Verona is an ancient town, episcopal see, and province in Veneto, Northern Italy. The ancient town and the center of the modern city are in a loop of the Adige River near Lake Garda. Because of this position, the areas saw regular floodings until 1956, when the Mori-Torbole tunnel was constructed, providing 500 cubic meters of discharge from the Adige river to the Garda lake in case of flood danger. The tunnel reduced the risk of floodings from once every seventy years to once every two centuries.
Verona is famous for its Roman amphitheatre, the Arena, completed around 30 AD, which is the third largest in Italy, after Rome's Colosseum and the arena at Capua.It measures 139 meters long and 110 meters wide, and could seat some 25,000 spectators in its 44 tiers of marble seats. The ludi (shows and gladiator games) performed within its walls were so famous that they attracted spectators from far beyond the city. The current two-story façade is actually the internal support for the tiers; only a fragment of the original outer perimeter wall in white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, with three stories remains.The interior is very impressive and is virtually intact, and has remained in use even today for public events, fairs, theatre and open-aired opera during warm, Summer nights.
Verona is the setting of the story of Romeo and Juliet, made famous by William Shakespeare. Although the earliest version of the story is set in Siena, not Verona — the move was made in Luigi da Porto's Istoria novellamente ritrovata di due Nobili Amanti — a balcony falsely claiming historical connection to the fictional lovers has become a tourist attraction for lovers; the short passageway leading to the balcony is covered with slips of paper carrying their graffiti, and a bronze statue of Juliet stands under the balcony, one breast polished by those touching it for luck.