The Verona Arena

My first step on Italian ground was at the Verona airport. My first “formal” visit to Verona was to see the Arena and the Balcony of Romeo and Juliet, only to find out there is so much more to see. In this post, let me focus on the Arena. It was our first time to purchase a map from a vending machine since we were not staying in any hotel where they give it for free. The place is just 45 minutes away from where we currently live in Italy. It became very useful because we went to Verona both in winter and summer to see the two faces of the place.


A tourist map vending machine in the parking area
Verona tourist map with discount coupons

In Verona, any sight becomes an introduction either to the ancient times or to modernity. The most significant evidence of the Roman era is the Verona Arena (Arena di Verona), a Roman amphitheater located in Piazza Bra. It is ingeniously preserved and is today the largest open-air opera theater in the world. It is the third largest of its kind in Italy, smaller than the Colosseum in Rome and amphitheater in Capua. The structure was built in 30 AD and could host 30,000 spectators during that time. The number of spectators was now limited for safety reasons. Today it holds 15,000 people. The building’s outer ring was almost completely destroyed during an earthquake in 1117. It was remarkably restored and during the Renaissance, its theatrical function was recovered. The spectators traditionally light candles or “mocoleto” as darkness falls and performances begin at dusk. In recent times, the Verona Arena has also hosted some international bands of different genres. Examples are Duran Duran, Sting, Rod Stewart, and Pearl Jam.

The Verona Arena (Arena di Verona)
Verona Arena's balcony
View of the inside from the balcony
Verona’s liveliness is expressed by its chain of cafes, fashionable window shops along the main streets, and the wide variety of cultural events and international trade fairs such as horse fairs and wine fairs.


A winter scene near the Arena. The brown stalls on the opposite end of the rink were used during an open-market.
Cafes near the Arena
A store near the Arena

Around the Arena, you can take photos with men and women in costumes. They usually depend their dress on the theme of the show or opera scheduled to be presented in the amphitheater. The default costume is that of a Roman soldier, but during the season when Aida will be played, a lot were dressed as Egyptians. They don’t charge you with a fixed fee, they will just ask you for a donation.

As with other tourist destinations, it is common to see people in costumes freezing on their chosen spots, moving only when you pose for a picture with them and give even a small amount for the souvenir shot. Some will just showcase their talent hoping to please those around them.

An exhibition that drew people
Aside from posters displayed all over the place; flyers about the ticket prices and schedule of shows in the Arena are distributed to tourists and locals through cafes. We got one from Loacker Moccaria.


An informative flyer about scheduled shows and stage plays
Loacker Moccaria in Verona
Loacker Moccaria provides good food and Verona Arena flyers
We parked at Parking Cittadella (Parcheggio Citadella) where we paid 11.50 Euros for 5 hours parking.

(RediscoverMore is a blog also maintained, but no longer updated, by me.)

27 comments:

  1. Wait...you live in Italy? I am so jealous! Think of people sitting in those seats 1,000 years ago...The architecture all over Italy is incredible. Thank you for posting your travels. I will have to live vicariously through you for now. Enjoy!

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    1. Hi Laura, yes, temporarily in Italy. Thank you so much!

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  2. Beautiful pictures Lea, Italy is a beautiful country.
    The coffee and cake at the last photo looks delicious
    nice Sunday, Irma

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  3. Hello!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and following. I'm follow your too. I'm from Brazil, do not know English very well, but I came here to repay.

    This journey must have been wonderful. Beautiful city.
    Kisses and thanks again.

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  4. That living statue is fantastic, Lea. We didn't make it to Verona and probably won't get there now. How sad is that?

    I didn't realise you lived in Italy. Wow, oh Wow! I so adore that country, thank you for sharing your photographs.

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    1. I'll be staying here for another year. Don't worry, I'll try to take you to the places I've been to by posting about them. Thank you so much, Valerie!

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  5. I do like to do the same. Visit & watch a place once in warm & once in cold times.
    Verona looks like an awesome place to go!

    But the parking fee is quite hefty. :o

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  6. Wow..interesting places there and beautiful Lea..wish i can visit there someday.

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  7. Italy is on my bucket list and Verona looks like a great place to go visit :)

    Thanks for sharing the pics, and your experience :)

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  8. Hello Lea!
    Verona and Romeo an Julietta!A very incroyable history!
    Thank you for posting your beautiful pictures.
    Enjoy Lea!
    Kisses!

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  9. What a wonderful city. Love that arena and am so glad that it has been renovated and kept in use. Love the guy sitting in the air, too. My friend left for Italy today for a 10-day trip. He's Italian and is looking forward to seeing new faces and new places. Maybe I should tell him to go visit Verona!

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  10. You are showing me photo's of places I have never been to and I feel I really must try to get to Italy some time. Thanks for sharing this wonderful place.

    Yvonne.

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  11. Thank you for this interesting journey.
    Please have a good new month.

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    1. Thank you, Robert! Have a good one, too.

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  12. I think Verona is wonderful, I see you enjoyed your trip very much. Nice pictures, I like them.
    (and I just noticed your little dog's photo on the blog, Mateo is so cute! :))

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  13. I really enjoy these tours via post ... your photos are excellent! Especially enjoyed the spot on the amphitheater! And your refreshments looked nice, too! :)

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