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

Verona: Juliet Statue in Verona

giulietta
Big Names

If you are visiting Verona, a must-see attraction is definitely Juliet’s House, where lovers from all over the world leave love messa...

View

Venice: The Church of Santa Croce degli Armeni in Venice

chiesa-di-santa-croce-armeni-venezia
Unknown places & works

The city of Venice has always been cosmopolitan and very tolerant of other religious confessions ... It is no surprise therefore that, ...

View

Treviso: The Molinetto della Croda in Marca Trevigiana

molinetto-croda
Unknown places & works

Marca Trevigiana (this is how the area around the city of Treviso has been referred to since the 13th century) is an area rich in art a...

View

Venice: Doge Pietro Tradonico and the Island of Poveglia in the Venice lagoon

poveglia-venezia
Historical Curiosities

The Island of Poveglia, in the Venice lagoon, is considered by paranormal experts as one of the world’s most haunted places, normally...

View

Top posts

Treviso: Roncade Castle

castello-roncade
Unknown places & works

For most visitors, including lovers of art, Veneto is the region of the Villas, fairy-tale holiday destinations and farmhouses, which h...

View

Padua: The Anatomical Theatre at the University of Padua

teatro-anatomico-padova
Unknown places & works

The University of Padua, founded in 1222, is one of the most important symbols of culture in Italy... There are lots of places to disco...

View

Verona: Juliet’s balcony in Verona

balcone-giulietta-verona
Big Names

When visiting the beautiful city of Verona, Casa di Giulietta - the house of Juliet, the character immortalized by William Shakespeare ...

View

Venice: The empty tomb in San Michael cemetery in Venice

Cimitero_Venezia
Mysteries & Legends

The small island in the Venice lagoon that can be seen when heading to Murano houses the Venice cemetery, founded during the 19th centu...

View