer listed in the current price list.
Fourth photo: The section under the Ala is section E.
.... If you are visiting Verona or you are an opera enthusiast but a bit of a duffer at plots, then there's a useful pre-show lecture called Anteprima Opera, a talk by an opera expert and conductor, held in the gorgeous Church of S. Maria in Chiavica, a stone's thorw from the Arena.
It's a great way to start the evening before the Arena Show. The talk (in italian with English translation) is geared to the opera being performed in the Arena that night.
THE 2012 PROGRAM
5:15 p.m.: Meeting at the S. Maria in Chiavica old Church
5:30 p.m.: Guided listening of the Opera in program the same evening in the Arena, with Maestro at the piano and Soloist
6:30 p.m.: End of PROGRAM
7:00 p.m.: Typical Dinner in a good restaurant
8:45 p.m.: Stroll towards the roman Arena
9:15 p.m.: Start of show in the Arena
- Superior seats: € 23,00
- Classic seats: € 19,00
Young from 11 to 17 years old: € 10,00
DINNER: up on € 30,00 without drinks
Verona has one of the largest and most well-preserved Roman arenas. It is still used for concerts and other performances throughout the summer, and thousands of modern seats have been added to the arena's original stone bleachers.
The arena is open to tourists when performances or rehearsals aren't in progress. Be prepared to wait in line before entering. Verona gets swamped with tourists, so you amy need to wait for 30-60 minutes before getting in to the arena.
Verona doesn't need mythical connections to Romeo and Juliet as it has a long and glorious history all of its own. One of the oldest, and most striking, examples of this is the Roman Arena that is still fully functional despite thousands of years of wear and the ravages of powerful earthquakes. It was built of Veronese marble in the first century AD, and has a perimeter length of 435 meters. Its outer wing has seen the most wear, and only a portion of this now remains. You can wander through the Arena at all times of the year, but in the summer the place comes alive with performances from all manner of high quality acts. There's opera, classical music as well as plenty of contemporary bands like Massive Attack.
It costs just €1.50 to wander around outside of performances, and the opening hours are 09:30 to 18:00 (except holidays) during the summer. During winter (Nov-Feb) it is open from 10:00 until 16:00, with a half hour for lunch at 13:00 (except holidays). During holidays it is only open for the afternoons, and on Mondays it is closed.
Brilliant experience and I think a must do! The arena in Verona is still used for performances and there is nothing better than pre show drink on one of the piazzas and then a trip to the arena. This year they're running Aida and la Boheme and much more!
The cheapest seats are about 18€ for a weekday performance, rising to 180+€ for a gold stall seat.
The website is very usable, in English
Built by the Romans in the 1st century AD, this stadium played host to gladiators and wild animals. The Arena held around 30,000 spectators and had four main entrances, corresponding to its two axes.
The façade, of which there is still a small section, was entirely built in large blocks of white and pink limestone from nearby Valpolicella. In the Middle Ages, stones from the Arena were taken for use on other buildings. Later, it resumed its role as a site for shows and events: a role it continues to play today for the annual summer opera season, which began in 1913.
Today, the building is used above all for the opera and concerts.
The Arena Di Verona, built in the first century AD, is one of the best conserved Roman amphitheaters. Surprisingly, it's not just an old crumbing building. It is still used today for Opera performances and modern music concerts. Opera season is between June and September.
Walking through the ancient corridors you are overwhelmed by the sheer size of the structure. With 44 levels, the arena has a current capacity of about 15,000 patrons. In its prime it had a capacity of 20,000. The stone seats definitely require a little padding, but it is truly a wonderful venue.
Tours are available when the arena is not in use.