Every year the Verona Arena in Italy plays host to the internationally renowned Arena di Verona Festival. Located in the Piazza Bra in Verona, the 2,000 year old Roman amphitheatre provides the backdrop to a festival of open air opera which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city from across the globe.
Organised by the Arena di Verona Foundation, this year’s festival marks the first century of the Arena di Verona Opera Festival and the occasion is to be celebrated with a series of open air operas and special Gala nights throughout the summer.
Between 14 June and 8 September, 58 performances of six different opera titles including the famous Aida and the romantic Romeo & Juliet will take centre stage during this year’s opera season. For opera lovers, there is nowhere else like it in the world. The impressive sights of the arena alone make this an experience in itself, yet the lavish costumes and operatic tones make opera in Verona a truly immersive and emotional experience that even an opera novice would not fail to appreciate.
The first operas were performed in the Arena in 1913 in celebration of the centenary of the birth of the influential Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi and were produced by the tenor Giovanni Zenatello.
Now a hugely popular cultural event with the world’s largest opera stage and capacity for 15,000 spectators at each performance, the unique setting evokes an atmosphere unlike any other opera house.
To mark the special occasion this year, Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo will be Honorary Artistic Director for the Festival as well as singing at the Gala nights.
citalia, the leading Italian specialist has tickets on offer for both the opera performances and the Galas which range in price from stone step seating from 30 euros to Gold Stall passes from 126 euros. To be a spectator, it does of course mean a trip to Italy, but with three night packages available from just £535 per person, including flights, the experience to witness some of the most fantastic open air opera performances in the world is truly worth it.
It is also important to remember that Verona is Italy’s fourth largest city and home to the setting of Romeo and Juliet. It has splendid piazzas, palaces, castles, churches and towers that draw you in to this city, also known as Venice’s little sister and is within easy reach of the stunning Italian Lakes.
The combination of the breathtaking opera and the romance and culture of the city means Verona is truly magnificent at this time of year. A three night holiday to Verona starts from just £535 per person with a saving of up to £110 per couple. The holiday includes three nights B&B at the four star Hotel Accademia and return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways, based on 29 July departures.
Verona is also a great base for exploring the Italian Lakes with the southern shores of Lake Garda only 15 miles away. A 10 night Verona and Lake Garda multi-centre holiday makes for a perfect combination with prices from £1,029 per person, including a saving of up to £268 per couple. The holiday includes three nights B&B at the Hotel Mastino in Verona, seven nights B&B in Lake Garda at the four star Hotel Sirmione, seven nights car hire in Lake Garda, transfers and return flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet, based on a departure date of 15 June.
Alternatively, combine two of the most romantic cities in Italy with a six night twin-centre trip to Verona and Venice. Take in awe inspiring opera in Verona before taking a short train ride to the floating city of Venice. The holiday starts from £739 per person and includes a saving of up to £315 per couple, three nights B&B at the Giberti, three nights at the four star Hotel Bonvecchiati, internal rail transfers and return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways. Price based on 10 August departures.
For more information on citalia’s Verona holidays and opera tickets or to find out more about its extensive collection of holidays call 0844 415 1956 or visit www.citalia.com.