Rione Sant'Angelo

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Teatro Marcello – Rome

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The Teatro Marcello is a Roman era open-air theatre located in the Rione Sant’Angelo.  Inaugurated in 12 BC, It was the biggest theatre of its period accommodating up to 20,000 viewers. It was dedicated to Marcellus, Emperor Augusto’s nephew.

The Theatre of Marcellus was constructed mostly of tuff, cement and brickwork, while the exterior was totally covered in white travertine. Its design served as a model for the Colosseum.

At the beginning of the 4th century the theatre fell in disuse.

During the Middle Ages it was modified: the top row of seating and the columns were eliminated. It became a fortress; the transformation luckily saved the Teatro Marcello from further demolition.

During the Renaissance period the Orsini, an aristocratic family, built their residence on top of the ruins of the theatre.


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Due to all the modifications made over the centuries just a part of the first two levels of the ancient Teatro Marcello can still be viewed.

However all of these changes transformed the theatre into a unique building.

The upper level of the structure is divided into several apartments, while during the summer it is possible to enjoy small concerts in its surroundings.

Thanks to its exceptional characteristic the Theatre of Marcellus is still one of the Eternal City’s most interesting locations.