Catania is an exciting city that constantly surprises you. It’s a city that’s both a bit ostentatious with its extravagant baroque but also has the charm of some surprising places. The Antique Theater is where you’ll find the oldest theater in the city.
Hidden in the nineteenth-century area Catania, witness to past times, is the theater. It was built over an existing Greek building in the 1st Century AD. This place is also where Alcibiades delivered his famous speech to the Katanaioi in order to encourage them to allegiate with Athens against Sparta, and Syracuse during the Peloponnesian War.
It was designed to hold up to 7.000 people.
Unfortunately, the building fell into insignificance after the fall of the Roman Empire. Its splendor was lost so the marbles that decorated it were used to build Sant ‘Agata cathedral. Amazingly, other buildings gradually replaced it.
All buildings within the theater were destroyed by the open-minded Prince Ignazio di Biscari, and the archaeological excavations that he directed in 1770. This allowed the monument to be brought back to life and reveal its probable original appearance.
The theater is slightly higher than the Odeon on the west side. This Odeon dates back to the Roman era and could hold around 1500 people.
The original architrave was made from squared lava stones blocks. It had no supporting function and was only decorative. Dramas, music, and dance performances were all possible here.
This wonderful tradition has been revived in recent years and offers summer performances that allow the theatre to regain its stage role.
Parco Archeologico e paesaggistico di Catania e della valle dell’Aci
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You can see the trailer for the virtual reconstruction of the Antique Theater.