My absolute highlight of our stay in Verona was the visit to the Arena di Verona for the performance of Aida by Giuseppe Verdi.
We had already thought in advance that when we were in Verona, a visit to the Arena di Verona should also be on the programme. And we were lucky, exactly during our stay were the last days of the Opera Festival.
After some thought and research – as we are completely inexperienced in opera – we decided on Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. The next problem was the choice of seats, but this was made easier by the really high prices in the stalls. We opted for unnumbered seats high up in section D. (Link to the website of the arena).
During one of the first walks through the city, we already got an impression of the Arena di Verona.
The well-preserved Roman amphitheatre measures 138 x 109 m and is about 24 metres high. About 22,000 spectators can be seated in the third largest preserved ancient amphitheatre.
If you want, you can visit the building from the inside. We considered this at first, but then decided against it because of our visit to the opera. And that was a good thing. Admission costs €10 and, especially during the festival, the interior is full of chairs and there is a large stage set-up. Not really antique!
For us, it was already a small foretaste of the upcoming visit to the opera – on the Piazza Brà, the sets for the performance were well separated.
We had not imagined it to be that big. The anticipation grew.
We were lucky, it was a beautiful sunny and dry day in early September and the evening promised to be the same. Following some good advice from friends, we put on long trousers and jackets anyway (thanks, it was getting really chilly!).
Admission for the unnumbered seats was 2 hours before the start of the event. As we stood in the queue watching the people, we discovered cushions, blankets and huge bags of food everywhere. Was it going to be such a long evening? OK, we quickly bought a seat cushion for a small amount of money, but food and drink? In an opera? We, as opera-inexperienced as we are, had not looked at the playing time beforehand, but had only read a short summary of the story. The performance lasted 3 hours! Food and drink was offered later by very eager vendors loudly before the performance and during the intermissions.
Admission began and we had a really nice seat after a short orientation. On a huge stone staircase, you sit loosely next to each other (without a backrest). The stalls and the numbered seats are full of plastic chairs.
Slowly the arena filled up. About 45 minutes before the performance began, admission was opened for the numbered seats. Evening dress was requested here and one could admire some beautiful dresses.
There was also a gong here, as in the theatre. Here, however, it was quite vividly played by a geisha who struck a real gong.
When the performance began, the Arean di Verona suddenly went dark. Then the lights of the candles, which could be taken free of charge at the entrance (take your lighter!), went on everywhere in the squares.
What an atmospheric prelude!
The opera was simply indescribable. A gigantic stage set, great artists and good acoustics made the evening simply unforgettable.
Pictures cannot really reflect this event. You simply have to have experienced it once.
Piazza Brà, 1
Monday: 13:30 – 19:30 (tickets on sale until 18:30)
Tuesday -Sunday: 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (tickets on sale until 6:30 p.m.)
Admission fees for the tour:
Children/young people (8-14 years): 1,00
Free entry for children (0-7 years)
Ticket sales for the opera performances in the Arena di Verona:
Arena website or at the box office