Piazza dell Anfiteatro, Lucca
Amphitheatre in Lucca
Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, situated in the northeast quadrant of Lucca’s walled centre in Tuscany, Italy, is a public square. The buildings encircling the square conform to the elliptical shape of the ancient Roman amphitheatre that once stood here in the second century. Access to the square is available through four gateways positioned at the four vertices of the ellipse. In the centre of the square, a cross is carved into the tile, its arms indicating the directions of the four gateways.
The original amphitheatre base, dating back to the 1st or 2nd century BC, now lies about 3 meters below the ground level. During its prime, the amphitheatre boasted around 18 rows of seats accommodating approximately 10,000 spectators. Today, the site has transformed into an urban square (piazza) surrounded by private residences constructed with the remaining amphitheatre structures. These residences house several outdoor cafes, making the square a lively gathering place. In 1830, the architect Lorenzo Nottolini designed the current layout of the piazza by demolishing some buildings within the oval area. Originally, it was intended to serve as a marketplace.
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Visiting Piazza dell Anfiteatro, Lucca