Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, Lucca

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  • Piazza Anfiteatro
    Piazza Anfiteatro
    by HORSCHECK
  • Piazza Anfiteatro, in Lucca
    Piazza Anfiteatro, in Lucca
    by Jefie
  • Medieval houses at the Piazza Anfiteatro
    Medieval houses at the Piazza Anfiteatro
    by Jefie
  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Piazza Anfiteatro

    by HORSCHECK Updated Oct 22, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Piazza Anfiteatro

    The oval Piazza Anfiteatro used to be a Roman amphitheater. During medieval times, houses were built on the Roman remains; later from 1830 the area was used as a marketplace. Nowadays it is a nice meeting point with cafes and restaurants for both locals and tourists.

    Directions:
    The Piazza Anfiteatro is located near the northern end of the main shopping street Via Fillungo.

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    A gift from the past

    by Jefie Updated Jul 21, 2010

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    Medieval houses at the Piazza Anfiteatro
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    Back when Lucca was a Roman colony, an amphitheatre capable of welcoming 10,000 spectators stood where this elliptical piazza now stands. In the Middle Ages, the city sort of grew around the Amphitheatre so that now that it's gone, we are left with a series of houses that have almost perfectly preserved its shape. It makes for a very unique piazza - in fact, there are four doors through which you can reach the piazza, and these are the same doors that once allowed gladiators to walk into the amphitheatre! The Piazza Anfiteatro is now mostly home to souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants, and there always seems to be a lively atmosphere as visitors eventually converge towards the piazza after a nice day of sightseeing. Its sunny terraces are practically impossible to resist!

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  • codrutz's Profile Photo

    Piazza dell'Anfiteatro

    by codrutz Updated Sep 20, 2009

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    On this spot there was a Roman amphitheater, built in the 2nd century AD, used for spectacles for four centuries, until the 6th century. Then the building began to alter, ending as building material for other houses. The terrain was raised and houses had been built leaving an interior oval of the shape of the old amphitheater. Along the northwest perimeter you can still see a small part of the amphitheater. Today, in the plazza you can have a rest and eat - not the best food though - and I was suprised when I ordered ollio piccante for my pizza and found that they have only regular olive oil, which I had to content with.

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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    The circular amphiteater -A place to rest

    by BruceDunning Updated Aug 8, 2009

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    Old Roman amphitheatre now a courtyard
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    This is a real neat area to relax and enjoy the confines of the buildings. There are vendors in the shops on street level, but not overbearing. The merchandise they sell is of higher quality than in other areas. I liked the open feeling and the trattories to be able eat at. What is no longer here is the real amphitheater, when the square was actually used for events by the Romans. It declined and the buildings were eventually constructed around it, leaving a circular shape that exists today. The amphitheater was torn down in time.

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  • tzuki's Profile Photo

    An extraordinary Oval shape "piazza"

    by tzuki Written Jun 11, 2009

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    Overview of the Piazza
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    The Piazza dell´Anfiteatro is also known as Piazza del Mercato and is one of the most famous places in Lucca. This "piazza" (square) keeps its old oval shape typical of the amphitheaters in the Roman times.

    The piazza deserves a visit not only inside the place itself but also outside and around it. The differences between the buildings make this place to be so beautiful in discovering the traces of the old structures and materials.

    Inside the Piazza there are located some restaurants (and terraces) and some local shops. Also the piazza is used to open markets as for example happened to us when we were there to celebrate the local festivity of S. Zita and its Flower market.

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  • PALLINA's Profile Photo

    an elliptical square?

    by PALLINA Updated Apr 17, 2009

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    Piazza Anfiteatro is really a wonder, born on the ruins of the old Romans' anphitheater. After a partial destruction during barbaric invasions, the anphiteather became useless until 1830, when, thanks to the idea of the architect Lorenzo Nottolini, it turned to the present square came. I think is really unique in the world.

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  • gemmarlv's Profile Photo

    Piazza

    by gemmarlv Written Apr 3, 2008

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    At night
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    Former a Roman anphitheater, now Piazza dell'Anfiteatro (or del Mercato) it's one of the most famous place in Lucca.

    There are a couple of neat shops within the pizza if you are looking for wine or ceramics. I was told it was hard to find local Lucca wine, but I saw it many places.

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Anfiteatro Romano

    by Willettsworld Updated Jul 8, 2005

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    Roman Lucca was founded in 180 BC, and stones from the ancient Roman amphitheatre have been ransacked over the centuries to build churches and palaces, leaving only a handful of original fragments studded into today's arena-shaped Piazza del Mercato. Slum housing clogged the piazza until 1830, when it was cleared on the orders of Marie Louise, the city's Bourbon ruler at that time. It was then that the amphitheatre's original shape was revealed. Low archways at the piazza's cardinal points mark the gates through which beasts and gladiators would once have entered the arena.

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  • illudiumqh36's Profile Photo

    Piazza dell'Anfiteatro

    by illudiumqh36 Updated Jan 26, 2005

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    Shot from the web

    Former a Roman anphitheater, now Piazza dell'Anfiteatro (or del Mercato) it's one of the most famous place in Lucca.
    This "piazza" mantains its old oval shape typical of the anphitheaters in roman's age, because the houses that have been built lay on the ancient basement.
    Walking on the external ring of the anphitheater it is possible to see some trace of the oldest structure.
    During the Middle Ages the anphitheater has been pillaged of its marbles and the interior has been filled with low wodden houses.
    In 19th centrury a famous architect of Lucca, Lorenzo Nottolini, created the "piazza" as you can see in present days allocating it to one of the city markets (in fact it is also called Piazza del Mercato).
    Now it has function of market only in the month of December, the rest of the year it's a very beautiful round with a lot of nice shops and cafes with tables outside. In July it is possible to find some concert in.
    In spring it's wonderful to see the all houses around adorned with florid plants of red geranium.

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  • Blatherwick's Profile Photo

    Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro

    by Blatherwick Written Dec 30, 2004

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    Piazza dell��� Anfiteatro

    The Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro is an oval-shaped piazza that occupies the site of a former Roman amphitheater. The surrounding buildings were built on the theater's foundations. You have to actually go through an archway under the residences in order to reach the piazza. Today the piazza is full of shops and outdoor cafes as it acts as a central gathering place.

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  • alucas's Profile Photo

    Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro 1

    by alucas Written Nov 27, 2004

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    Piazza dell��� Anfiteatro

    This piazza is built on the site of the old Roman ampitheatre, which originally lay outside the Roman walls. Over the centuries, the ampitheatre was pillaged for stone and marble, and eventually the site was built over. The houses used the Roman basements and foundations, and so the elliptical shape survived. In 1830, the architect Lorenzo Nottolini created the current piazza by clearing all the buildings inside the arena and completing the circle with an uninterrupted line of houses.

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Piazza Anfiteatro

    by sue_stone Written Nov 18, 2004

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    Piazza  Anfiteatro
    2 more images

    Piazza Anfiteatro is a large oval piazza just off Via Fillungo.

    It was originally a Roman Ampitheatre and still maintains that shape.

    Today there are buildings that stand around the perimeter, which mainly house cafes/restaurants and a few tourist style shops.

    Some of these cafe's have outdoor tables which are good for a spot of people watching.

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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Anfiteatro - 2

    by micas_pt Updated Aug 4, 2004

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    Detail of one building in Piazza

    As I mentioned before, the buildings encircling the square are plain and colourful as many on the Liguria coast – although in Lucca there are a lot of buildings in brownish shades, reminding of nearby city Siena and its characteristic brownish houses. Most of the buildings on this square are bright yellow and have windows decorated with red flowers, making them quite lively and pleasant.

    There are two entrances to the round square, opposite to each other. On one of those arches you will come across Piazza San Frediano, where beautiful San Frediano church may be visited.

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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Piazza dell Anfiteatro

    by micas_pt Updated Aug 4, 2004

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    Piazza del Anfiteatro

    Piazza del Anfiteatro (or Roman Amphitheatre Square) is a round square surrounded by colourful typical Italian buildings. This square is named as Roman Amphitheatre since it was built where formerly stood one.

    Nowadays it is a "bustling" square, visited both by tourists and locals, where there are varied restaurants and cafes, most of them with open air tables. Also, some touristy shops may be found on this lively, yet lovely, square.

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  • pigletsmom's Profile Photo

    Piazza del Antifeatro Romano

    by pigletsmom Updated Jan 25, 2004

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    Festive and inviting Piazza del Antifeatro Romano

    This Piazza is literally built over the original Roman Amphitheatre begun in 180 BC, so the entire piazza is cuved to mimic the original structure. There are areas on the walls that display the authentic roman stone work. This is a colorful festive Piazza with wonderful little cafes, shops and delis. One of the most picturesque places in Lucca. I really adored this Piazza. Please check out my general tip on Lucca to see another photo of the Piazza del Antifeatro Romano at night.

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