ARENA DI VERONA
The biggest open-air lyrical theatre in the world
Arena di Verona is the biggest open-air lyrical theatre in the world, the third biggest Roman amphitheatre in Italy and the most well-preserved. Together with Giulietta’s balcony, it is one of the symbols of Verona.
His history is very ancient and dates back to the first century A.D.: it was built in Piazza Bra, which was outside the city walls at that time, and completed around 30 A.D.
Like the Colosseum, the Arena was used to offer the citizens different types of games and shows, among them fights among gladiators.
Since 1600 it has been a location for carousels and shows such as bulls hunt, but from the 17th century it has hosted several operas, first of all La Santa Alleanza with music composed by Gioacchino Rossini. During that period also riding and running competitions, aerostat shows, gymnastic and acrobatic exercises, comedy and tombola were highly appreciated.
The first opera season was in 1856, when Il Casino di Campagna and La Fanciulla di Gand by Pietro Lenotti, as well as Le convenienze teatrali and I pazzi per progetto by Gaetano Donizetti, were staged.
In 1913 the staging of Aida officially opened the Arena Opera Festival. From that year the amphitheatre has been considered the biggest open-air lyrical theatre in the world.
Besides the Opera Festival, the Arena hosts each year several concerts of well-known Italian and international musicians.