The monument is given at the end of the I century BC and 13 d. C. and its construction was funded by the rich family of Caecina Volterra, in particular the consuls Gaius Cecina Largo and Aulo Cecina Severo, as recalled by the dedicatory inscription of the theater itself, conserved in the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum. The theater was partially excavated in the natural slope of an elevation, in analogy to the Greek theaters. In fact, this part of the city was not occupied by buildings in etruscan because there were only works for the containment of the slope, strongly steep, so much so that the terracing were already performed around the II century a. C.: this was a suitable place for the construction of a theater. During the excavations were found various seats, made in local limestone (tufa of Pignano), with still engraved various names of representatives of families most influential of Volterra Roman remains such as the Caecinae, Persii and Laelii.
The capacity of the theater was wandering about 3500 spectators in view of its size (diameter of 60 meters for 24 steps), comparable to other theaters, similar size (Trieste, Djemila, Dougga). There was also a velarium, a cloth supported by ropes that covered the entire area of the theater, because there are still traces of the structure that the alleged. At the end of the III century the theater was abandoned and in the vicinity of the scenic building was installed a thermal plant. In medieval times the city walls inglobarono the wall for closing the highest part of the tiers of seats (summa cavea).
The remains of the ancient buildings are currently visitable inside the archaeological area. It is accessed from the upper area, just outside of the Porta Fiorentina and is used (although very rarely) during the summer period for theatrical performances. It is held annually the International Festival, founded and directed by actor and director Simon Migliorini and every year a prestigious jury awards prizes "Shadow of the Evening", important showbusiness personalities and culture.
from 14 March to 1 November daily from 10:30 to 17:30
From November 2 to November 30 only Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 16:30
From 1 December to 8 January every day (except Christmas): from 10 to 16:30
From 9 January to 13 March only Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 16:30
New Year's Eve - Extraordinary opening: from 12 to 16:30
Photo by 'Archivio Fotografico Consorzio Turistico Volterra Valdicecina'.