The Greek Theatre of Taormina is the most fascinating historical monument of the “pearl of the Ionian Sea”. It is one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions, so that Johann Wolfgang Goethe in his famous “Journey to Italy” wrote: “No theater audience has never had such a sight in front of him.”
The greek-Roman theater is divided into three parts: the scene, the orchestra and the auditorium.
The scene, which is in front of the auditorium, is the place where the actors acted. According to the experts’ reconstruction, this part was decorated with two rows of columns, one facing the other. The scene has also three large arched openings at a symmetric distance one another, and six niches placed three on the right and three on the left of the central arch.
On the scene there are the remains of six column bases and four Corinthian columns that were raised after 1860.
The auditorium is formed by a series of steps starting from the bottom and climbing upward, spreading up to the summit, where where habitually spectators sat.
The orchestra is the lowest level of the whole theatre. This space was intended for musicians who played during the performances.
Dug directly in the hard rock of Mount Tauro, in the third century BC, it could accommodate thousands of sitting spectators.
It is known that the Greeks architects used to build their most important buildings as if Nature could be part of them, so the natural scenery was integrated with the architecture of the theatre, like light and air insinuated between the columns.
The theatre shape could allow a perfect listening from any area of the auditorium.
In the late imperial period, the theatre was adapted for gladiatorial games. With the fall of the West then, everything came to a end. The marbles were removed and so the monumental columns. Only after the end of the war, some sections of the original construction were completed through a great restoration work .