The Teatro Antico of Taormina is second only in size to that of Siracusa. Built in the Hellenistic era, it was transformed into an arena during the reign of Emperor Augustus and measured 109m in diameter with an orchestra area of 35m and seating for approx. 10,000 spectators. Today, it is a cavea dug out of the rock and divided into nine sectors with eight stairs which allows access for 4,500 spectators.
The background to the stage is Roman and partially open in the centre offering a panoramic view over the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna. The parts that remain of the wall, with leaning marble columns, offers a clear image of what the original structure was like.
Today the theatre is used for shows, ceremonies and open-air events of all kinds.