Anfiteatro Romano di Lecce (Roman Amphitheater of Lecce), Lecce

Anfiteatro Romano di Lecce (Roman Amphitheater of Lecce), Lecce (must see)

In the heart of Lecce, in the Sant'Oronzo Square (Piazza Sant'Oronzo) is the ancient Amphitheater of Lupiae. Once the scene of animal fights, gladiatorial contests, and other extravaganzas, the theatre was unearthed in 1906 while digging the foundations for a bank. It remains difficult to date, but most likely it was built during the reign of Augustus.

Restorations like the portico were added in the time of Hadrian. In the 11th century, parts of the amphitheater were removed and used for fortifications. Pieces have been traced to the Cathedral of Otranto. Circa the 15th century, the last remains above ground went into the foundations of the Isola del Goveratore complex of Lecce.

The amphitheater takes the form of a circus ellipse, measuring 335 feet by 269 feet. It is built of square blocks of Lecce stone and cement. The great stones supported the stepped seating, the lower ambulatory, and the radial tunnels leading to the arena.

The basic ground plan divided the structure into four sections, providing four entrances. Twenty-four pillars out of the original 68 arches still stand. The perimeter gallery had a portico. A strip of reliefs depicting hunting scenes and exotic animals ran along the parapet of the arena. It could have seated as many as 15,000 people.

On February 1st, 1906, the Roman Amphitheater was registered as an Italian "National Monument." It currently is often used for concerts and events.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lecce. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Anfiteatro Romano di Lecce (Roman Amphitheater of Lecce) on Map

Sight Name: Anfiteatro Romano di Lecce (Roman Amphitheater of Lecce)
Sight Location: Lecce, Italy (See walking tours in Lecce)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lecce, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Lecce

Create Your Own Walk in Lecce

Creating your own self-guided walk in Lecce is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Lecce Introduction Walking Tour

Lecce Introduction Walking Tour

The beginning of Lecce is a legend. According to the story, a town existed close to the location of today's Lecce, dating from the Trojan Wars. The town was taken by Romans in the 3rd century BC. They called it "Lupiae." The Roman Emperor Hadrian didn't like the location, so he moved it 2 miles to the northeast. Lecce had a theatre and an amphitheater which can be partially...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Lecce's Baroque Churches Walking Tour

Lecce's Baroque Churches Walking Tour

Often defined as the “Capital of Baroque” – an artistic trend born in Italy in the 17th century, the town of Lecce has this signature style present in most of the buildings throughout its historic center. Characterized by elaborate facades and the extensive use of local stone known as "pietra leccese", Lecce's Baroque architecture reached its pinnacle in the form of churches,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles