Not a lot is known about the Amphitheater of Sutri, not even whether it was Etruscan or Roman in origin. Or whether it was used for funeral rites or for gladiator fights. Together with the Mithraeum, it forms the city’s Archaeological Park.
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via Cassia, km. 49 – Sutri. Phone: +39 +39 0761 600330. Opening hours Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00 during winter time and until 19:30 during summer time. On Sundays the archaeological park is not always open, so it is advisable to call in advance. The closing time on Sundays and holidays is 16.00 during winter time. Closed: Monday, January 1, May 1, December 25. Entrance fee: Adults: 5 Euro. Younger than 26: 3 Euro. Under 18: Free. (With this ticket you can also visit the Mithraeum, but you have to indicate this at the entrance).
History and description
Until the beginning of the 19th century, the ancient Amphitheater was almost completely covered with soil. In fact, so little of it was visible that the site was used by farmers to graze their cows there. This is not uncommon, by the way, as this fate befell even the Roman Forum.
Between 1835 and 1838, however, it was excavated on behalf of the Savorelli family.
Like the mithraeum and the Roman necropolis, the amphitheater was excavated into the tuff rock.
It is thought that the monument was probably built between the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD. Since no inscription or anything else has been found this is difficult to say with certainty.
The floor plan was elliptical. There were three rows of stands, with room for more than nine thousand spectators. Along the perimeter of the wall surrounding the amphitheater, ruins of columns, niches and statues can still be seen.