Art & Architecture / History / Italogram / Rome & Lazio

Photo: Teatro Marcello, Rome

Teatro Marcello Rome

Walking daily among or near ruins, such as the Teatro Marcello, is one of the reasons why people fall in love with Rome.

The Theater of Marcellus or Teatro Marcello, was inaugurated in 12 BCE by Emperor Augustus and named for his nephew Marcus Marcellus. It served as an arena for drama performances, city celebrations, and other events. The theater was the largest theater during its time, with the capacity to hold 20,000 spectators.

Older than the Colosseum by almost 100 years, the theater is often mistaken for the famous amphitheater from a distance. Its exterior is a two-story pile of travertine arcades that resembles the architecture of the Colosseum.

But the thing that makes the Teatro Marcello special is how it has been incorporated into daily Roman life. In the 16th century, the Orsini family built a residence atop the theater. Today that residence is split into apartments for some very lucky and presumably well-off Romans.

Teatro Marcello is located down the hill and to the right of the Capitoline Hill, on the edge of Rome’s Jewish Quarter.

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