The Roman Theatre of Verona is located at the foot of the Colle San Pietro. During the summer months it forms the backdrop to performances of Shakespeare’s plays. The entire complex consists of a number of buildings dating back to different periods. The ticket price includes a visit to the Archaeological Museum.
Roman Theatre Verona
Address, opening hours and admission
The address of the Teatro Romano is Via Regaste Redentore, 2 – 37129 Verona. Phone: +39 0458000360. Bus: 31, 32, 33, 70, 71, 91, 96, 97, 101, 103, 104B, 105, 107. Opening times: From 08.30 till 19.30. Maondays from 13.30 till 19.30. The hours may vary when there are performances. Admission: 4,50 Euros. Students between 14 and 30 years of age: 3 Euros. Children between 8 an 13 years of age: 1 Euro. Museum pass: Free with the Verona Card.
Since 1948 the theatre festival Estate Teatrale Veronese is held at the Roman Theatre. Most of the plays that are performed were written by Shakespeare. In 1968 a dance festival was added and from 1985 jazz concerts are being held during the festival.
History Roman Theatre Verona
Probably the Roman Theatre was built toward the end of the 1st century AD. It is thought to have been the departure point of the street network of the ancient city. Later it was abandoned and gradually destroyed by earthquakes, floods and the passage of time.
At the start of the Renaissance the entire Roman city had turned to ruin. A church and a convent had even been constructed on top of what was still left.
The first archaeological excavations under the abbot Fontana started in 1757. In the 19th century the then owner Andrea Monga, a wealthy Veronese businessman who had bought the entire area, ordered more excavations. More organized diggings started in 1904, however, after the city had acquired the area.
After World War II the theatre became the backdrop for several events, often organized together with the Arena.
The complex consists of buildings stemming from different eras. It used to stretch from the banks of the Adige to a temple at the top of the hill. The ruins of this temple were discovered while the Austrians were restoring the Castel San Pietro. The entrance to the complex is in a 16th century building with a frescoed frieze.
What to see
The church that was built on the east side of the ruins of the cavea is dedicated to the saints Siro and Liberta. It underwent several restorations between the 14th and 17th cetury, but the structure was more or less kept intact. Apart from a number of 14th century paintings, Giambettino Cignaroli‘s tomb is its main attraction.
Of the theatre some ruins of the theatre and the orchestra are left, together with two galleries and three terraces. The tuff stone walls of the building are still standing, but the statues that used to be inside have been moved to the entrance.
Parts of the marble floor of the VIP section are still visible.
The limestone cavea was not built directly against the hill. Some ruins of the supporting walls are still visible from one of the rooms of the Archaeological Museum. Of the cavea itself only a section of the eastern wall is still standing.
At the top of the steps a covered hallway and what is left of a gallery are visible. The loggia above this gallery was restored in 1912. Its arches are decorated with inscription of the names of important Roman families. A lift will take you from the loggia to the Archaeological Museum.
The museum is housed in the former San Girolamo Convent, which was located on one of the three terraces making up the complex.
A nymphaeum has been dug into the tuff stone eastern wall.
The ruins next to the theatre complex belong to what used to be the Odeon. This was used for poetry and musical events. Unlike a theatre an odeon was covered, although it used to have a similar, albeit smaller, structure.