It is the third greatest Roman amphitheater in terms of size, and its name comes from the Latin term for sand, which in Roman times covered the platea.
The Romans built it at the start of the first century A.D., for the purpose of housing shows of various types, such as gladiator battles, and violent contests using ferocious and exotic animals. Although today the Arena is set in the central area Piazza Bra, at the time of its construction, was located on the edge of the city, outside the walls, so that it could be easily reached from the neighboring areas, but also to keep outside the inhabited area every possible reason of crowding and violence.
Used for centuries as a source of building material for reuse in the construction of city buildings, it is today incomplete. To pay the price was, in particular the outer ring of ring, composed entirely of limestone from the Valpolicella, white and pink, of which, also due to an earthquake of the XII century. of which only a small portion remains visible today, the Wing. Instead, the inner ring is almost intact. From the stalls the tiers rise with 44 series of places, reachable from the 64 “vomitatorio” arranged on four floors.
With its 25,000 seats, the Arena has always been the ideal backdrop for many events: until the first half of the eighteenth century the usual jousts and tournaments, in the nineteenth century the prose shows.
However, what is well known to opera lovers around the world, his great success as an opera house began in 1913 when, to celebrate Giuseppe Verdi’s 100th birthday, he hosted the first production of his Aida.