The Theater of Marcellus (Italian: Teatro di Marcello) is an ancient open-air theater located near the Piazza Venezia in Rome. The theater itself cannot be visited but the area around it is open to the public.
Theater of Marcellus Rome
Address: Via del Teatro di Marcello – Rome. Rione: Ripa. Opening hours and admission: The monument can only be viewed from outside.
History and description
The area around the Teatro di Marcello was developed during the reign of Caesar and completed by Augustus between the years 13 and 11 BC. Augustus dedicated the theatre to Marcellus, the son of his sister Octavia.
The theater underwent many changes over the years, beginning in the middle ages when it was transformed into a fortress. In the 16th century the Savelli family turned it into a palazzo with the aid of the architect Baldassarre Peruzzi. The remains of this palazzo can still be seen above the old arches.
From 1926 until 1929 the ancient theater was excavated. The two visible tiers of arches were probably topped by a row of Corinthian pilasters. This part of the building contained the rows of seats, whereas the stage, which was completely destroyed, backed onto the river.
The temple of Bellona was built in 296 BC and had six columns on one side and eleven on the longer sides with a staircase leading up to the platform.
The even older temple of Apollo, built in 431 BC, underwent many restorations until C. Sosio created the final version with two lateral staircases. The three white marble Corinthian columns were restored in 1940.