The third largest in Italy, after the Colosseum and theVerona Arena, it is an imposing Roman construction, presumably from the imperial period. This is the first monument you seen upon entering the park. It is elliptical in shape, with the entrances located at the ends of the major axis; the arena is surrounded by a high podium, under which runs a perimeter corridor with a vaulted roof and doors on the side through which the gladiators and beasts would enter. The terraces have great scenic impact. They are composed of a lower section, carved into the rock, and an upper portion, built in elevation, with access steps dividing the cavea into sectors and two corridors that divide them horizontally. Inscriptions engraved in the stone with the names of those who owned the seats can still be seen. It is not known exactly when the arena was abandoned or when the demolition work began, but it continued until it was despoiled by Emperor Charles V of Habsburg (16th century) to build the fortifications on Ortigia.