Are you an Opera lover? If so, make a point to put Verona on your must-visit list between June and August! Every year during the summer, Verona stages a full program of wonderful Opera presented in the most fantastic venue, the Verona Arena. To understand how wonderful it would be to attend your favourite opera in this outstanding venue, let me tell you a little about the Arena.
The Arena, Verona.
The Verona Arena dates from Roman times, and is a huge amphitheater in the Piazza Bra in the Italian city of Verona. This amphitheater is one of the best preserved of all the ancient Roman arenas in the world, and is just the perfect setting for Opera. This huge structure has weathered many a storm since it was first built in AD30 on a site which was then outside the city walls. At that time it was so famous for the shows and games presented there that it attracted visitors from all over Italy and beyond, and it was able to seat more than 30 000 spectators. The entertainment of those times consisted of cruel gladiator sports, and when these were banned by the emperor Honorius in 404AD, the Arena stood unused and neglected for many centuries. The Arena survived a huge earthquake in 1117 which destroyed all but four of the original circle of arches that formed the top storey of the facade, built from beautiful pink and white limestone from Valpolicella, but luckily the inner core of the structure survived intact, and this is where today’s operas are staged.
Opera at The Arena
What better back-drop could you wish for when staging an opera than a genuine Roman amphitheatre? In addition, the Arena has wonderful acoustics, and microphones to improve the sound were only introduced as recently as 2011. As you can imagine, people come from all over the country to visit the opera at the Arena, and tickets go on sale up to a year before the annual event. However, do not despair if you happen to find yourself in Verona at short notice; you can purchase a ticket for one of the un-numbered seats on the day of a particular show for less than €30, but this is always subject to availability and it would be much wiser to visit the official website and book tickets for your favourite opera well in advance. The 2014 season starts with “Un Ballo in Maschera” on Friday 20th June 2014, and is followed by Carmen, Aida, Turandot, and others, and ends with the most popular of all, Madame Butterfly and Romeo and Juliet on the 5th and 6th of September 2014. Book now at:
The city of Verona.
Verona is a splendid Romanesque city and there are plenty of other things to do there if Opera does not appeal to you; visit famous Casa di Guilietta (House of Juliet) – (Shakespeare so admired Verona that Romeo and Juliet was set in the city), or visit Piazza delle Erbe to wander around the markets or sit at a pleasant cafe and enjoy an ice-cream (gelati) while you watch the world go by and be sure to see the Duomo, the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore and the lovely Italian gardens of Giardino Guisti. The city is also a good base from which to visit some wineries to see where some great Soaves and Valpolicellas are made. Lastly, be sure to taste a Baci di Guiletta (Juliet’s Kisses) before you leave – delicious biscuits dedicated to Juliet and found in pastry shops all over the city.
Verona and Arena tour.
Emilia Delizia would be delighted to organise a guided tour of Verona that focuses on the history,, wines and food of the town. Our company can also organise guided tours of the Arena for those interested in learning more about the building and the performances.
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The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.
We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!
Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.
Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.
The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.
I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.
Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge
The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide
It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.
Nous sommes une famille de cinq et nous avons adoré notre expérience. Les trois endroits étaient choisis judicieusement. Notre guide était très généreuse et super gentille. Nous recommandons ce tour ( parmesan, vinaigre balsamique et jambon de parme).
My family felt our first trip to Italy must include a tour of a Parmesan Cheese Factory so when I stumbled on this website several months ago I had no idea what I treasure I found! From the moment I submitted a request for the tour, my experience with Emilia Delizia was first rate. Gabriele provided excellent customer service by patiently answering all my questions to guide me through the selection and reservation of our Foodie Delight Tour. Paolo, our driver, was prompt, cordial and knowledgeable about the processes we were observing and the area in general conveying loads of information with his well-developed English speaking skills. Our stop in Modena fell on a Saturday so we were quite fortunate to end up with a private tour which allowed us to have a nice, personal interaction with the people at each site. Everyone was friendly, generous with the tastings and we never felt rushed to move along to the next location. Now that we have returned to the states, my family agrees this tour was a highlight of our 10 day trip. I was really looking forward to this excursion and am glad to report it exceeded my expectations.