Teatro di Marcello
Teatro di Marcello
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles555 reviews
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Mairwen1
United Kingdom10,823 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2023 • Couples
The Marcellus Theatre is the main building in a small cluster of ancient ruins. It’s not far from the much more famous Forum and Colosseum but often gets overlooked.
The site is much smaller but it’s an easy, quick visit and it’s free. There’s also quite a bit to see in the one spot.
What you see here is a three storey, largely intact, Colosseum-like building. Whilst you can’t go inside, you can walk alongside a section of the bottom floor arcade which served as the entry and exit gates.
A purpose-built path leads from the theatre, through the rest of the ruins and around to Octavia’s Portico.
There are excellent information panels throughout the small site. The information is in both English and Italian, and includes diagrams and pictures.
Interestingly, this theatre is older than the Colosseum and when it was built, it was the largest theatre in the Roman Empire, holding at least 15,000 people.
Augustus held the secular games of 17 B.C. here. Sacrifices of bulls and cows opened the games, which was followed by events that included horse-riding, theatre, and chariot racing at Campus Martius.
Regular theatre-goers, came to watch plays, pantomimes, and poetry and music recitals.
Much like today, those with the cheap seats traipsed up to the top tiers at the back, whilst the well-heeled sat in the lower front rows.
The theatre was started by Julius Caesar but after his murder, Augustus took over and completed it. Both the theatre and the Portico are named after Augustus’ family members. The portico is named after his sister and the theatre is named after his nephew, son-in-law, and heir, Marcus Marcellus. Marcellus had a shining future, with all the promised potential that his family connections gave him, but he died prematurely, aged just 19. Following his death, Augustus lavished extravagant honours on him including the naming of the theatre.
NOTE: If you’re exploring around the Jewish Quarter or the Forum Boarium, then this archaeological site is very close by and is easily incorporated into a self-guided walk.
Written 19 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brad
Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Theatre of Marcellus (Teatro di Marcello) is an ancient open-air theatre located along Via D. Teatro di Marcello. Originally constructed by Emperor Augustus around 12 AD, the theatre would have had capacity of around 15,000+, making it the largest open-air venue in Ancient Rome until the Roman Colosseum was constructed around 70 years later.

You can enter the grounds of Portico di Octavio just beside Teatro di Marcello from 9am to 7pm daily to see the theatre up close. However, you can view and take nice photos directly from the street without entering the park and ruin grounds. Pass by in the evening if you want to see Teatro di Marcello hit with floodlights after dark. It is a interesting ancient Roman structure and fun opportunity to contemplate, especially when considering the colossal size of the similar but younger Colosseum.
Written 20 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amanda M
Melbourne, Australia276 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
I attended Il Tempietto here on the 15th of August.The musicians were very good and made it a very special birthday for me. There was a short tour outside the theatre to explain its origins.Worth visiting and at night , it is just magical.
Written 8 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

andyh67186334
Coalville, UK9,691 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2023 • Family
The theatre is located along the street from the steps of the Musei Capitoloni. In fact you can see the theatre if you look towards the left hand side of the steps towards the bottom.
The site is free to visit from the outside and is often bypassed by tourists.
Written 14 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deanosaur89
Edmonton, Canada7,320 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
This area is less popular than the Forum and Colosseum but is very close by. There are signs in the area explaining what each feature is or the historical significance and many have been excavated in the last century it seems. The theatre can be visited during the day but we enjoyed our nighttime view. It is kind of funny that people live here with apartments built in and on top!
Written 28 April 2023
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Hans
Kwadendamme, The Netherlands4,166 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
The theatre was built for a nephew of emperor Augustus, named Marcellus. A bit funny though that people are actually living in and on the theatre. You can walk around it and have a look at the remains of more ancient Roman building structures.
Written 28 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarcusHurley
Calne, UK10,307 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
This is a lovely little area with several archeological sites nearby - Temple of Hercules Victor, Temple of Portuna, Marcello Theatre and the Portico of Octavia - all within 5 minutes walk of the Capitoline Hill.
The theatre is a typical Roman freestanding building, rather than being built into a hillside. Built in the Roman Republic it has had a varied life including being a fortress and housing project. Enough is left to get an idea of the splendour of the original and there are good information boards around with images of what the building originally looked like. Well worth a 10 minute wander away from the chaos of the main attractions.
Written 10 February 2023
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Mairwen1
United Kingdom10,823 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2022
This ancient Colosseum-like theatre is part of a small archaeological site with several other ruins.
The area is not unlike some of the Roman Forum but is not as well known and is only a tiny fraction of the size.
Unlike the Forum, entry is free and the ruins are supported with excellent signage. All the signs for this archaeological area are really, really good. There’s a large panel with information, photos and diagrams for each structure.
Despite the name, it was not Marcellus who built the theatre. This was Julius Caesar’s project. He planned it and cleared the land for it but was murdered before construction began. The Emperor Augustus took it over, completing it in 13 BC and naming it after his nephew and son-in-law, Marcus Marcellus.
Marcellus had a bright future in front of him. He was being groomed as Augustus’ successor when a deadly disease swept through Rome. Augustus survived it but Marcellus died, aged just 20.
The theatre was built mainly of tuff and concrete which is what we can see here now. What we can’t see any more is the brilliant white travertine marble facade that once covered the facade.
At least 15,000 people could fit in here to see performances and dramas. That’s more than three times London’s Royal Albert Hall and almost four times New York’s Carnegie Hall. At the time, it was the largest theatre ever built in the Roman Empire.
Most of the three stories are still visible. The bottom row of arches were entry and exit gates. You can walk around these.
The second story row of arches is also intact. These arches originally held statues which of course vanished centuries ago. The third level is only partially visible and collapsed during the Middle Ages.
It is incredible that so much has remained intact but perhaps that is because it has often been in use in one way or another. In the middle ages, it served as a fortress. In 1525 the top level was rebuilt as a mansion then converted into apartments in modern times. About a third of the walls provide substructure for adjoining buildings which has also helped to preserve it.
The theatre is only visible from the outside. Entry is free.
Written 7 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve Buckley
London, UK8,855 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
My wife and myself are currently holidaying in Rome staying at the Romanico Palace Hotel (Rewiew to follow) and earlier today en route from the No 5 Hop On/Off Bus Stop to the Jewish Quarter we came across the Teotro di Marcella.

This was an unexpected delight as it is not only an impressive building but there were relatively few other people at the site. Well worth seeing if you find yourself in the vicinity.
Written 20 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

20bothwell
United Kingdom71 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
excellent must see loved walking around the ruins , do if you love the romans , close to other attractions so easy to get to
Written 31 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Teatro di Marcello - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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