With the decline of the Roman Empire, the outer walls were ripped down and used for building materials. In the twelfth century, an earthquake damaged the place and it wasn't really until the nineteenth century that there was an interest in using it once more to stage performances. The current incarnation as a major outdoor opera venue began in 1913 with a celebratory mounting of Verdi's Aida to mark 100 years since his birth. Since then four operas have been staged annually from June to August. During the winter months, the local opera and ballet companies use the amphitheatre.
Tickets for the stepped stone seating are cheaper than the cushioned seats on the flat and the view is worth the slight discomfort. At sunset candles are lit and this sight together with the wonderful acoustics make seeing opera here a magical experience.