Hidden treasures

The smallest theater in the world is near Lucca!

Did you know that...
Teatrino_Vetriano

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

Latest posts

Lucca: Lucchio: the invisible town near Lucca.

lucchio-1
Unknown places & works

There is an invisible town in Tuscany. Its name is Lucchio and it is perched high over the valley of the River Lima, one of the tributa...

View

Florence: Fare un giro pesca.

GIRO PESCA
Figures of speech

Since the construction works started for the new trams, whenever people from Florence have to go somewhere, they use the expression ‘...

View

Arezzo: The 'Green Man' of Arezzo

pieve-gropina-30
Mysteries & Legends

If reading this made you think of aliens, sorry you are off the track. We are not talking about the "little green men" who are sometime...

View

Lucca: Who comes to Lucca and doesn't eat buccellato...

buccellato_2
Local Traditions

‘Whoever comes to Lucca and doesn’t eat buccellato can’t say they have been there’: this is what a traditional saying in Lucca ...

View

Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Guido-d-Arezzo
Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...

View

Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Il-bacio-dei-cristi
Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...

View

Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Piero-Carbonetti
Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...

View

Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Kinzika
Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...

View