Roman Odeon

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Things to do


Date of travel

October, 2017

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Everyone has heard of the Greek Theatre in Taormina which is always busy.

Far fewer have come across the tiny Roman Theatre tucked away behind St Catherine’s Church and surrounded by housing.

The theatre was built of bricks around 21BC when Taormina became a Roman colony. It was much smaller and probably only seated about 200 people. It is thought to have been used for musical recitals and plays and was reserved for magistrates, important civil, military and religious people and their families as well as important guests of consequence.

It is the same design as it’s larger neighbour with scena, orchestra and cavea.

The Odeon was rediscovered in the late C19th having been built over. The cavea (rows of seating and part of the orchestra are visible behind the church. Part of the cavea (stage) can be seen exposed under the floor of the nave inside the church.

It is still used occasionally for performances.

In some ways, there isn’t a lot to see, but it is accessible daylight hours and is free. Chances are you will have it to yourself.


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