The Roman theatre of Florentia was located in the area between the third court of Palazzo Vecchio and the present day via de’ Gondi. It was built in two stages, between the middle of the I and the II centuries A.D., along the southeast boundary of the city walls on a natural slope that descended from piazza della Signoria towards the east. The spectators who attended the shows, approximately two thousand five hundred, reached the seats of the cavea from small staircases that led to a colonnade walkway at the top. During the Byzantine period, before the construction of Palazzo dei Priori, it was fortified and transformed into a guard tower and for this reason was known as Guardingo. .