Excavations carried out in the 1950’s by Enrico Fiumi just beyond the Porta Fiorentina uncovered one of the finest and most well-preserved Roman theatres in Italy. In the 13th century, the theatre was cut in two by the construction of the defensive wall, whose foundations were laid upon the summa cavea, taking in the entrance to the theatre which is no longer visible.

The Theatre was commissioned by two members of the CAECINAE family, Aulo Caecina Severo and Gaio Caecina Largo, both Roman consuls, the former in the 1st century B.C. and the latter in the 42 A.D. during the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius. The cavea, or the seating area, was built into a natural incline like Greek theatres and is composed of two tiers of steps: the ima cavea with 10 rows of seats in Pignano limestone and the media cavea with 9 rows of seats in the same stone. The cavea seated from 1,800 to 2,000 spectators. Above the media cavea a semi-circular arched corridor, the crypta with 11 doors, gave access to the seating area and probably supported the summa cavea, no longer visible. At the foot of the seating area lies the orchestra enclosed by a low marble slab wall; a space originally designated to the musicians and choir but here in Volterra reserved for illustrious citizens.

The parallel wall contained the curtain and the wooden stage was adorned by the scaenae frons, the elaborate back wall of the stage, once 15.57 metres high. Remains of the scaenae frons were uncovered during the excavation, hence part of the back wall has been reconstructed.