Hidden treasures

The scenography of the Teatro Olimpico (‘Olympic theatre’)

Historical Curiosities
olimpico-scenografia

The scenography of the Teatro Olimpico (‘Olympic theatre’)

Vicenza is the city of Andrea Palladio (1508- 1580), one of the greatest architects of all time, especially as his classicism influenced architecture in the following centuries.

The masterpiece that perhaps most of all reflects his ideals of returning to the classical age is certainly the Olympic theatre, commissioned by the Accademia Olimpica for the representation of classical plays in 1580. At Palladio's death, the theatre was completed by his pupil Vincenzo Scamozzi.

The theatre was inaugurated on March 3, 1585 with a performance of Oedipus the King by Sophocles. The wooden and stucco scenes, representing the seven streets of the city of Thebes, were made by Scamozzi for this occasion. They were supposed to be used only for this representation but were never removed and, despite a fire hazard and wartime bombing, they have been miraculously preserved to this day, and are unique for their time.

On the opening night they were illuminated with an original and complex artificial lighting system, devised again by Scamozzi.

The Teatro Olimpico in Vincenza has been used as a set for the film 'Casanova' by Lasse Hallstrom (2005), in the scene in which the female protagonist Francesca (played by Sienna Miller) discusses equality between men and women with her university professors.

The theatre still hosts plays and concerts and, in 1994, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, like other works by Palladio in Vicenza.

The Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza is included in our Vicenza city itinerary, one of the exciting offers developed by our guide Michela to help you discover the city of Palladio with an exclusive private guided tour!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Padua: Jacopo Marcello, the Captain who shouldn’t have died

ca-marcello
Big Names

Ca’ Marcello in Piombino Dese, Italy is a beautiful eighteenth-century Venetian villa still inhabited today by the Marcello Counts, a...

View

Venice: What’s the traditional Redentore food?

sarde-saor
Local Traditions

The number one traditional celebration, celebrated every year the third weekend of July, Redentore gives thanks for the end of the terr...

View

Venice: The village of Dolo and its inhabitants

Dolo
Figures of speech

In the province of Venice there is a small village, Dolo, which doesn’t have a great reputation... The dialect expression ‘Ma te vi...

View

Venice: The crypt of the church of San Simeone Piccolo

san-simeone-piccolo-venezia
Unknown places & works

As soon as you leave the train station in Venice, you will see the imposing dome of the church of San Simeone Piccolo, renovated in the...

View

Top posts

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View

Treviso: Castelbrando in Cison di Valmarino

castelbrando
Unknown places & works

The province of Treviso offers its visitors many places steeped in history and imbued with charm ... One of these is definitely Castelb...

View

Venice: The tomb of Antonio Canova in the Frari Cathedral in Venice

Tomba_Canova
Mysteries & Legends

When visiting the splendid Frari Cathedral in Venice a pyramid can be seen in front of the church… Why is such a ...

View

Venice: The Empress Sissi in Venice

Sissi
Big Names

The Empress Sissi (1837-18989), the wife of Austria Emperor Francesco Giuseppe of Habsburg, has remained in the collective imagination ...

View