This amphitheatre, where gladiator shows and games were traditionally held, was built in Lucca in the second half of the 1st century A.D. The subsequent discovery of coins from the reign of Emperor Claudius, during the demolition of some walls in the 19th century, proves that the construction began after the middle half of the 1st century. It certainly wasn’t finished before the late Flavian Age, when funds were granted by an important citizen, Quintus Vibius, whose rank was that of an "eques" (a knight). According to an inscription in his honour, uncovered inside the arena in 1810, he donated one hundred thousand sestertii over ten years.
Over the course of time, the use of the building changed. Due to its size and position outside the town walls it became a threat to the town itself as it risked falling into enemy's hands. That's why from the 6th century A.D., during the Gothic wars and the siege of Narsetes, the amphitheatre was fortified for military purposes and its outer arches were closed. Following this, other buildings used as houses and for a certain period even as prisons, were added to the structures.