Teatro Olimpico
Teatro Olimpico
5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Andrea Palladio’s last work and masterpiece, the Olympic Theatre was commissioned in February 1580 by the Accademia Olimpica, a society of mixed social classes founded in Vicenza in 1555 for cultural and scientific purposes and to which Palladio himself belonged. Construction began in May 1580, but Palladio died suddenly on 19 August of that year so did not see its completion. After various, complex delays, the theatre was completed five years later and opened on 3 March 1585 with the memorable staging of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus. The theatre is reached by way of the odeon and anti-odeon, two large rooms designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi and decorated respectively with frescoes by Francesco Maffei portraying divinities and allegorical figures (c. 1637) and a monochrome frieze of considerable documentary interest (c. 1595). This depicts theatrical productions presented by the Accademia before construction of the Olimpic Theatre (Amor costante, Sophonisba) and shows or events held in the new theatre (Oedipus the King, the diplomatic mission of Japanese envoys). Palladio designed a monumental scenae frons within an enclosed space intended to simulate classical theatres in the open air. It is flanked by two wings or stage doors and a semi-elliptical cavea with thirteen tiers, ending in a columned exedra at the top, partly open and partly with niches in the wall. Statues of the academicians who commissioned the theatre, dressed in classical costume, occupy the niches and plinths of the structure. A series of splendid bas reliefs showing stories of Hercules by Ruggero Bascape occupies the highest row. Wooden perspective scenery of the streets of Thebes runs back from the three openings in the scenea frons. This was designed by Scamozzi for the opening performance of Oedipus Tyrannus and has remained as a permanent feature
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles2,967 reviews
Excellent
2,476
Very good
367
Average
78
Poor
24
Terrible
22

Eugene K
17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
This theater is truly marvelous. The audio guide was helpful in slowly building up to being in the theater. Once in there it is truly amazing - the first covered theater in the world with set structures up since it first opened. It would be great to see a performance there, but honestly, just being there was a treat. Highly recommend.
Written October 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Guenther-Karl K
Prague, Czech Republic42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
This is one of Europe's oldest post-Roman theatres, built by THE late Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. It is right downtown Vicenza, one of those Northern Italian cities that are a bit underrated as tourist locations. That's not a diadvantage for culture tourists as there are no crowds. The theatre is now a museum, but sometimes they have various shows. The backdrops are a fixed 3D installation dating from the time of the erection of the building, a Renaissance street scenery which is as worth seeing as the theatre itself. An almost unique jewel.
Written May 5, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter C
Canterbury, United Kingdom70 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
The world's oldest covered theatre is a must see for anyone. As you enter its a real wow moment the space and architecture is amazing. If you've ever seen Wrens Sheldonian in Oxford England you can see where he got the idea from but this is on another level! Stunning!
Written January 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bernard
London, UK237 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
Wonderful old theatre with a fantastic perspectival stage. In great condition. Timed tickets in operation and lots of tour groups there getting ahead of the general public line which was a tad frustrating. Luckily the weather was good so didn't mind the wait, but on a rainy day it wouldn't be fun.
Written April 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

david a
Crewe, UK96 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
The main reason for our visit after making a promise to ourselves to visit here if we ever had the chance after watching John Malkovich in Ripley's Game a couple of years ago where the closing scene was filmed here. It really is awe inspiring and we were very lucky to see a light show highlighting the stage and surroundings. We really need to return to watch a performance here one day
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tracy E
New York City, NY76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Solo
Even with a few hours in Vicenza I was glad I purchased the 15€ Museum card which allowed me to visit the fabulous Teatro Olimpico (just the theatre 11€), visit the small but impressive Palazzo Chiericati (don't skip the Collection Roi on the top floor with illustrations from Tiepolo to John Singer Sargent) and see the altarpieces at the Tempio Santa Corona. More sites are included but that was all I managed in my brief time. This town should be higher on the tourism list but then I would have to share it with hordes!
Written November 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Genova
Saratoga, CA19 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2011 • Business
My husband and I traveled to Vicenza just to see the Teatro Olimpico because of all the great reviews on Tripadvisor. Unfortunately, it took us some time to find the teatro and by the time we arrived it was 4:31. The teatro closes at 5:00 but they would not let us in. The staff was rude and laughed at us for arriving so late. We returned the next day (50 km from our hotel in Bevilacqua) but to our surprise we only needed 10 minutes to view everything. It was very interesting but for what we had to go through, it was not worth it. Take a look at the pictures and you will see it all without having to travel to Vicenza and encounter the very rude employees! By the way, we love Italy but would never return to Vicenza!
Written July 2, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hannalore
Schenectady, New York2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
A wonderful structure which saw its first performance on March 3, 1585 with Sophocle's "Edipo Re". You enter through a very well done display of the history of the theater and work your way around to a side entry to the theater. Even if you've read about it, you are not ready for what you see...the statues and the perspective of the city built into the stage. I might mention that they also have spectacular public restrooms on premises. The reasonable entry fee also gets you into another Vicenza museum.
Written December 8, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

travelfreak53
Farmington, CT532 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2011 • Couples
The Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza provides an interesting look at Andrea Palladio's last building and is a pleasant and informative way to spend a couple of hours in Palladio's home city.
The admission ticket includes several other museums, but I can't comment on those because we were too busy admiring the city as a whole. It is charming!
Upon entrance to the teatro, the visitor is sent downstairs where there are panels explaining the details of the first performance held there, Oedipus Rex. Everything from the set design to the costumes to descriptions of the hours spent in line waiting for admission, to the lack of sanitary facilities for the guests....all is commented on with direct quotes from the participants.
From there the visit goes up through a couple of rooms and on into the theater itself. You are able to sit on the wooden bleacher seats and admire the architecture and the trompe l'oeil effects of wood painted to look like marble. The stage set is the original from Oedipus Rex, and it is remarkable. The perspective used really gives the impression of being in an ancient Greek city.
If your timing is right, the lights will go down and music will begin for the sound and light show. While there is no narration ( I would have liked hearing more details during the S&L show), the music is very evocative and the detail lighting allows the visitor to focus in on separate details, ones that would be missed while viewing the room as a whole.
All in all, this is very worth a visit. It is located at the very beginning of the Corso Palladio and is a fine place to start a stroll through this beautiful little city.
Written September 21, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

christina_stilista
Perth, Australia111 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
An exceptional opera of Art in the historical center of Vicenza. I recommend buying entry to all sites for 15 euro and visiting the Museum of Jewelry also. There is a gorgeous exhibit of Salvador Dali sculptures in Gold and silver that is worth the trip! Enjoy
Written November 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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