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Olympic Theater
It is the first and oldest permanent indoor theater of the modern era. The Olympic Theater is one of the artistic wonders of Vicenza.

The construction of the theater, inside a pre-existing medieval complex, was commissioned to Palladio by the Olympic Academy for the staging of classical comedies.

It was built to a design by the architect Andrea Palladio, its construction began in 1580 and was inaugurated on 3 March 1585, after the creation of the famous fixed scenes by Vincenzo Scamozzi. These wooden structures are the only ones from the Renaissance period to have come down to us, and are also in an excellent state of preservation.

In 1580 Palladio was 72 years old when he received the task from the Accademia Olimpica, the cultural assembly of which he himself was a member, to prepare a permanent theater venue. The project is openly inspired by the Roman theaters described by Vitruvius: an elliptical stepped auditorium, surrounded by a colonnade, with statues on the frieze, facing a rectangular stage and a majestic proscenium on two architectural orders, opened by three arches and punctuated by semi-columns, all inside which there are aedicules and niches with statues and panels with bas-reliefs.

The theater is still the seat of performances and concerts and was included in the list of World Heritage Sites by the CEHR in 1994 like the other Palladian operas in Vicenza.

Olympic Theater

Memorable facts

“The Olympic Theater is a theater from times gone by, created in small proportions and of unspeakable beauty” (Goethe, Journey to Italy)
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