Aro is one of three vampires who lead the Volturi. He is widely accepted as the overall leader of the Volturi, and possesses the supernatural talent: with a single touch, he knows every thought a mind ever held.
Aro was born in 1300 BC in Greece. He was changed into a vampire in 1280 BC.
Approximately a decade after having been transformed into a vampire, Aro also changed his sister Didyme, with hope that she would posses an ability akin to his. However, she was blessed with an ability not as useful to him; the power to make people happy. Aro's colleague Marcus fell in love with her, and she with him. However, Marcus and Didyme eventually became discontent being involved with Aro's rising organization, the Volturi. In order to prevent their leaving, Aro killed Didyme: Marcus was too integral to his plans to lose. Aro then had Chelsea use her ability to ensure Marcus remained loyal to the Volturi.
By 500 AD, the Volturi had usurped control of the vampiric world from the Romanian Coven. Aro ruled the Volturi, along with Marcus and Caius, though he generally acted as its spokesperson. The Volturi, under the three ancients' leadership, set down the laws of the vampire world and severely punished those who did not adhere to them.
Carlisle Cullen came to live with the Volturi for some time, and became close friends with Aro. However, Aro was alarmed at Carlisle's preference to "vegetarianism," and believed that this would only weaken him over time. Carlisle eventually left to find other vampires like himself. At one point, Edward Cullen, one of Carlisle's adopted children, comes to the Volturi. Edward was deeply depressed because he believed his love, Bella Swan, had committed suicide, and as such was himself suicidal. Aro is interested in Edward's talents, and tried to recruit him to join the Volturi instead, saying it would be a waste to kill him. He later met Bella, after she and Alice prevent Edward's suicide attempt; he suspected that as an immortal she would have great talent to shield, or block the supernatural talents of other immortals.
Aro is very power-hungry. He craves domination, and is constantly looking to expand what power he has. He is also willing to destroy anything he loves for power, as he demonstrates when he murders his sister to keep Marcus from leaving the Volturi.
Aro is a collector. He collects many valuables, like jewels and similar items of wealth. But his most prized "possessions" are his talented guards, specially his own personal guard, Renata.
Aro is often described as being "giddy," due to his almost unnatural air of ease and delight in tense or otherwise objectionable situations. As the apparent leader of the Volturi, Aro is exceptionally talented. Being vampiric, Aro is blessed with superhuman strength and speed, and has vastly enhanced senses. However, he requires physical contact to use his ability; Aro cannot read minds from a distance.
Aro is described as having almost translucent skin, and it is repeatedly compared to onion skin throughout the series. His hair is very long and jet black. When he moves, it appears as though he's floating. His eyes are a milky red color that has a tendency to unsettle people. This red is also due to his diet on human's blood.
Aro is one of three vampires who lead the Volturi. He is widely known as the overall leader of the Volturi, and possesses the gift of tactile telepathy, the supernatural talent to read all the thoughts and memories a person has ever had with a single touch. Aro is described as having almost translucent skin and throughout the series it is repeatedly compared to onion skin. When Bella first meets him, she feels compelled to touch his skin to verify if it is smooth and cold like Edward's or powdery like chalk. His hair is very long and jet black. When he moves, it appears as though he's floating. His eyes are a milky red color that has a tendency to unsettle people.
He lives in Volterra with his other two "brothers" Marcus and Caius, and has a wife named Sulpicia. There have been many speculations concerning the death of his sister Didyme and whether he had a part in it, but none have been confirmed.
In New Moon, it appears that Aro is one of the more honest and merciful of his brothers, but in Breaking Dawn he is seen to be much of the opposite (thanks to Maggie).