The theatre holds an important place in Italy’s culture and history. This has led to the Italian Minister of Culture declaring October 22nd Giornata del Teatro (Day of Theatre) in Italy. On this day, the public has the opportunity to re-discover the value of the theatre by way of free access, tours and performances at Italy’s major theatres/opera houses. Here is a list of 5 historical theatres/opera houses in Rome to explore on Giornata del Teatro:
1. Teatro Argentina
Located at Largo di Torre Argentina, this 18th century opera house is one of the oldest in the city. The theatre was designed by Italian architect Girolamo Theodoli after being commissioned by the Sforza Cesarini family. Teatro Argentina officially opened in 1732 and has since been regarded as an architectual jewel ever since. In addition to its beauty, the opera house has also cultivated a great deal of historic importance over the years. For example, a variety of notable premieres have taken place here including Rossini’s Barber of Seville in 1816. The location of the theatre itself is also incredibly interesting as it is the same square where the Curia of Pompey stood in ancient times – also known as the site where Julius Cesar was assasinated during the Ides of March in 44 BC.
Where: Largo di Torre Argentina, 52
2. Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
Teatro dell’Opera di Roma was originally opened in 1880 with a seating capacity of over 2,200. Famous for it’s lavish decor/design, the opera house was commissioned by Domenico Costanzi and designed by Milanese architect Achille Sfondrini. The theatre has held a prominent position in Rome’s cultural circles as it was the host of 46 premiere performances from 1880 to 1926. Although renovations have limited its orginal seating to about 1,600, the theatre is still regarded as a cornerstone of opera culture in Rome as performances continue today.
Where: Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 1
3. Teatro Quirino
Teatro Quirino was built in 1871 and is located in the heart of the historic centre. It was commissioned by Prince Maffeo Sciarra who was inspired to name it after Rome’s origins – Quirinale Hill (one of the seven hills of Rome) and the mythological god Quirinus. The theatre has been tranformed over the years by various renovations, however it remains a hub for theatric arts in Rome today.
Where: Via Delle Vergini,7
4. Teatro Sistina
Teatro Sistina was officially inaugurated in 1949 as a cinema-theatre and was designed by Italian architect Marcello Piacentini. Although Sistina is much younger than the other theatres/opera houses on this list, it has become one of the most important theatres in Italy. The theatre was made famous by the works of Italian playwrights Garinei and Giovannini. It has also hosted many prominent artists, comedians and musicals over the years.
Where: Via Sistina, 129
5. Teatro Valle
Teatro Valle was built by Italian architect Tommaso Morelli in 1726 after the Capranica family commissioned it for private use. Although the theatre has been renovated many times since its opening, it was originally designed as a classical Italian theatre – a wooden horseshoe shaped structure with 5 tiers of viewing boxes and a gallery. Teatro Valle has been home to many notable premieres over the centuries such as works by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. The theatre has also become an important symbol of artistic independence in Rome since it was occupied by a group of protestors in 2011 who were arguing against the theatre’s possible privatization.
Where: Via del Teatro Valle, 21
Fall is here and so are a variety of new things to see and do in the Eternal City! Here are 5 things to add to your calendar this week:
1. Outdoor Festival 2016
This October marks the 7th annual Outdoor Festival in Rome. This unique, month-long event seeks to give new life to the city’s neglected urban spaces by transforming them and putting them to use. This year’s festival takes place at the former military barracks referred to as Ex-Caserma. Throughout the festival there are a variety of artistic and cultural events scheduled including dedicated Saturdays to each participating country and film screenings on Sundays.
Where: Ex-Caserma di Via Guido Reni, 7
When: Until October 31st; please see website for specific event times www.out-door.it
Tickets: 8€ entry fee
2. Rome Film Festival
Rome’s 11th annual film festival begins on October 13th! The festival includes over 40 official film selections including Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep, as well as Oliver Stone’s highly anticipated film Snowden. In addition to film screenings the festival will also include art/film exhibitions, debates and panel discussions. Events will be held at the Parco Della Musica Auditorium, Maxxi Museum, and more.
When: October 13th-23rd
Where: Event locations may vary; please visit romacinemafest.it for more details
Tickets: Tickets vary depending on the event; please visit romacinemafest.it for more details
3. Exhibit: Love
This collection of contemporary art explores how artists of the past century have expressed love in their works. Using a variety of different mediums, these works explore different themes in the context of love – passion, jealousy, etc. Artists include (but are not limited to) Francesco Vezzoli, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselman.
When: Until February 19th; Mon-Fri 10am to 8pm / Sat-Sun 10am to 9pm
Where: Chiostro Del Bramante – Via Arco Della Pace, 5
Tickets: 11€ – 13€
4. Exhibit: La Spina Del Borgo
This exhibit gives you the chance to explore Rome’s changing urban landscape. Hosted by the Capitoline Museums, this exhibit focuses on La Spina del Borgo – a renaissance era block that once stood near St. Peter’s. This block was demolished under Mussolini’s regime in the 1930s to make room for today’s famous Via Della Conciliazione.
When: Until November 20th; open daily 9:30am to 7:30pm
Where: Museii Capitolini – Piazza Del Campidoglio, 1
5. Exhibit: Roma Anni Trenta
This ecclectic assortment of artistic works explores multiples themes/ viewpoints with the aim of showing the significance of art in Italian culture. From the Roman School to the Fascist Era, this exhibit is made up of a vast selection of works including sculptures, paintings, mosaics, historical documents, and photography.
When: Until October 30th; Tue-Sun 10:00am to 6:30pm
Where: Galleria d’Arte Moderna – Via Francesco Crispi, 24
Tickets: 6,50€ – 7,50€
High tourist season may be coming to a close, but in a city such as Rome there is always something to see/do! Here are 5 things to add to your calendar this week:
1. The Spanish Steps have reopened!
The Spanish Steps are one of Rome’s most well known landmarks and they have been feautured in numerous films – most notably seen in the 1953 classic Roman Holiday. After being closed for cleaning/restoration, the steps were officially reopened to the public on September 23rd. Although you may have missed the spectacular opening ceremony on the 23rd, seeing the Steps in their everyday glory is an important part of any trip to Rome.
Where to find them: Piazza di Spagna, Rome
2. International Street Food Parade
(cc: Business Agency Street Food and Beverages)
Italy may be known for its cuisine, but sometimes it can be refreshing to mix it up. From September 30th -October 2, Rome will be having its very own international street food festival. The event includes over 60 food trucks and food stands featuring Italian, international and fusion menus. Whether it’s lampredotto toscano, empanadas, or fish & chips this festival is sure to satisfy every culinary craving.
When: September 30th (18:00-00:00); October 1st/October 2nd (12:00-00:00)
Where to find it: Ex Mattatoio Testaccio – Via Largo Dino Frisullo
Tickets: Free Entry
3. Marino Wine Festival
Commonly referred to as the Sagra dell’Uva Festival, this event is perfect for wine lovers and adventure seekers alike. The festival is one of the oldest and most famous in Italy including culture, food and (of course) wine – it even features a fountain flowing entirely from vino!
When: First weekend of October; note Sunday is the main day for festivities
Where to find it: Marino, Italy (1 hour from Rome by car; 30 minutes by train direct from Termini Station)
Tickets: Free Entry
4. Basim Magdy Art Exhibit
Winner of Deutche Banks’s 2016 Artist of the Year Award, Egyptian artist Basim Magdy is a force to be reckoned with. From September 15th to October 30th, Rome’s Maxxi Museum will be home to over 30 works by the artist – including photography, video and drawing installations. The exhibit explores the fluidity between reality/fantasy and – in some cases – can simply be described as out of this world. This exhibit is sure to provoke a great deal of thought from those who visit it.
When: September 15th-October 30th; Tues-Fri 11:00-19:00 / Sun 11:00-22:00
Where to find it: MAXXI Museum, Via Guido Reni 4a
Tickets: 10€ for adults, 8€ for students, 4€ for children
5. Roma Pop City Exhibit
Inspired by Italy’s urbanization/cultural evolution in the 1960s, this exhibit features over 100 works of Italian contemporary art. If you like thought provoking yet unconventional art, this exhibit is for you.
When: Until November 27th
Where to find it: Macro Museum, Via Nizzi, 138
Tickets: 9€ – 11€