Verona (population est. 260,000), is an ancient town, an episcopal see and a province in Veneto, Italy, on the shores of the Adige River and near to those of the Lake Garda.
Its origins are supposed of Etruscan influences, but the first historical news are from the 4th century BC. It became a notable center during the Roman Age, of relevant political and commercial weight.
Verona is famous for the Roman Arena amphitheatre (1st century CE), now one of the most important theatres for opera. The Arena (which shape and use immediately recall the Roman Colosseum) was built around the half of the 1st century CE on a site which at the time was out of the urban walls. The ludii (shows and games) played in it were so famous that spectators came to Verona for them from many other (sometimes very distant) places. The amphitheatre could host more than 30,000 spectators, and the most requested events were gladiators' fights (against lions too). The round fašade was originally in white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, but during the Middle Ages the Arena was used as a sort of quarry for other buildings. The first interventions to recover its functionality as a theatre were started during the Renaissance. The first Opera concert was held in 1913.
But other Roman monuments too are in the town, like the Roman Theatre, built in the 1st century BC and retrieved in the 18th century CE thanks to Andrea Monga, a wealthy Veronese who bought all the houses that in time had been built over the theatre, demolished them and saved the monument. Verona hosts indeed one of the richest collections of Roman remains of all Northern Italy.
The Arco dei Gavi (Gavi Arch), dedicated to the important Roman family of the Gavii, was built in the same 1st century CE, and is famous for having the name of the builder (architect Lucius Vitruvius Cordone) graved on it, a really rare case in the architecture of the epoque. It had been demolished by the French troops in 1805 and was rebuilt in 1932.
Verona was flooded in 1239 and quite entirely soon rebuilt. It was in the Middle Ages the town of the signoria of the Scala family.
It is also the town in which Shakespeare imagined his Romeo and Juliet, a work which describes the tragic love of a boy and a girl from the Capuleti and the Montecchi families, rivalling in Verona in the 13th and 14th century.
Verona was the birthplace of Catullus, Vitruvius, and the town that Julius Caesar selected for his relaxing stays. In its history many important names passed and events happened that were relevant for the European history, like Theodoric the Great, king of Ostrogoths, Alboin and Rosamunda, the Lombard Dukes, Charlemagne and Pippin of Italy, Berengar I, Dante. Conclaves were held here, and important congresses. Verona was in the travel diaries of Goethe, Stendhal, Paul ValÚry.
The colors of the city are the yellow and the blue.
Things from Verona (and sometimes people) are called Veronese, but this can be confusing because 'Veronese' was also the last name of the famous artist, Paolo Veronese (and so he is often called that).