Hidden treasures

The jousts in the Verona Arena

Historical Curiosities
arena-di-verona

The jousts in the Verona Arena

The Verona Arena is undoubtedly the symbol of the city in the Veneto region, and one of the most famous Roman monuments of Italy.

All the tourists who visit it every year, even just to attend concerts and operas, do not imagine all the different uses it had over the centuries…

The most unusual use that is definitely the most surprising is jousts: these were equestrian games and tournaments between knights who had to clash with each other with a spear or make a dummy dressed as a Turk fall off a rotating platform.

In 1590 the first documented joust inside the Arena took place, while in 1622 a great Giostra della Quintana was held, whose performance was described by some chroniclers as it saw Veronese knights and strangers participate, some of which even came from Sweden.

The last tournament that was held in the Arena was in 1716, in honour of the Prince-Elector of Bavaria and organized by Scipione Maffei, who had complained about the fact that the Verona nobles had stopped holding jousts inside it. From that year onwards, the Arena was used for performances of comedians and dancers, who built the stage inside the amphitheatre. In 1751, instead, a rhino was transported within the Arena, which made all the spectators turn silent as soon as they saw it, not believing such an animal could exist. But the most pleasing form of entertainment was the hunting of bulls, in which a bull (or in some cases an ox) had to fight against dogs trained by butchers. Goethe visited Verona in September 1786 and was surprised to discover that the popular ball games did not take place inside it.

If you are interested in visiting the Verona Arena with a fascinating guided tour we recommend our Guided tour of the Arena di Verona with skip-the-line entrance! An experienced guide from Verona will accompany you to explore this famous amphitheatre with stories, legends and anecdotes!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The theft of the body of Saint Lucia from the church of San Geremia

venezia_santa_lucia
Historical Curiosities

13th December, throughout the Christian world, is devoted to the celebration of Saint Lucia, a martyr from Syracuse, Italy, who lived a...

View

Venice: The Tolomazi, the first tour guides of Venice

tolomazi
Historical Curiosities

In the Middle Ages, as in present day, Venice was a cosmopolitan city bustling with travellers from all over the Mediterranean. Many of...

View

Treviso: Castelbrando in Cison di Valmarino

castelbrando
Unknown places & works

The province of Treviso offers its visitors many places steeped in history and imbued with charm ... One of these is definitely Castelb...

View

Verona: Villa Mosconi Bertani in Valpolicella

villa-mosconi-bertani
Historical Curiosities

If you are passionate about wine and history, you cannot miss out on a visit to Villa Mosconi Bertani in Valpolicella (province of Vero...

View

Top posts

Verona: The Sigurtà Park in Valeggio sul Mincio

sigurtà
Unknown places & works

Sigurtà Garden Park is a 60 hectare-large natural park located in Valeggio sul Mincio, in the province of Verona, about 8 km from Pesc...

View

Venice: The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi
Historical Curiosities

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell... After having been the Post Office building for...

View

Padua: Padua, the Iliad, the Aeneid and Dante's Inferno

padova-antenore
Mysteries & Legends

What do the Italian city of Padua and Dante's Inferno have in common? Apparently nothing, but if you dig in the medieval legends you wi...

View

Venice: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice as the film set of 'Casanova'

Sala_Capitolo
Film Locations

In 2005 the film ‘Casanova' was shot in Venice, directed by Lasse Hallström and which starred the late Heath Ledger. Among the many ...

View