Magic in Italy: Night in Verona

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Trip Report Index:

Introduction
Getting There
Hotel Review: St. Regis Rome
Hotel Review: Hotel De Russie
Visiting Rome
Hotel Review: The Westin Europa & Regina
Visiting Venice
Hotel Review: St. Regis Venice San Clemente Palace (previously reviewed)
Driving around Lake Garda
Hotel Review: Hotel Sirmione
Day in Sirmione
Hotel Review: Hotel Ideal
Night in Verona
Lake Idro
Lake Iseo
Lake Maggiore
Hotel Review: Sheraton Milan
Retrospect

When planning out the trip, I realized that one of the nights we would be in Sirmione the opera would be performing and it was easy to find a couple tickets via the Arena Verona website. I bought the tickets online and they were sent to my email so all I had to do was print them out. For those who are not Opera fans, rock and pop bands have also played in the Arena such as One Direction, Pink Floyd, Alicia Keys and Jamiroquai.

The night of the opera, we drove from Sirmione to the Arena which took about 45 minutes. Included with the tickets was a parking pass, and the parking structure was fairly easy to find.

Once we had parked, right across from the Arena was a row of restaurants in the Piazza Bra that had a view of the Arena.

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The long tables at the restaurants extended all the way from counters to right along the sidewalk where people were walking by.  Menus were posted up near order counters for those wanting to get food as takeaway, but waitresses hurried between tables to serve food quickly as there were plenty of opera going people.

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After choosing a restaurant, we sat down and decided on a few pasta dishes.

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A waitress soon came to take our order and put down a shared bowl of oils and spices that the nearby tables could use.

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The staff was sensitive to the fact that we were headed to the opera, so service was swift and after a good meal we were on our way. Just a few steps down was the Arena and guests were starting to arrive. The Roman Ampitheatre was built in the 1st Century and is extremely well-preserved. It used to seat 30,000 patrons but due to modern safety regulations the maximum is now 15,000 per performance.

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We entered the carpeted area, had our tickets checked by an attendant and were shown to our seats.

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The tickets were in a great location, right up front near the orchestra. I could see the stagehands assembling the props needed for the night’s performance, and listened as some of the musicians warmed up their instruments.

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It was a beautiful night with great weather, and the theatre filled up quickly.

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Tonight’s opera – Aida.

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No microphones or loudspeakers were used in the Arena until 2011 when a sound system was installed. The acoustics were really good, and sounds carried well.

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During the performance I was blown away by the fact that there must have been several hundred people on stage at once.

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There were even horses!

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After the show was over, we were out of the arena fairly quickly and headed towards the car. It only took about 10 minutes to walk there, and then of course there was the usual parking lot wait while cars jockeyed for position on their way out.

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This was a great evening, and I highly recommend a visit if you’re in town. It was easy to arrange and a fun time.

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