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Photographer's Note

The ancient theatre of Taormina is reached after a walk through the very attractive but touristy main street of the town. Anyone setting out on a stroll once they've left the huge carpark, arriving at the theatre is as inevitable as stopping for an ice cream.

The origins of the theatre are in dispute. Some scholars believe it was built by the Greeks; after all, why would they not build one in a large centre, according to the usual Greek design? Others point to the use of bricks in its construction to argue it was built by the Romans according to Greek design principles. In any case, it is the second largest in Sicily after the one in Siracusa. It is 50 metres wide, 120 metres long and 20 metres in height; thus, 100,000 cubic metres of earth had be removed before its construction could begin in the 3rd century BC. Those arguing for Roman construction say it was most likely finished by the Romans, building over the Greek foundations, in the 2nd century BC, and using bricks made of excavated stone.

In any case, one cannot deny its setting must be the most spectacular of any ancient theatre or monument in general, having amazing views over land and sea from its elevation of 250 metres. In this photo, Mt Etna can be seen, about 50 kilometres away. In the Workshop, one can see a wider view from a position still well below the highest rows of seating at the back. The theatre is still used over the Summer months for an annual international festival of the performing arts.

Larger resolution image available on old site or by right click.

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Additional Photos by Andrew McRae (macondo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2997 W: 101 N: 5253] (20449)
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