Roman Amphitheatre of Chieti

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Roman Amphitheatre of Chieti

The Amphitheatre of Teate Marrucinorum (the ancient Chieti) dates back to the first century AD. and was built at the foot of the Acropolis. The original structure, now part of the Civitella Archaeological Park, is easily recognizable thanks to the presence of the wall that delimited the arena (podium) in beaten earth and elliptical shape. The amphitheatre was built at the behest of Marco Vettio Marcello, imperial prosecutor of the city, and his wife Elvidia Priscilla, remembered by many historians, including Pliny.

In the 19th century, during the Bourbon reign, the esplanade was remodelled to house Piazza d' Armi and in modern times the Magistral Institute with gymnasium and football field. In 1982, excavations carried out for the construction of a water reservoir brought to light remains of the old building and a proto-historical material drainage pit.


Anfiteatro romano di ChietiFrom that date until the end of 1994 began a hard excavation work by the Archaeological Superintendence which, first of all, freed from modern structures and then brought to light much of the Roman building. The amphitheatre (60x40 m. approximately) has an elliptical plant and follows the natural course of the soil, along the slopes of the Civitella hill. It was directly connected, through the entrances lined up along the main axis of the building, with the urban road system to the north and suburban to the south. The excavations have brought to light the structures of the two systems of access north and south of the wall that delimits the arena ("podium") and the grandstand of honour ("suggestum"), as well as the masonry structure, located on the western side of the ellipse, covered in a bichrome "opus reticolatum" with stone and brick resorts. The arena of the amphitheatre is in beaten earth, while the cavea sits partly directly on the ground and partly on a wall in "opus reticolatum". Archaeological investigations have highlighted the collapse of the southern entrance and the collapse of the seabed of the building due to instability of the ground and infiltration of water from the top of the hill. Over the centuries the area has been subjected to numerous ravages. Today the amphitheatre is an integral part of the Civitella archaeological park.

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