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Amphitheater Tips (25)

Things to See: Amphitheater and Palaestra

Pompeii's amphitheater was built about 70-80 BC and is the oldest yet discovered. Smaller than the more famous version in Rome, this oval-shaped arena had no underground facilities but did have a similar canopy system for shielding spectators from the elements. Close by is a huge square (palaestra) with three-sided portico that was used for exercise and sports exhibitions. Just as in Rome, this amphitheater's purpose was hosting "man vs beast" contests and gladiatorial battles - one creating so many casualties from a riot among fiercely competitive spectators (soccer game, maybe?) that activities here were banned until everyone settled down.

A bit of trivia: Pink Floyd filmed a cinema concert here in 1971.

goodfish's Profile Photo
Nov 21, 2011

Explore Pompii

Exploring Pompii will take some time (a lot of time) .
I wish I had had at least 8 to 12 hours to check out all the streets and buildings .
This is still a active dig site, so you never know what they will find.

lauraherrmann's Profile Photo
Jan 22, 2011

The Amphitheatre

The 20,000 capacity Amphitheatre in Pompeii is definately one of the must-see's during your visit. Standing in the middle of the arena, you can almost taste the blood and sweat of the competetors, and when you walk through the tunnels its impossible not to imagine the gladiators taking what could very well have been their last ever journey.

It is the oldest surviving Roman Amphitheatre, and was the first to be built out of stone. The next Amphitheatre to be built out of stone would be the Colleseum, over a hundred years later.

Two of the interesting events in its history; one occured in AD59, when a deadly brawl kicked off between Pompeiian locals and visitors from Nuceria. This resulted in the games being banned for ten years.

The other notable event occured much more recently when, in 1971, Pink Floyd performed there for their DVD Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii.

Evenith666's Profile Photo
Mar 25, 2010

The Amphitheatre and the Palestra

The big Amphitheatre is located is at the southwest corner of Pompeii next to the Palestra. You are not allowed inside the arena or the palestra, not when I was there anyway, which was a quite a drag. Around the theatre is a good place to rest your feet with plenty of places to sit and plenty of trees to shade you from the hot sun.

azz8206's Profile Photo
Aug 25, 2009
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The oldest known amphitheater of the Romans, it was built between 80-70 BC and had a capacity of 20,000. Early in design, one can study it and later ones built during the Empre, and see the advances in architectural design and engineering. The usual games were enjoyed here by the people of Pompeii, gladitorial fights, mock hunts and the such.

roamer61's Profile Photo
May 05, 2009


In the east side of the town there is the anfiteatro (in English, Amphitheater). It is th oldest and best preserved amphitheaters in the world. It was built in the 80B.C. by the duumvirs Caio Quinzio Valgus and Marcus Porcius. It has got an elliptic shape and it is 135 meter long and 104 wide and held over 10,000 spectators.
The auditorium is divided into three sectors: the ima cavea (front row) for important citizens, and the media and summa, higher up, for everyone else.
A velarium, or awning, was often spread over the stands to protect spectators from the sun. The building was used for gladiator battles. In 59 AD, a violent riot broke out between ‘fans’ from Pompeii and Nocera, and the field was 'disqualified' for 10 years.

Cristian_Uluru's Profile Photo
Apr 18, 2009

The Arena

The earliest stone amphitheater was built in Pompeii about 70 BC and is oval in shape, with steeply tiered seats around the circumference. The soil excavated for the arena was banked to form the seating, stabilized on the south and east by the town walls. Those veteran colonists seated in the podium nearest the arena, the social prestige of which was emphasized by it being separated by a low wall, would have entered through four vaulted passageways at ground level. Others would have climbed stairways to reach the upper terraces. Unlike the Colosseum, which was constructed more than a century and a half later, there is no subterranean structure beneath the arena. The dedicatory inscription refers to the amphitheater as spectacula; the term amphitheatrum came into common use only at the time of Augustus.

mallyak's Profile Photo
Aug 24, 2008


The amphitheatre at Pompeii is the earliest known permanent stone amphitheatre in Italy (and the rest of the Roman world). It was constructed after 70 BC, and belongs to the period of the Roman conquest and colonisation of the town.

An inscription says that two local officials, Quinctius Valgus and Marcius Porcius built the amphitheatre at private expense. These men would have expected this act to enhance their personal power and prestige, and it is known from graffiti found throughout the town that gladiatorial games were extremely popular.

The amphitheatre could seat around 20,000 people, and served not only Pompeii but also the inhabitants of surrounding towns. In AD 59, there was a riot in the amphitheatre, in which spectators from Pompeii and the nearby town of Nuceria fought each other, with the result that the Emperor Nero banned games at Pompeii for a period of ten years.

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Oct 23, 2007
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"The wonderful Roman town of Pompei"
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"The Dead City"
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"Striding across Pompei"
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the amphitheatre

pompeii's amphitheatre was built in 80 BC, the year that the romans took over the city. the amphitheatre could hold 20,000 spectators. the amphitheatre was used for sporting events, gladiatorial contests and wild animal fights.

doug48's Profile Photo
Aug 01, 2006


This is considered to be the world's oldest known amphitheater. About the size of a modern football stadium, it had a seating capacity of 12,000 spectators. It was here in 59 A.D. that a riot broke out during a competition with a rival city. The death of many spectators caused the Roman Senate to forbid any games in the Pompeii Amphitheater for the next 10 years.

Klik on the photo for a nice panorama look :o)

Dutch1980's Profile Photo
Feb 05, 2006


Built in 80 BC, this is one of the oldest and best preserved amphitheaters in existence and held over 12,000 spectators. A velarium, or awning, was often spread over the stands to protect spectators from the sun. The building was used for gladiator battles.

Willettsworld's Profile Photo
Aug 02, 2005

pompeii ( The Amphitheatre )

The Amphitheatre 20.000 People could be seated in it's 3 tiers and would attend bloody shows performed by Gladiatores and wild animals. The pompeiiam Ampitheatre is classed as the oldest of all existing buildings of it's kind. No shows where held in the amphitheatre in the winter monthes and in the summer a canopy of dark flax material was fitted above the seats to protect the audience from the sun. It was in realy good shape and was pretty big

orlandom's Profile Photo
Jun 08, 2005

Things To Do Near Pompeii

Things to Do

Human Remains

beside the various artifacts unearthed around Pompeii that are displayed at the restored Forum Granary, you would also see the plastered remains of the humans and animals that perished in the famous...
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Grand Theater

I was somewhat disappointed with the visit of the great theatre: All Pompeii references mention the good condition of the remains found during the site's recuperation. Having seen many Roman and Greek...
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Villa dei Misteri

part two of my Pompeii Forum tips along Via Dei Misteri. Roman Forums where the center of any roman town or city and is where many of the political, judicial and religious establishments are in any...
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Casa degli Amorini Dorati

The Casa degli Amorini Dorati (house of the golden cupids) owes the name to the golden cupids that adorned the rooms (Now in the Museum of Naples). The house was owned by gens Pompea allied with...
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Casa Del Poeta Tragico

The House of the Tragic Poet shows a typical layout of a Pompeiian house. The house is famous for its elaborate mosaics and frescos depicting scenes from mythology. There are fresco's of Zeus and Hera...
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Casa del Fauno

The largest house in Pompeii in the history, and derives its name from the statue of a Faun, the watershed provides Tuscan atrium The House of the Faun covers an area of 3,000 square meters, and is...
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Getting to Pompeii


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