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What to see in Italy: Guide to opera in the Arena at Verona

After realising that I couldn’t get to see the opera at Milan’s La Scala this year, we went to the Arena in Verona instead, and as promised here are a couple of tips for an evening at the opera in Verona.

If you want to stay in Verona on a Saturday night at the opera, you had better book in advance.

Otherwise the station is not far from the centre or you can drive.
We went by car and parking is a complete cinch, but not for people on a budget.

We spent 13 euro for the evening’s parking.
While it’s common practice to eat out after the opera and really enjoy an evening out, we weren’t staying in Verona and addition to that, 12:30 in the morning is a little late for dinner for us.
So we had a meal out beforehand and you can normally find plenty of restaurants around with free tables without having to book.
We ate in a bar, and I recommend checking menus prior to sitting down as some places are a little pricey.

We sat in the “gradinata” part which is unnumbered seating higher up for about 27 euro a ticket.
There was much debate as to the best strategy for cushions.
You can buy blow up ones for about three euro from street sellers, or you can hire inside the arena for three euro.
Whatever you choose, I strongly recommend a cushion and ladies, definitely NO HEELS.
I saw plenty of women tottering around the arena, or just descending in bare feet.
We took a little backpack in which was allowed, with our own water.
Drinks cost five euro inside the arena, while icecream and other snacks cost anything from four euro.
Also, if you’re sitting up higher, a jacket is a good idea as a cool breeze can come up in the evening.
Other than that, it’s a great night out – we saw Tosca though also running this year is Nabucco, Carmen and Aida among others.
Tickets were not sold out on the Saturday evening we went and we bought ours over the internet, which means you collect tickets at the ticket office prior to the show.
It’s all very civilised and organised, and most Arena staff speak English.

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