The Roman Theatre in Aosta was built in the late reign of Augustus, some decades after the foundation of the city (25 BC), as testified by the presence of pre-existing structures in the area. There was also an amphitheatre, built during the reign of Claudius, located nearby.
The theatre occupies three blocks annexed to the ancient city walls, along the Roman main road (the decumanus maximus, next to the Porta Praetoria. The structure occupied an area of 81 x 64 m, and could contain up to 3,500/4,000 spectators.
What remains today include the southern façade, standing at 22 m. The cavea was enclosed in a rectangular-shaped wall including the remaining southern part. This was reinforced by buttresses each 5.5 m from the other, and included by four orders of arcades which lightened its structure. It has been supposed that the theatre once had an upper cover, in the same way of the Theatre of Pompey in Rome.
The orchestra had a diameter of 10 m. The scene, of which only the foundations remain, was decorated by Corinthian columns and statues, and was covered with marble slabs.
A marketplace surrounded by storehouses on three sides with a temple in the centre with two on the open (south) side, as well as a thermae, also have been discovered.
Since 2011, the theatre is used for music shows and theatrical performs.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.