The origins of this theater run back to 23 BCE, when Augustus had it built in honor of Marcus Claudius Marcellus, his nephew and adopted son. The theater had space for 20,000 people, and was used for games and celebrations. The construction fell into ruin during the following centuries due to plunder and fire: in fact it became a sort of quarry from which materials were taken for the construction of buildings, churches and so forth. Restoration began in about 1300 when the Savelli family bought the ruins. The same family performed further work two centuries later, and this was continued by the Orsini who acquired the complex in order to enlarge their own building: they restored part of the theater. Today, concerts are organized here, and this is the only way of seeing it from the inside.
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