Teatro della Pergola
- Via della Pergola, 12/32
- 055 0763333
The Teatro della Pergola is the historical theatre of Florence, and one of the oldest in Italy. Built between 1652 and 1656 by the Accademia degli Immobili, a group of nobles dedicated to the art of drama in music, it is universally considered to be the first example of Italian-style theatre, i.e. with the orders of boxes stacked one on top of the other and the horseshoe-shaped hall.
Initially reserved for the Medici court, it opened to the public in 1718 with the first show with a regular ticket, the Scanderbeg by Antonio Vivaldi. The theatre became the temple of melodrama, especially in the first half of the 19th century. At the Pergola, operas by Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi (Macbeth in 1847) made their debut. It was here in 1834 that a young stage apprentice, Antonio Meucci, experimented with the first telephone in history.
As the twentieth century approached, prose became the prevailing genre. In 1906 Eleonora Duse starred in an unforgettable Rosmersholm by Ibsen directed by the pioneer of modern directing Edward Gordon Craig. In 1925 the theatre was recognized as a National Monument as "the first great example of Italian theatre".
After a period of crisis in the Fifties, in the following decade the Pergola became the great temple of Italian prose and Florence the place where Eduardo De Filippo was increasingly at home and Vittorio Gassman founded his workshop.
Since then the Teatro della Pergola has never ceased its activity and today is a lively cultural centre, which uses its history and the prestige of its spaces as its main potential.