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Bill Thayer

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The Amphitheatre of Milan

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As you can see, there's nothing much left of it; in fact, it was almost impossible to find, and completely impossible to visit.

A very small wedge of the seating remains, with no actual seats: we're looking at it here from the north, but it is sunk beneath the level of the surrounding grass. Of the cavea, as far as I could make out, merely a hole in the ground with one or two walls. A satellite view by Google is more informative, showing this same little patch of ruins quite clearly, as it is now, or at least much more recently than my visit.

The picture isn't meant to be artsy, by the way: it was the least obstructed shot I could take, poking my camera thru the garden fence of an apartment complex. Here is a brief diary account of my expedition to the amphitheatre of Milan. . . .

My only visit to the amphitheater so far, such as it was, was in 1997. Since then, things have changed. There have been further excavations, landscaping, and above all, the site has now been made visitable, part of the "Parco Amphitheatrum Naturae", an interesting project underway to recreate the ground plan of the mostly vanished structure — in boxwood and other vegetables. The Art Newspaper's page on the project (Feb 2022) includes photos and informative text; more classically, provides a quick scholar­ly summary and bibliography.

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Page updated: 17 Mar 23