When we travel, we are always looking for that special, unique spot that only the place where we happen to be, has. That one-of-a-kind location or experience you had not included in your trip’s to-do list but ends up being the one (or one of those) you will definitely not forget once you are back home. Umbria as a whole has that feature; it is one of the less-visited regions in Italy but, as we have already written here on Itinari, it is filled with hidden gems and you won’t have time to spare once you decide to visit it and discover its stunning nature, fascinating history, and vibrant culture. The smallest theatre in the World (Teatro della Concordia) in Montecastello di Vibo is one of those.
Montecastello di Vibo is one of the many hamlets characterizing the valley of the Tiber river on the South of the region. The town has that medieval look, given primarily by the stone-built houses and streets, typical of Umbria’s territory, and it is surrounded by green low hills and crop fields. The Teatro della Concordia is its most relevant attraction given its history, and importance for the community.
The theatre was built thanks to money of nine prominent town’s families (“civility is not estimated in volumes, nor in metres…” they stated at the time) and started its activities in 1808. Throughout the 19th Century it became the cultural centre of the area and it was decorated with frescoes by painter Luigi Agretti. The theatre has all the features of a classic “all italiana” theatre: bell-shaped (or “Goldoni”) floor plan, proscenium, fresco decorations covering the walls of the hall and foyer, dressing rooms, rigging, a meeting room, an entrance staircase, lobby, and a ticket office: everything in less than one-hundred and fifty square meters for ninety-nine lucky guests. The theatre was shut down for quite some time during the 20th Century, but it re-opened in 1993, after restorations, thanks to the help of a local cultural association.
Today the smallest theatre in the World can be visited during week days and weekends in the summer months (July and August) and only during the weekends in the other months. It holds monthly shows and performances, as well as being used for civic weddings, conferences, meetings, and creative workshops in a framework of international exchanges. Do yourself a favour, come check it out and add it to the list of hidden wonders you found while travelling.
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