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Teatro di Marcello

Teatro di Marcello (62)

Of the three theatres there were in Augustan Rome (the theatres of Pompey, Balbus and Marcellus) the only one left standing in the city is the theatre of Marcellus. The Teatro di Marcello was begun by Julius Caesar to rival the theatre built by Pompey, but was completed by the Emperor Augustus, who dedicated it to his nephew and son-in-law, Marcellus. Augustus had named the young man as his heir, and even gave Marcellus his daughter, Julia, to marry. However, Marcellus died prematurely at the age of 19.

The Teatro di Marcello became one of Rome’s largest theatres, with a capacity for 15,000 people. Unfortunately, in the sixteenth century, Baldasarre Peruzzi built a large palace on its ruins. The lower floors were later occupied by workshops and humble dwellings. Today, you will see they have now been converted into luxury apartments.

Don’t be surprised if the building reminds you of the Colosseum, as its architecture (which includes many floors and different styles and 41 arcades) is considered a forerunner to the famous Roman amphitheatre.

Next to the building, you may also see three stylised Corinthian columns that once belonged to the Temple of Apollo. Bear in mind that in summer, classical music concerts are often organised outside the theatre. 

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