About Rimini Roman Amphitheatre
The Rimini Roman Amphitheatre is a 2nd century Ancient Roman arena which would have held up to twelve thousand spectators. It is the sole surviving amphitheatre of its kind in the region of Emilia Romagna.
Rimini Roman Amphitheatre history
Together with Arco d’Augusto and the Ponte di Tiberio, this completes the triad of the Rimini’s main monuments dating from Roman times. Built under Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, as demonstrated by the discovery of a coin bearing the effigy of the Emperor in some masonry, it was uncovered following excavations in 1843-44, which were followed by the more extensive ones of 1926 and 1935.
The construction of the Amphitheatre by the emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD is an example of the panem et circenses strategy, or the quest for the widest of public approval and the lightening of social tension by affording the people moments of collective distraction. The remains of this grand building, which played host to the ludi gladiatori, are the most important remains in the whole Region. The amphitheatre stood on the outskirts of the town, close to the harbour and well served by roads to facilitate the arrival of spectators who came from all over the territory.
The large radius of this elliptic edifice amounted to 118 meters, whereas the small radius only measured 88 meters. The overall capacity of the amphitheatre reached to 12,000 seats for the public who used to take great pleasure in watching the fights between the gladiators and the war prisoners forced to fight each other or against wild animals.
The amphitheatre served its intended use for only a short period of time since it was soon embodied within the walls erected in view of defending against invasions. In the Middle Ages, it became more of a stone quarry used for the construction of other edifices. Whatever survived from the Roman Amphitheatre was rediscovered in 1843 by historian Luigi Tonini.
Having suffered a series of destructive events, including significant bombings in World War Two, little remains of the Rimini Roman Amphitheatre except for its elliptical outline and small sections of the main stands.
Rimini Roman Amphitheatre today
At present, the Roman Amphitheater is one of the most important tourist landmarks in Rimini, hosting, at the same time, countless cultural performances and events. What remains of the Amphitheatre, including some of its walls and gates, are worth seeing when in Rimini. Guided tours of the site are offered by the Rimini Museum.
Getting to Rimini Roman Amphitheatre
To reach Rimini and the Roman Amphitheatre by car, take the Motorway A14 “Rimini Sud” Exit; straight ahead direction Rimini centro for about 3 km. It is also accessible by bus number 9 and the nearest stop is Arco d’Augusto.