The Milan amphitheatre was built near the Porta Ticinese in the 2nd-3rd centuries AD when Mediolanum grew as economical and political importance while Rome declined. It remained in use until the city was one of the capitals of the Western Roman Empire (4th or 5th centuries). Later it was abandoned after Christianity imposed an end to arena games, but also as, in the wake of the imperial crisis, animals to be used in the amphitheatre were no longer imported. It became a quarry for construction stones as early as the 4th century AD, when the Basilica of San Lorenzo was built.
The edifice was demolished during a Barbarian attack on Milan, as it was located outside the walls and could therefore be used as stronghold by the attackers. The date of the event is uncertain, however: it could be 402, during the Visigothic invasion of Italy, or in 452, when northern Italy was ravaged by Attila, or during the Gothic Wars (6th century).
The scanty remains of the amphitheatre have, however, allowed the archaeologists to calculate that it was 129.5 metres long and 109.3 metres wide.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.