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Teatro Romano

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Immediately outside the city walls, near Porta degli Ortacci, stands one of the most fascinating archaeological sites in the city. Today, the site of Guastuglia stands in what was the ancient late-republican quarter of the 2nd-1st century BC and includes several attractions: the Teatro Romano, the Antiquarium, which exhibits various archaeological finds from the area, and the Mausoleo di Pomponio Grecino.

Gubbio’s Roman theatre is still very well preserved thanks to large-scale restoration work carried out between the 19th and 20th centuries, although it was clearly a huge building of great importance in ancient times. Planning and construction was carried out in the first century BC, between 55 and 20 BC and – completed under the direction of the magistrate Gneo Satrio Rufo – it was composed of two orders of overlapping arches, with an elegant portico on the upper floor. The ‘cavea’ (a semi-circular seating area) was divided into four parts, with corridors occupied by wooden staircases that allowed the spectators to reach their seats. The entire external structure and the orchestra floor were made of local limestone. The complexity of the structure is evidenced by the presence of a pulpitum (platform) for collecting rainwater under the orchestra and a proscenium with two projecting quadrangular side niches and a central semi-circular space.

At the peak of its splendour, the theatre could accommodate 6000-7000 people (more than the contemporary theatre of Pompeii, which could hold 5000), while today it is still used for classical theatre performances, especially in the summer.

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