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  • Day54

    Teatro Romano, Catania

    October 22, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Next stop for today was a visit to the Teatro Romano, the Roman theatre built with successive enlargements over a period of time ranging from the 1st to the 4th century AD. With a diameter of about 80 meters, the orchestra, the cavea (which rests on high vaulted corridors) and some parts of the scene are still visible today.

    The theatre was stripped of the marble and stone that it was made of in 1098, at the behest of Count Ruggero, in order to speed up the construction of the Cathedral of Sant’Agata, and in the 5th century inhabitants of the city were allowed to strip the theatre for building material for the construction of stone buildings, on the grounds that the monument had been abandoned for a long time. In 1550 measures were taken to secure the ruins and it was finally buried by the 1693 earthquake.

    In the 18th century excavations begun to establish beyond doubt that the amphitheatre had actually existed, a point that some people of the time strongly denied. What remains today, represents about a tenth of the amphitheatre with most of the amphitheatre being below the streets. Due to different lava eruptions and earthquakes, the ground level has dropped over time and today the lower part of the building, especially the orchestra area, is washed by the waters of the river Amenano, the river that flows underground to the city, which prevents the use of the theatre for contemporary performances.

    After some of the amazing historic sites we have visited this one really didn’t impresses us too much, although it is always great to learn about the history of the cities and towns we are visiting.
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