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Roman amphitheatre at the park "Giardini dell’Arena" – Padova

Piazza Eremitani, within the public gardens "Giardini dell’Arena" – 35100 Padova (PD)
Summary


The Roman amphitheatre of Padua, which today is located inside the park “Giardini dell’Arena”, dates back to Augustan times (30 B.C. – 14 A.D.) and it is only partially conserved. Particularly, it is possible to see the remains of the elliptical middle wall, still visible for some parts.

History of research

The building was identified in the XVII century and then excavated between the second half of the XIX (1880-1881) and the beginning of the XX century (1906-1907).

Urban and geographical context

Padua is located about 20 km west of Venice, at the eastern margins of the Po plain, in a completely flat area crossed by various rivers that have shaped and protected the city through time. This archaeological area is in the centre of Padua and, with reference to the Roman city, it was in its northern outskirts, nearby the bend of the river Meduacus (the modern Brenta).

Chronology

Augustan times (27 B.C. – 14 A.D.)

Description

The Roman amphitheatre of Padua had an elliptical shape of m 134,26 on its major axis and m 97,31 on its minor axis and it was oriented northeast-southwest. The building leaned on massive foundations and, on its façade, it had an external porch with 80 arches on two different levels. On the basis of the most accepted reconstruction hypothesis, the decoration was of Tuscan order and it was made of trachyte. The pavements were in red marble from Verona, and particularly the stairs, the podium and the radial rooms.
Of the amphitheatre of Padua we can see today part of the elliptical middle wall (about 2/3 of the ellipse, on the map: A), with the 2 metres large fornix openings and several disconnected fragments. This means that, if we want to ideally project the building on the modern urban pattern, it would extend beyond the park fences, towards the street “Corso Garibaldi” and towards the square “Piazza Eremitani”. On its south-western side, just alongside the entrance from the modern “Piazza Eremitani” there was the gate “triumphalis” (B), that gave access to those taking part in the show. On the opposite side, approximately beside the Scrovegni chapel, there was the “libitinensis” gate (C), through which the dead gladiators would be transported out of the arena.


Visiting

Admission: Negli orari di apertura

Visitability: Interno

Ticket: No

School access

Opening Times

Opening Days
Tipology When Specs
June-Aug Everyday 07.00 – 20.45
Nov-Febr Everyday 07.00 – 17.45
Oct-Mar Everyday 07.00 – 18.45
Sept,Apr-May Everyday 07.00 – 19.45

Recommended tour time (minutes): 40

Services for visitors

Rest points
Benches in the public park "Giardini dell’Arena"


Bibliography

Mangani E., Rebecchi F., Strazzulla M.J. 1981, Emilia, Venezie (Guide Archeologiche Laterza), Bari, pp. 144-146.
Tosi G. 1987, Padova e la zona termale euganea, in Il Veneto nell’età romana, II, a cura di Cavalieri Manasse G., Verona, pp. 170-175.
Basso P. 1999, Architettura e memoria dell’antico. Teatri, anfiteatri e circhi della Venetia romana, Roma, pp. 249-255.
Tosi G. 2003, Gli edifici per spettacoli nell’Italia romana, Roma, pp. 514-516.
Zampieri G. 2004, La cappella degli Scrovegni in Padova. Il sito e l’area archeologica, Padova, pp. 38-65.
Bonetto J. 2009, Veneto (Archeologia delle Regioni d’Italia), Roma, pp. 476.
Ruta Serafini A., Tuzzato S., Zanovello P. 2009, Indagine archeologica nell’anfiteatro di Padova. Saggio 2007, in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XXV, pp. 20-25.


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