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 The Archaeological Museum and Roman Theatre 


Address: Via Portigiani, 1 - Fiesole
Fiesole was an important Etruscan centre and was modified in the Roman period under Silla (80 BC), enjoying a period of great splendour with the building of many architectural complexes which began to be rediscovered in the eighteenth century.
 
In 1792 the remains of the Roman theatre were found, followed in 1800 by the "cavea". Various insciptions and columns came to light showing first the temple and baths then the first Etruscan installations. From 1911 the restoration of the theatre revealed the vomitory and the seating for around three thousand spectators. Dateable to the last quarter of the first century BC on the basis of ceramic fragments found there and on the mural technique, the theatre still houses drama and film performances during the "Estate Fiesolona".
 
The baths too reveal a fairly complex and advanced plan, complete with gymnasium, hot and cold baths and so on, while the Roman temple built on its Etruscan predecessor, is surrounded by an eighth century necropolis from which remains are found in the museum. The museum, in Neo-classical style, was built in 1914 in the form of an ionic temple whose decoration with casts and imitation Roman and Etruscan detail gives the illusion of great age.
 
The exhibits come from local excavations and gifts and consist mostly of inscriptions, vases and sepulchral statuary, although there are also Etruscan urns in terracotta and alabaster, votive bronzes, coins, amphoras and vases. Some busts of the Roman period are on show, mainly of emperors and matrons, together with broken statuary and a piece of the "pulpitum" frieze of the theatre.


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