Si Trova: a Catania, in piazza Stesicoro
Lat: 37° 30' 26.97633" N - Long: 15° 5' 8.533430" E
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The amphitheater is one of the most significant monuments of the Roman Catania town, and one of the largest all over Italy.
It was built around the II century AD near the Montevergine hill, and in the 3rd century it was enlarged.
Currently only a small part, less than a tenth of the total, is visible and can be visited from Piazza Stesicoro, the rest is still found under the eighteenth-century buildings of the town, exactly under Via Manzoni, Via Neve and Via Penninello.
The building had an elliptical plan and was built in lava stone covered with white marble.
The arena had a diameter more than 70 meters, the smaller one about 50 meters and a circumference of 192 meters.
Outside, the largest diameter was 125 meters, the smaller one was 105 and the circumference was 309 meters.
It had 32 orders of seats, its capacity was 15,000 spectators who, with wooden scaffolding, as it was frequently done in the period, could reach almost double.
There was probably a cover with large sheets too.
The currently visible part includes a portion of the cavea and the arena.
Inside, a part of the lower order corridor is passable.
Another small section of the amphitheater is visible a few dozen meters from Piazza Stesicoro, in the Vico Anfiteatro, where it is possible to see a section including the second and part of the third floor.
At Villa Cerami you can see a part of the arch system that connected the amphitheater to the Montevergine hill, and another visible point is under the church of San Biagio.
It seems that the Normans drew materials for the construction of the Cathedral, including the gray granite columns that decorate the façade and the apses.
In 1550, the first and second floors were demolished and the galleries were filled with the same rubble.
After the earthquake in 1693, the amphitheater was finally buried until the first years of the 20th century, when the excavation of Piazza Stesicoro was carried out.
The amphitheater is open every day except Monday from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm and from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm.
For info tel: 095 7150508
What happened in Sicily: 23 September
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