La Fenice Theatre – Guided Visits

fenice.jpgSo ran the text announcing the competition for the construction of the Fenice Theatre, published on 1 November 1789, once a way had been found to circumvent a sumptuary law limiting the number of working theatres in Venice to seven.

In its fourteen articles, the document established that the future building should contain five tiers of boxes “that are known as pepiano”, with no fewer than 35 boxes in each tier. It showed a clear decision in favour of the “small loggias in accordance with the custom in Italy“, in order to achieve a result that would offer a fair compromise between the two features generally required of a theatre: fine visibility and good acoustics.

Some said it was a theatrical solution in keeping with Italian traditions; elsewhere, in the eighteenth century, theatres were built to different criteria; in France, for example, the usual system was one of galleries with open boxes above a semi-circular or slightly lengthened area of stalls. It was a typically Italian choice, recreating within the building the conditions of an Italian piazza – a natural amphitheatre where people could be both at home and in the open; it also offered the spectator a close view, typical of anatomical theatres.

The closed-box system had its disadvantages, but was justified by the fact that the public of the day would never have agreed to forego the comforts of the separate loggias, which made each box a miniature home, where one could sit alone or in company, eat or play, and thus recreate, in a portion of privatized theatrical space, the network of relations and behavior typical of society at that time.


Until 31 December 2011

9 am-7pm by reservation only

45 minutes visits in Italian, English, German and French, for groups of 25-30 people.
UPON RESERVATION ONLY: +39 0412424 Fax 041 786608.



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