Hidden treasures

The smallest theater in the world is near Lucca!

Did you know that...

The smallest theater in the world is near Lucca!

Do you know where the smallest theater in the world is? According to the Guinness World Records Book you have to go to Vetriano, a small town in the Apennines overlooking Lucca. The numbers speak for themselves: 71 square meters, 60 seats in the parterre and 20 on two orders of balconies, a stage of 5 meters by 5. Really tiny! Despite its size, it has nothing to envy of its larger ‘brothers’: it has beautiful painted curtain, decorated boxes, wooden flowers on the parterre and even dressing rooms and a small costume store.

Why is it so small? Because it comes from a converted barn. In 1890, in fact, the engineer Virgilio Biagini donated the barn to the people of Vetriano. After the founding of ‘Societa Paesana’, the inhabitants of Vetriano decided to self-finance the transformation of what was little more than a room into a real theater. They worked so hard that everything was ready only a year later. The theater was dedicated to the master Alfredo Catalani and until 1960 theatre works written by the villagers themselves would be staged. It is said that in the beginning spectators would even bring chairs from their homes for their own seating.

After 1960, due to the closure of Società Paesana, the theater was gradually abandoned and it inevitably fell into disrepair. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending: in 1997 the heirs of Biagini donated the theater to FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) and so it was faithfully restored to its former glory. Even the fresco that adorned the stage curtain is back in situ thanks to the precious work of several local artists. Up to 85 people on each show can thus enjoy the magic of this small and precious jewel whose calendar offers brilliant comedies, tragedy, concerts and even small opera adaptations.

Well, there was no need for the Guinness Record to reiterate that Tuscany never ceases to amaze! Discover some of its most beautiful corners with our tours from Florence and Siena and our guides will tell you many other captivating stories.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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