Teatro Trianon Viviani

Tower of the siren

In 1910, construction works on the theatre building, later inaugurated in 1911, brought to light the only example of a tower from the Magna Graecia fortification of Neapolis, later incorporated into the theatre structure, hiding two sides of it.

Made of rectangular blocks of yellow tuff, it was built around the 3rd century BC on the edge of the lower decumanus, to protect the Furcillensis (or Herculanensis) Gate, later called “del Cannavaro” in the Middle Ages, at the intersection of Piazza Vincenzo Calenda, Via Pietro Colletta and Via Forcella. In the same square, formerly known as “delle Mura greche”, are the contemporary remains of the city walls, popularly known as ‘o Cippo a Furcella and important in the collective imagination (the dialect expression “s’arricorda ‘o Cippo a Furcella”, literally “it makes me think of the Cippo a Forcella”, is used to emphasise the antiquated nature of something).

In 2001, during the renovation works that brought the Trianon back to its original theatrical function, “the removal of some of the entablature allowed the discovery of another two sides of the tower and the volumetric recovery of the structure”, as reported by the archaeologist Daniela Giampaola, who supervised the scientific coordination of the restoration and consolidation of this important archaeological evidence.

Visible from the stalls, it has been named the “Tower of the Siren“, in honour of Parthenope, the mythical founder of the city who enchanted people with her song.