Teatro Olimpico

Vicenza, Italy

The Teatro Olimpico ('Olympic Theatre') was constructed in 1580-1585. The theatre was the final design by the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio and was not completed until after his death. 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 full Roman-style scaenae frons back screen across the stage is made from wood and stucco imitating marble. It was the home of the Accademia Olimpica, which was founded there in 1555.

The Teatro Olimpico is one of only three Renaissance theatres remaining in existence. It is still used several times a year.

Since 1994, the Teatro Olimpico, together with other Palladian buildings in and around Vicenza, has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.



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Founded: 1580-1585
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Italy


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nils Paellmann (8 months ago)
This amazing theater has to be seen to be believed. It was designed by Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) and completed three years after his death in 1583. It was the first indoor theater to revive the antique tradition of providing a permanent stage and seating. The theater was commissioned by the Olympic Academy, a group of Vicentine nobles and intellectuals, founded in 1556. Palladio and his son Silla were members.
Adrian Mejak (9 months ago)
Beautiful place to see, little bit expensive but beautiful.
Michael Pegues (9 months ago)
A lot smaller than I expected when walking through, but very cool. I was amazed at the theater itself and it would be awesome to see a play here.
Morgan Merklin (11 months ago)
Absolutely beautiful and amazing. I would say it is a must see. I think this is one of the most amazing things I have seen in Italy. I hope to be blown away as we visit farther south but am comfortable with my statement. Entry is 11 per person. Kids to a certain age are free but it would be best to go with older kids. We took our 2yo and it was tough. Pictures simply don't do it justice. Go see it!
Mika Bettanin (13 months ago)
A masterpiece from Palladio right in the center of Vicenza. The room before the theater is also worth a stop. A brief exhibition about the history of the building is also available, but it's easy to miss and the staff don't really push it
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