Arena di Verona

Piazza Brà, 1, Verona

Verona's Arena is a Roman amphitheater in the historical center. It is one of the icons of the city along with the figures of Romeo and Juliet. It is one of the great buildings that have characterized the playful Roman architecture, among the oldest in the best conservation. During the summer it is used for the famous opera festival stage and there are many singers and bands. The lack of written sources about the opening makes it very difficult to provide a safe history, so much so that in the past, several studies have emerged very different dates, for a period of time ranging from I to III century (between the emperors Augustus and Claudio). Even its ancient history is largely unknown: it is possible that the amphitheater was also used for the Christians martyrdom. The Goths of Theodoric was responsible for the first restoration and the organization of some shows. During the municipal period were held inside the Arena legal wrangles, which participated as a spectator even Dante Alighieri, describing them in the Divina Commedia. In the eighteenth century the extraordinary maintenance were arrested for starting the works of archaeological excavation, with Ottavio Alecchi, brought to light the central well. In 1716 it was held the last tournament, in honor of the Elector of Bavaria. 1820 was an important year, the first step towards cleaning up the monument and its integral restoration. The appearance of the monument is today quite different compared to the original, in particular due to the lack of the outer ring, which would have been the real facade. The only section of the outer wall still standing is the so-called Wing, consisting of four arches. The facade is composed of three rows of overlapping arches, made entirely with squared blocks of local red limestone. The second order of the facade is equal to the first, if we exclude the lower height. And the third row is rather minor differences: the capitals are always of Tuscan order, but without pilasters, while the frame is made up of an entablature finished with a frieze and a further frame. The monumental entrance is located west of the building, the most important sector. Numerous are the legends about Arena, whose construction is attributed to none other than the devil.

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