Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza

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  • Teatro Olimpico
    by croisbeauty
  • Piazza Metteotti - entrance to Teatro Olimpico
    Piazza Metteotti - entrance to Teatro...
    by croisbeauty
  • Outside with old Roman flavor
    Outside with old Roman flavor
    by BruceDunning
  • painterdave's Profile Photo

    Teatro Olympico

    by painterdave Written Nov 30, 2011

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    Wandering 5 minutes from the center of Vicenza you will find Teatro Olympico. In front of the Teatro is a quaint courtyard with some nice statues featured in a garden setting. This might be a nice place to rest your feet and take a few minutes to read about the history of this structure.
    It took 5 years to be completed, 1580-1585, and they say that it is the oldest surviving enclosed theatre in the world. This was Andrea Palladio's last project, regarded as a brilliant masterpiece by this architect from the Italian Renaissance.
    There is a fee of 8 euros for entrance, but you should ask about a late afternoon short presentation and then you can see it for less (2.50 euros)
    Photos below show some of the peaceful garden.
    Card Museums € 8,50 / reduced € 6,50
    Schoolclasses € 2,50
    Opening hours
    Tue-Sun: 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
    Last admission: 16.30

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  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    Teatro Olimpico

    by iandsmith Updated Jan 2, 2010

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    Teatro Olimpico - in a word - stunning
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    Though Palladio's name is bandied about freely here, and he certainly had a significant input into the building, he was actually deceased when it was completed.
    The Teatro Olimpico (Olympic Theatre) was constructed in 1580-1585 and is the oldest surviving enclosed theatre in the world.
    The theatre was Andrea Palladio's final masterpiece though, designed by the greatest architect of the Italian Renaissance.
    The trompe-l'œil onstage scenery, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi to give the appearance of long streets receding to a distant horizon, was installed in 1585 for the very first performance held in the theatre, and is the oldest surviving stage set still in existence.
    The Teatro Olimpico is, along with the Teatro all'antica in Sabbioneta and the Teatro Farnese in Parma, one of only three Renaissance theatres remaining in existence. Both these theatres were based, in large measure, on the Teatro Olimpico.
    The star attraction, however, is the stage with its permanent set, "The Seven Cities of Thebes," which was designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi. The street behind the central proscenium arch slants upwards, and that, combined with the alignment of the building façades that line the street, creates an illusion of perspective as the viewer's gaze is drawn toward a distant vanishing point. To maintain the illusion, smaller actors are used at the rear.
    The theatre wasn't a great hit as a theatre however, its small capacity being one of its drawbacks.
    It is definitely one of the highlights of any visit not only to Vicenza but Italy itself.

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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Teatro Olympia

    by BruceDunning Updated Aug 4, 2009

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    Side view of the seats and statues
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    It was designed by Palladio in 1580 and completed in 1585, and may be a first example of covered indoor theatre. It is made of wood and stucco. Palladio died in 1585, just before the theatre was completed. His son finished the loggia and presentation entry arch. Afterword the scenes inside is by Vicenzo Scammozzi. He made the stage scene into seven hallways, so all had some sort of view. the in depth view of the street scenes behind the stage is supposed to relplicated after Thebes, Greece. These are sole Renaissance structures to have survived ti today and this is oldest and only remaining theatre from the period. The theater was restored in 1930 to its pristine condition you see today, which is fabulous.
    This was used as a prison and powder storage arsenal before Palladio got the approval to build the theatre. The outside remnants of this old structure is impressive.
    The first play was in 1585. It is now used in Spring and fall only because there is no heat, and the elaborate lighting from the 1585 era is a fire hazard, so is also is not utilized. The below ground alcove is outstanding and leads into the various areas of the seating arena.
    This is probably in the top 10 of sites to see in Italy in my opinion.

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    Teatro Olympia-old and great

    by BruceDunning Updated May 18, 2008

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    Entry Signage at arch
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    It was designed by Palladio in 1580 and may be a first example of covered indoor theatre. Palladio died in 1585, just before the theatre was completed. His son finished the loggia and presentation entry arch. Afterword the scenes inside is by Vicenzo Scammozzi. He made the stage scene into seven hallways, so all had some sort of view. the in depth view of the street scenes behind the stage is supposed to reliplicated after Thebes, Greece. These are sole Renaissance structures to have survived ti today and this is oldest and only remaining theatre form the period.
    This was used as a prison and powder storage arsenal before Palladio got the approval to build the theatrre. The outside remnants of this old structure is impressive.
    The first play was in 1585. It is now used in Spring and fall only because there is no heat, and the elaborate lighting from the 1585 era is a fire hazard, so is also is not utilized. The below ground alcove is outstanding and leads into the various areas of the seating arena.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Teatro Olimpico - the seats

    by croisbeauty Updated Mar 25, 2008

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    Teatro Olimpico, the seats
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    Inside an exterior brick box, the elaborate wooden theater interior is a half circle of steep tiers of seats (wooden covered benches) facing a retangular proscenium stage.
    A wooden colonnade with cornice and figures above circles the top of the seats. The ceiling plane is undifferentiated and was later painted blue, suggesting an open sky above the theater.

    Admission: the ticket costs 7,00 euros and is valid for three consecutive days, including visit of Pinacoteca Palazzo Chiericati and Museo Naturalistico Archeologico.
    more about Vicenza card on: www.charta.it

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    Teatro Olimpico - the backstage

    by croisbeauty Updated Mar 22, 2008

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    Teatro Olimpico
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    A central arched opening dominates the back wall, flanked by two smaller doorways. Through these openings, elaborate stage sets of streets angle backstage, a triad through the central opening and single streets through each side.
    The sets, designed later by Scamozzi, use techniques of tilting the floors and contracting the angle between the street walls and the heights of their building facades to make foreshortened streets in perspective.

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    Teatro Olimpico

    by Diana75 Updated Oct 25, 2006

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    Teatro Olimpico
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    The project was commissioned to Palladio by Accademia Olimpica (Palladio was also one of its members) following their decision to build a permanent theatre for dramatic presentations.

    The construction works started in 1580, but Palladio died a few months later. In 1584 the theater was already finished.

    Built of wood and stucco with classical columns and statues, according to the theaters of antiquity, Teatro Olimpico has the stage in the shape of a triumphal arch.

    The fixed scenes are theoretically representing the five streets of the city of Thebes. The main street is only twelve meters long but seems much more due to the floor that is rising, the sky that is descending and the buildings adorned with statues of plaster and gauze.

    The theater was inaugurated in 1585 with a performance of Oedipus Rex.

    The theater is included in UNESCO's World Heritage List.

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    Teatro Olimpico

    by rubbersoul75 Updated Jun 14, 2006

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    entrance to the courtyard

    The oldest indoor theater in Europe, some say this is Palladios crowning achievement. That's debatable with the number of masterpieces he's left littered around the Veneto. For sure this was his last great work, he died before it was completed.

    A thorough visit to vicenza is not complete without a tour of the inside of the Theatre. A wonderful Roman themed architectural showcase for performances. We were lucky enough to see a performance inside the Teatro Olympico. If interested in a performance, check the schedule from the web site below.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Teatro Olimpico - the stage

    by croisbeauty Updated May 12, 2006

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    Teatro Olimpico
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    When entering in the theatre, the eye of visitor is immediately caught by the stage, at the centre of which is a large arch capped by the emblem of the town.
    The walls and ceiling of the proscenium are elaborately articulated with architectural details and statues, made of wood and plaster.
    The main body of the stage represents a square, whilst behind are the five streets of Tebe, created by Scamozzi, who went beyond Palladio's original intentions.
    From the stage you may admire the rest of the theatre to which Palladio gave such a sense of space.

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    Teatro Olimpico

    by croisbeauty Updated May 12, 2006

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    The garden of Teatro Olimpico
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    Passing through the archway you come to the garden of Teatro Olimpico and right in front there is the main entrance to the theatre.
    The design proposed by Palladio was accepted y the local authorities, and work started just a few months before his death. It was completed by his successor Vincenzo Scamozzi in 1582.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Teatro Olimpico

    by croisbeauty Updated Apr 14, 2006

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    Piazza Metteotti - entrance to Teatro Olimpico
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    The Accademia Olimpica, established in 1555, with those cultural functions which were common to all the academies founded in Italy during the 16th century decided to commission a theatre for staging classical plays.
    Right of the entrance stands the Castello Carraresi, held by various occupiers through the ages.

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    Teatro Olimpico

    by Sjalen Updated Jun 2, 2005

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    The stage

    I haven't got words to describe this wonderful building! Simply one of the best I have ever seen. Definately the most beautiful theatre in any case - and I have seen a few since both my parents worked with theatre all my childhood. The theatre was built by the Olympic Academy, an intellectual group holding cultural meetings here. You walk around for yourself and we chose to pay a couple of euros extra for an audio guide with lots of information. The stage takes you completely by surprise when you enter the theatre itself, as it was meant to. Palladio started it which you can very much see above the seatings, but he died before it was finished and his pupil Scamozzi took over. He designed the stage looking as the town of Thebes they way 16th century people would imagine this historic town, with several streets running off from the centre of the stage (click on the picture to see this). Wood and plaster have been made to look like marble on stage and around it there are sculptures of Roman gods, legends and famous Veneto families acting as patrons to the theatre. Ever since Scamozzi's time, the Thebes stage set has been left the way it is despite other plays being played regularly. It is just so much admired. Come here and marvel yourself!

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  • Teatro Olimpico

    by lillamyy Updated Jul 12, 2003

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    Teatro Olimpico, a work of Palladios later days, is maybe the world first theater in the modern sense of the word.

    It's just amazing, I can tell you! The stage setting has just a zillion marvellous details, and the illusionistic painting makes it perfect.

    To see a concert or a performance of some kind in this setting would be amazing! Check out schedules to see if something is playing.

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  • SeanDiPaola's Profile Photo

    Tearto Olympico

    by SeanDiPaola Updated May 14, 2003

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    The entrance to the Theater

    This indoor Olympic theater was created over 400 years ago. It was designed for the Vicenza Academia Olimpica to stage plays, operas etc. Once again Andréa Palladio designed it after both his studies of several ancient theaters and his own illustrations of classic theater design, made for Danielle Babaro’s translation of Vitruvius. The walls and ceilings of the theater are elaborately designed with detailed statues made from wood and plaster. A central arched opening dominates the back wall, flanked by the smaller doorways. The theater is a must see, it has the most prettiest fresco and art inside.

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  • SeanDiPaola's Profile Photo

    Tearto Olympico

    by SeanDiPaola Written May 13, 2003

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    The entrance to the Theater

    This indoor Olympic theater was created over 400 years ago. It was designed for the Vicenza Academia Olimpica to stage plays, operas etc. Once again Andréa Palladio designed it after both his studies of several ancient theaters and his own illustrations of classic theater design, made for Danielle Babaro’s translation of Vitruvius. The walls and ceilings of the theater are elaborately designed with detailed statues made from wood and plaster. A central arched opening dominates the back wall, flanked by the smaller doorways. The theater is a must see, it has the most prettiest fresco and art inside.
    On a side note i will be graduating there this year. CLASS OF 2003!

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