The Roman theatre at Verona

Verona has both a theatre and an amphitheatre dating from ancient Roman times. The amphitheatre is well preserved and is very famous. The theatre, a little less well preserved and not as frequented as the amphitheatre.

The Roman theatre at Verona is located on the other bank of the River Adige from the side where most of the Roman ruins are located. This side had a hill and a natural slope so the Romans naturally built a theatre on the slope at the end of I Century BCE.

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The Roman theatre at Verona is located on the side of a hill along the banks of the Adige River

There is actually very little left over today from the Roman times. The Verona Archaeological Association says that you can see some remnants of the stage and one of the top corridors. When I visited, there was a massive super construction as they were preparing (or just dismantling) after a recent concert/ event. That’s the beauty about these ancient structures- so many of them are still used for modern events- the theatre of Aspendos in Turkey for example hosts an Opera and ballet festival every year. The Roman theatre at Orange hosts concerts as well. Amphitheatres at various locations including Verona are used for modern concerts and events. Pink Floyd performed at the amphitheatre at Pompeii (without a live audience however), which is one of the oldest Roman amphitheatres to have been built.

Reconstructed steps on the Cavea of the theatre
Reconstructed steps on the Cavea of the theatre, Verona
Side view of some of the remaining structures at the Roman theatre, Verona
Side view of some of the remaining structures at the Roman theatre, Verona

Anyway, back to Verona. There is not much remaining especially as the area was also built over in the later centuries (a lot were demolished in the late 19th and early 20th CE to bring out the older structure). But there is a quite an interesting archaeological museum just at the top of the hill where there once was a monastery. There is a lift that can take you up there- else it’s a fair number of steps. On a hot day with tired feet I was wiped out trying to get to the top.

View from the top, you can see the seats and scaffolding for the event- Roman theatre, Verona
View from the top, you can see the seats and scaffolding for the event- Roman theatre, Verona

The museum has a nice model reconstruction of what the theatre could have looked like back in the day. Of course as no description survives, this guess is as good as any other.

Model Reconstruction of the theatre- the semicircular bit is the cavea with the seating
Model Reconstruction of the theatre- the semicircular bit is the cavea with the seating. Roman theatre, Verona

 

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Lav says:

    Nice pictures! Something about those trees standing beside those buildings lends charm to the scenery

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thanks!

  2. Nirmala says:

    Very nice pictures! It’s good that modern events take place in ancient settings.

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      True, just speaks volumes for how versatile and well built those structures were

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      Thanks for the comment!

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