Teatro Romano di Lecce

Roman Site in Lecce

Lecce - Teatro Romano
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Simone Macchia Simone

The Roman Theatre of Lecce, distinct from the more renowned Amphitheatre, was uncovered by accident in 1929 during the excavation of the gardens of the D’Arpe Palace (Palazzo D’Arpe) and the Roman Palace (Palazzo Romano). It is believed that Octavian, who had not yet become Emperor Augustus, found refuge in Lupiae (ancient Lecce) and, out of gratitude to the city, ordered the construction of both the theatre and the amphitheatre.

The seating area, or cavea, is divided into six wedges, each containing twelve steps. The orchestra area, designated for the choir, is accessible via a narrow gallery. In front of the orchestra are three steps of white limestone, reserved for prominent spectators. Behind these steps lies a low wall, with the stage situated behind the orchestra.

Decorative fragments suggest that parts of the theatre may date back to the Augustan period, while marble statues discovered at the site are thought to belong to the era of the Antonines, between 138 and 182 AD. Although not as large as the Amphitheatre, the Roman Theatre is estimated to have had a capacity of around 5,000 spectators. It primarily hosted comedies and tragedies, eschewing the grandiose spectacles typical of the Amphitheatre.


The Teatro Romano di Lecce appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Lecce!

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Visiting Teatro Romano di Lecce

Address: teatro romano di Lecce, Via Del Teatro Romano, Lecce, Province of Lecce, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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