Feel like part of history as you attend an event in the Verona Arena (Arena di Verona), a spectacular Roman amphitheater that has dominated Piazza Bra since the first century. Once a venue for sporting events, games, and gladiatorial battles, today audiences of up to 15,000 gather to watch opera, music concerts, and dance performances.
Verona’s Roman Arena is the symbol of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed city center and one of its most popular sights. Though much of the original pink-and-white limestone outer facade was pilfered at the end of the Roman Empire and a catastrophic earthquake in 1117 destroyed the rest, the interior and outstanding acoustics remain remarkably intact. In the 19th century, the city began using the arena once again to hold performances, and a staging of Verdi’s Aida in 1913 to celebrate the composer’s 100th birthday marked its reincarnation as one of Italy’s most important outdoor theaters.
By day, you can book a Verona Arena tour with skip-the-line entrance to the amphitheater or join a small-group walking tour of the city’s highlights, including the arena as well as Piazza delle Erbe, Castelvecchio, Torre dei Lamberti, and the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore. On summer evenings, you can book a ticket for the annual opera festival or other event, and enjoy the arena decked out for a performance.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is seating on the amphitheater floor (stalls) or on the stone steps around the perimeter. There is wheelchair access to stall seating.
- Audience members can check large bags and backpacks in the cloakroom.
- There is no food or drink allowed inside the amphitheater during performances.
How to Get There
Verona is located in Italy’s Veneto region, about halfway between Venice and Milan, and you can easily take a Lake Garda day trip from here. The arena is on Piazza Bra in the historic center of Verona, about a 20-minute walk from the train station or eight minutes by bus.
When to Get There
The arena is open from 8:30am to 7:30pm daily, and from 1:30pm on Mondays. These hours may change on performance days. While you can visit the arena year-round, it is especially memorable in the evening during scheduled performances from June to September. Opera seasons runs during this time; performances begin after sunset (usually around 9pm), and the amphitheater is lit by hundreds of small candles.
Casa di Giulietta
Verona is also famous for being the setting for Shakespeare’s timeless tale of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Today you can tour what is known as Juliet’s house, Casa di Giulietta, with its romantic balcony.