In addition to the Arena, the ancient Romans had a smaller theater on the other side of the Adige River in Verona, with stone steps built into a hillside. This theater was excavated and reconstructed in the nineteenth century and is used today for spoken drama — especially Shakespeare in both Italian and English — as well as jazz and ballet performances.
As in the Arena, the cheap seats in the Teatro Romano are unreserved and are on the bare stone steps, whereas the more expensive seats are numbered and have backrests. Prices vary according to the kind of show it is, but for a Shakespeare play you would pay € 29 for a numbered seat, or € 18 for an unreserved place on the stone steps. (Prices as of 2018.)
The stage is of course not left over from the Romans, but it is in more or less the same position where the ancient stage was.
As at the Arena, they have a red carpet for the folks in the more expensive seats, but not for the others.
When I visited the Teatro Romano, there was a crew of several men and one woman setting up the stage for a new production of the play La putta onorata (‘The honorable prostitute’) by Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793).
I didn’t see the play (don’t know how much I would have understood), but it would have interested me because a number of Goldoni’s plays were made into operas during the 18th century, and Goldoni himself wrote libretti for various opera composers.
The Roman Theater is at Via Regaste Redentore 2, 37010 Verona
My photos in this post are from 2006. I revised the text in 2018.
See more posts on Verona, Italy.