Roman amphitheatre of Catania
The Roman amphitheatre is one of the most significant monuments of Roman Catania and from the analysis of the technique, can be dated to the middle of the second century A.C., during the imperial era.
To build it, in all likelihood, a neighborhood of houses in the north of the city had to be destroyed.
It is a concrete work, composed of vestments in square blocks of lava stone and bricks in the arches.
Its size made it the largest amphitheater in Sicily and among the largest in Italy with a capacity of 15,000 seats, which doubled thanks to wooden scaffolding that added standing places.
Its ruins, visible from Piazza Stesicoro since the beginning of the twentieth century.
It extend within the perimeter between Via Penniniello, Via Sant’Euplio, Vico Neve and the area below the church of San Biagio.
At this point there is a part of the corridor that separates the amphitheatre from the hill behind.
In the early 1900s, excavations brought to light a portion of the northern sector of the cavea, separated from the arena by a marble podium, allowing the inner corridor of the lower order to be entirely passable.
After the Roman era, it entered into decline: used as a quarry of blocks for the construction of buildings since the Byzantine era, it was covered by the city walls in medieval times.
Today only the lower part of the amphitheatre survives, left buried until the end of the 18th century.
As some slabs and numerous fragments of found columns indicate, it had originally been embellished with marble cladding and colonnades.
It probably had a façade articulated in two superimposed orders of arches, crowned by a high loggia.
The cavea was divided into three orders of steps connected by internal staircases that opened along the corridors.