Taormina’s ancient Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco) is our most celebrated monument. Due to both its remarkable preservation and the surpassing beauty of its situation, the Teatro Greco is one of Sicily’s most renowned ancient ruins. It is built for the most part of brick, and is therefore probably of Roman date, though the plan and arrangement are in accordance with those of Greek, rather than Roman, theatres. Experts therefore presume that the present structure was rebuilt by the Romans upon the foundations of an older theatre of the Greek period. With a diameter of 120 metres (after an expansion in the 2nd century), this theatre is the second largest of its kind in Sicily (after that of Syracuse); it is frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances and for concerts. The greater part of the original seats have disappeared, but the wall which surrounded the whole cavea is preserved, and the proscenium with the back wall of the scena and its appendages, of which only traces remain in most ancient theatres, are here preserved in singular integrity, and contribute much to the picturesque effect, as well as to the importance, of the ruin. From the fragments of architectural decorations still extant we learn that it was in the Corinthian style, and richly ornamented. Some portions of a temple are also visible, converted into the church of San Pancrazio.
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