Verona – How the Amphitheatre of Capua went from gladiators to opera
Visitors may not wear sandals and togas anymore, but they still flock to visit Verona’s spectacular Amphitheatre of Capua.
And throughout the year, many of them are not merely visiting another relic of the ancient world, sitting proudly but ultimately unused at the heart of a modern city.
No, Verona’s amphitheatre remains in use; home to the city’s popular and, according to all accounts, spectacular opera season.
We were unfortunate enough to arrive at this magnificent monument to the Romans outside of that season – but it was still well worth the visit.
Only slightly smaller than the Colosseum, it is in better condition than that giant of ancient Rome.
Built in the 1st Century AD, the Amphitheatre of Capua has been home to far more raucous events than the opera. As with all amphitheatres, it hosted gladiator fights, along with the venationes, which were the hunts of fierce exotic animals.
Its name comes from its central area, which was covered with sand, precisely arena in Latin.
Originally built outside Verona’s city walls, these days it has been perfectly integrated into the modern city.
Today’s arena suffered from the removal of building materials to use elsewhere in Verona, and from a terrible earthquake that struck in the 12th century.
Only four arches are left of the outer circle, which had been the real, utterly sumptuous, façade.
But whether you are attending the opera or simply indulging in the architecture of the past, the Amphitheatre of Capua remains a magnificent sight.