The hidden theatre lies underneath a typical Neapolitan home.
Papinio Stazio, in a letter to his wife, spoke of temples and a large piazza with porticos, probably the area of Foro, and made explicit reference to two large theatres in the city. He spoke of an open one and a covered one, located in the upper part of the Foro, across from the sacred area of the Temple of Dioscuri.
If you want to experience such presence it’s enough to walk on Via Anticaglia where you can see two large archs that in the Roman era were structures to reinforce the external area of the Theatre.
Going down into the underground area you can admire the marvels built from the imagination of the Ancient Romans. One can also understand the great size and structure of this theatre, which was one of the more important and open theatres of the time period.
The famous Emperor Nero performed here, presenting the operas that he composed in the city, the only remaining piece of the language and culture of the Ancient Greeks. The ancient writers say that nothing could interrupt the great Nero’s song.
Nero made his debut in Naples and while he sang the ground began to shake. Nero continued to sing during the earthquake and, at the end of the show, thanked both the audience and the Gods for their applause. He sang in Naples on various occasions and would rest in the Terme for days after the performances.
Nero returned to Naples often saying that it was here that where he was baptised into the world of art.
The entire population of the region of Naples, including all of the smaller cities and colonies, would come to see Nero perform in the city. It is said that they all followed Nero for his dignity as he led them into the grand Neapolitan Theatre. Nero never performed in Rome, saying that he preferred the almost Greek city of Naples.
This post is also available in: Italian