The Palaestra is the area that would be used for practising things such as boxing and wrestling. The Pompeiian Palaestra is located next to the Amphitheatre, and was built sometime in the Augustan Period and covers an area of about 140 x 130 metres, with a swimming pool in the centre measuring around 34 x 22 metres. The central exersice area is surrounded on three sides by a collumed palaestra. The columns are covered in graffiti from regular users of the Palestra.
In front of the Amphitheater you can see the Palestra Grande (in English, Large palaestra). This large rectangular building, 130 meter for 140 meters, was excavated among 1936 and 1951. It has got porticos along three sides and a pool in the center and it was built in the Augustan period: it provided an exercise park for the youth associations promoted by the emperor's propaganda. The portals on the east side were damaged by the earthquake in 62 AD, and were rebuilt in the following years.
On the right of the Triangular Forum you can see the Palestra Sannitica (Sanniti's Gym) built in the second century BC by Vibio Vinicio with the money of Vibio Adriano. The function of the building is not very clear because it is too small to be a gym and archaeologists thought that it could contain athletic demonstrations or to be reserved to the young people. The building has a rectangular shape with porticos around three sides; the one on the east side was demolished in 62 to allow the amplification of the Tempio di Iside (Temple of Iside).
The large Palaestra was discoverd in 1936 and measures 130 x 140 meters and is surrounded on 3 sides by a fine portico with corinthian columns, At the center is a swimming pool with a sloping bottom for swimming excersises. this was once shaded by large plane trees the roots have been found and casts were made of them.
The Great Palestra is located opposite the Amphitheatre and was excavated between 1936 and 1951. Pompeians used to come here for athletic games and sports and dates from the Augustus period. The area is 130 by 140 m and has a pool in the middle surrounded by two rows of trees which provided relief from the sun.
The Palaestra was the largest of all the public spaces. It was built for sport activities and even had a pool. It measures 141 meters by 107 and is surrounded by a high wall with 10 entrance gates. on three sides it is enclosed by colonnades of 48 columns on the longer side and 35 columns on each of the shorter sides
Along with the Amphitheater, the Palaestra formed the sports complex at the back of Pompeii. This is what I dubbed it anyway. Obviously, the games were held in the Amphitheater, but according to the audio guide, the training took place across the road at the Palaestra. It is a large structure with a massive courtyard inside, that, unfortunately, you can not go in anymore. In spite of it being roped off, you can still glimpse in and see the large pool at the center of the courtyard.
This place was built under the rule of Caesar Augustus, and this was used as a gym to train the Pompeiian youth in fitness and combat techniques.
Just before the amphitheatre is this large expanse of green lawn surrounded by a colonaded building - this is the Palestra Grande. It is enclosed on three sides with a large swimming pool in the centre.
The large palaestra was a large open space surrounded on three sides by a colonnade. In the middle of the open area was a swimming pool which would have originally been surrounded by plane trees. Plaster cast copies of the roots have identified these trees. The large palaestra was used for gymnastics and wrestling but the large open area and the portico probably provided a gathering place for the large number of spectators to the amphitheatre.