Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Walking through the theater of Saepinum

Very close to Napels, Sapino or in Latin Saepinum, is one of the best-preserved examples in Italy of a small rural Roman town. We are now in Molise, a mountainous and largly unspoiled area of Italy. The site of Saepinum, itself, is at the crossroad of two important and truly ancient trails: the north-south trail along the Tamaro Valley was used long before the presence of the Romans at the path of the transumanze, the seasonal migration of shepherds and livestock into Puglia and Campania. That trail was crossed by the east-west path leading through the mountains of the Adriatic.

Saepinum is virtually on top of a Samnite town, which the Romans conquered in 293 BC. 

The theater was part of the city wall and it was possible to enter the theater from outside the city through a narrow entrance. The cavea has a diameter of 61,5 meter and the orchestra measures 22,9 meter. It gave room for 3,000 spectators.
Perry made a great video walking through the ambulacrum of the theater: watch!

From the left and right you could enter the theater through aditus maximi, which were covered. Now the one at the right side is lavishly enclosed by chestnut trees and oaks.

From the air you got a spectaculair view, while the surrounding buildings use the ancient structure. More pictures of Saepinum, you can find here!

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