Arena di Verona
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Arena di Verona

Of course, the Arena is not the Colosseum: the amphitheater in the capital of the Roman Empire is much larger. Nevertheless, the Arena has something to be proud of: it was built 40 years earlier and preserved not only the relative integrity of structure, but also its main purpose.

Only four arches are left of the outer circle, and this fragment is 30 m high (it’s on your left), but the inner circle of the walls has a relatively even edge, which gives the main advantage: good acoustics. Due to this, various kinds of performances were held in the amphitheater for the last two millennia.

arena

After all, it was built precisely in order to embody the Roman principle of “bread and circuses”. Once Verona has been replete with residential buildings and protected by strong walls, during the reign of Emperor Claudius, it was high time to entertain people.

Why exactly here? Because nearby there are the quarries of the Valpolicella Valley and the Adige River, through which blocks can be transported to the construction site. Here was the crossing of Postumia and Claudia Augusta consular roads, through which residents of neighboring cities could reach Verona. The combination of technical capabilities, stable political situation and a social request for entertainment led to the decision to build an amphitheater with a capacity of 30 thousand seats. Thus, began its long journey of evolution from gladiatorial fights to rock concerts.

Look at the bronze plan under your feet. It is evident, that the Arena was placed outside the city wall. The main reason is that spectators gathered for gladiatorial battles outnumbered the city residents. The whole crowd was conveniently located around the Arena, so they could park their chariots next to the road. And it was precisely this apparently comfortable location that led to the partial destruction of the Arena.