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“An entire theatrical performance comes alive”
Review of Teatro Olimpico

Teatro Olimpico
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$841.23*
and up
The Palladio and Bassano del Grappa Private Tour
Ranked #1 of 167 things to do in Vicenza
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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
Reviewed May 8, 2013

This is the oldest built-to-perspective theater in its original form in all of Europe. Projected by Palladio, the Renaissance architect, and executed by his protegee, it has never been renovated but, rather, kept up along the way. It is a 'must see' on your stop to Vicenza. If you're lucky, you might be in town for a theater or musical performance. If not, no worries; just sitting in the seats looking at the perspective can make an entire story come alive in your own imagination.

1  Thank ggyItalia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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307 - 311 of 2,233 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2013

So many people commented that the price was high. Today it is 10euro BUT your ticket here gets you in to many other wonderful museums, for three days, including Palladio Museum (next door) and Museo Diocesano - both of which I saw today as well. Also Gallerie d'Italia, Museo del Risorgimento e della Resistenza, Museo Naturalistico Archeologico, and Pinacoteca Civica di Palazzo Chiericati.

Specifically the Teatro Olimpico has a lively courtyard (free) with benches for relaxation. The theater is impressive if you're into theater, sculpture, culture. Absolutely stunning!

1  Thank Vagabond-Sue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

It is an amazing theater. Must see. They do allow pictures. Waited a long time to see it and it was well worth the wait. The stage appears as if you are peaking into a neighborhood of some unknown village.

1  Thank Ripozzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

This is a full on classical Roman outdoor theatre created indoors. Beautiful and amazing. Lets you imagine you are in Rome at the height of the Empire.

Thank DPearce43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

You feel like back in those days. Located at a 15' walk from city center. Worthwhile visiting the entrance and the Olympic Theatre Garden.

Thank WHL573
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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