Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Verona's Roman Ruins

There are many fine Roman ruins located in Verona. I visited several of them on this trip.

The first I saw was the Arco Dei Gavi, dating from the first century AD. It was the gate for the Roman road leading into the city.

Alas, it is no longer functional

The other two famous gates from the ancient times are found in the heart of the city. The Porta dei Borsari was the first one I came upon. It also dates from the first century AD. and is now an obstacle to vehicular traffic.

I suppose small Italian cars might make it through

The gate's backside

The other famous gate is from the first century BC and is called the Porta dei Leoni, near the ancient herb market Piazza delle Erbe, which was the site of the town's forum but is now all medieval to modern buildings.

Porta dei Leone is not even a gate anymore!

Also nearby are some Roman excavations

The centerpiece of Verona's Roman ruins is the Arena di Verona. Finished in 30 AD, it is the third largest Roman amphitheater, behind Rome's Colosseum and Capua's arena. Originally the home of gladiatorial combats, now it is most famous for the summer open-air opera season. The day we arrived in town was the opening night for Aida. I was able to get a ticket but I'll tell that story in the next post.

The glorious exterior of Verona's Arena

A side tunnel through the Arena

More arena

We didn't make it all the way over to the Teatro Romano, which was across a river and the far end of Verona from where we were staying. Many things also strike the viewer as Roman, even if they are probably a lot more contemporary.

I guess all frescoes seem timeless to me

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