Olympic Theater (english)
Updated to: 28/12/2018
World’s most ancient indoor theatre
Masterpiece and last work by Andrea Palladio, the Olympic theater was commissioned in February 1580 by the Olympic Academy, a congregation of prominent personalities in Vicenza related to literature, sciences, and arts, of which Palladio himself was a member.
The design was inspired by the “ancient” style theater, in the wake of Vitruvius studies revival during the Renaissance. It was also a self-celebratory work for Vicenza aristocracy, taking inspiration from the same classic ideals supported by the members of the Academy.
The construction works began in May 1580, but Palladio did not see them finished because of his sudden death. After several and complex events, the Olympic Theater was completed five years later, and it was solemnly inaugurated the 3rd of March 1585, with the staging of Oedipus Tyrannus by Sophocles.
You enter the theater going through the Odeon and the Anti-Odeon, two large rooms made by Vincenzo Scamozzi, and respectively decorated by Francesco Maffei frescoes depicting divinities and allegorical figures (approximately 1637 A.D.) and a monochrome frieze (approximately 1595 A.D.). The latter represents the theatrical outfitting curated by the Academy before the Olympic Theater construction (L’Amor Costante, Sophonisba), and the shows or events hosted in the new theater (Oedipus Rex, The Japanese legation reception).
Inside a closed space that simulates the classical theaters' outdoor settings, Palladio arranges a monumental Scaenae Frons flanked by two wings or Versurae, and a semi-elliptical Cavea with thirteen steps, closing at the top with an exedra of columns, partially open and partially recessed in the wall.
In the architectural structure tabernacle frames and plinths, there are the statues of the Academics who commissioned the Theater, in classical dress. In the highest order, there is a series of beautiful bas relief depicting Stories of Hercules by Ruggero Bascapè.
Beyond the Scaenae Frons three openings, there are the wooden perspectives representing the streets of Thebes, made by Vicenzo Scamozzi for the inaugural show “Oedipus” and then become fixed and immutable over time.
Sito Unesco (goo.gl/Re34te)
POP interactive visits - Palladio Olimpico Project
The initiative began with the City of Vicenza’s dream to make the visit to the Olympic Theatre memorable and innovative through a narrative method, conceived by Alessandro Baricco and Scuola Holden, which aims to enhance all the historical spaces of the theatre. The entire theatre will be involved in the narration, becoming prologue and epilogue of the show and visitors will take a journey discovering the stories, voices, videos and images. The stage and sets, usually off limits, will also be virtually accessible.
Tour itinerary: starting from the room “Odeo” you will go through a small theatre curtain and enter the room “Antiodeo”, which will host a virtual meeting with the writer Alessandro Baricco, who will recount – through a screen – the history and wonders of the earliest roofed theatre in Western culture. In the theatre hall, the heart of the narration, which will be accessible from the top as it was in the past, you will first see a show of sounds and lights; then through a tablet, you will virtually visit the hidden places of the theatre, and finally, you will be able to admire the extraordinary monument in all its natural beauty.
Interactive visiting hours (the tour takes 45 minutes): 10 am and 3 pm
- 9 November 2018: suspended visits
- 10 and 11 November and 16 December 2018: only at 3 pm
The interactive visit may be made at no extra charge to the cost of admission to the theatre by going to the IAT Office in Piazza Matteotti. The ticket is single, cannot be booked and will be issued until the seats in the Olympic Theater have been filled.
Only for groups, reservations are required through the call center tel. +39 0444964380 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who wish to visit the theatre in a traditional way can do so during other opening hours.
Where and when
Piazza Matteotti 11
Winter hours: from the 1st of September to the 30th of June: from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm (last entry at 4.30 pm)
Summer hours: from the 1st of July to the 31st of August: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm (last entry at 5.30 pm)
Closing: Monday, Christmas and the 1st of January
Special openings holidays 2018: 6th of January, the 1st, 2nd, 25th and the 30th of April, the 1st of May, the 2nd of June, the 15th of August, the 8th of September, the 1st of November, and the 8th, 24th and 26th of December and Monday 31 December (from 9 am to 2.30 pm)
Admission ticket: Full price 11€, reduced price 8€, schools 2€ - valid for 7 days from the date of purchase.
Comprehensive ticket, valid for seven days from the first use and it allows to visit (one visit only for each site) eight different sites (Olympic Theater, Chiericati Palace, Archeological Naturalistic Museum, Resistance and Risorgimento Museum, church of Santa Corona, Diocesan Museum, Leoni Montanari Palace Galleries and Palladio Museum): full price 15€, reduced price 12€, groups 12€, schools 5€
Comprehensive ticket family, valid for seven days from the first use and it allows two adults and up to four underage children (one visit only for each site) to visit eight sites (Olympic Theater, Chiericati Palace, Archeological Naturalistic Museum, Resistance and Risorgimento Museum, church of Santa Corona, Diocesan Museum, Leoni Montanari Palace Galleries and Palladio Museum): 18€
Residents ticket, valid for 30 days, it can be used by showing a valid ID document attesting the residence in Vicenza and Vicenza province. It allows only one entry for five sites (Olympic Theater, Chiericati Palace, church of Santa Corona, Archeological Naturalistic Museum, Resistance and Risorgimento Museum): 7€
Groups special ticket to Olympic Theater and Chiericati Palace, compulsory reservation via call center (10€ for each group between 10 an 25 people), valid for 7 days, reservations for the Olympic Theater will be taken untill full capacity is reached, group reservations for Chiericati Palace can be arranged every 15 minutes, always in compliance with the structure's capacity: 10€ for each person
Comprehensive ticket for Vicenza Calcio away teams’ supporters, purchasable showing the Menti Stadium football match ticket, it is valid for seven days, it allows to visit eight sites (Olympic Theater, Chiericati Palace, Archeological Naturalistic Museum, Resistance and Risorgimento Museum, church of Santa Corona, Diocesan Museum, Leoni Montanari Palace Galleries and Palladio Museum): 10€
Elderly day care center group ticket, valid for seven days after its first use and allows a visit (one pass per single site) to four sites (Teatro Olimpico, Palazzo Chiericati, Chiesa di Santa Corona and Museo Naturalistico Archeologico); mandatory reservation by calling the call center (10 euros for each group of 10 to 25 people); reservations for the Teatro Olimpico up to the maximum capacity allowed for the site and for Palazzo Chiericati of a group every 15 minutes, respecting the maximum capacity: 5 euros per person
Single ticket Unpli group (Pro loco d'Italia), valid for seven days from its first use and allows the visit (one pass per single site) to four sites (Teatro Olimpico, Palazzo Chiericati, Chiesa di Santa Corona and Museo Naturalistico Archeologico); mandatory reservation by calling the call center (10 euros for each group of 10 to 25 people); reservations for the Teatro Olimpico up to the maximum capacity allowed for the site and for Palazzo Chiericati of a group every 15 minutes respecting the maximum capacity: 7 euros per person
Operating from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 1 pm, and from 2 pm to 6 pm, on Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm (except for the 25th of December and the 1st of January)
Iat Office (Informazione Accoglienza Turistica – Tourists reception Information)
Piazza Matteotti 12 (next to the garden entrance of the Teatro Olimpico)
Opening hours to the public:
- from September to June: every day from 9 am to 5.30 pm
- July and August: every day from 9 am to 6 pm
Museo Naturalistico Archeologico (Natural Archaeological Museum) Ticket Office
Adress: contra' Santa Corona 4
Winter timetable: from 1 September to 30 June, from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 12.30 pm and from 1 pm to 4.45 pm
Summer timetable: from 1 July to 31 August, from Tuesday to Sunday,from 10 am to 1.45 pm
Closing days: every Monday, Christmas and 1 January
Tel. 0444320854, email: email@example.com
- Comprehensive ticket for groups from 10 to 25 people – compulsory reservation
- Comprehensive ticket for schools – compulsory reservation (it has to be provided the students’ list on school’s headed paper)
- Comprehensive ticket family for 2 adults and underage children (from 1 to 4)
- Residents ticket for people living in Vicenza or Vicenza province
- Reduced price: students up to 25 years old, holding their University exam transcripts or card, FAI membership, Italian Touring Club membership, ISIC youth tourist center membership.
- Kids up to 17 years old (included), not entering with the school
- Directors, curators and museum officers, upon showing a suitable ID
- ICOM members (International Council of Museums)
- Tourist guides
- Italian and foreign journalists, upon showing a suitable document attesting their membership to the Order of Journalist
- Military and law enforcement
- Teachers, only if accompanying schoolchildren and groups
- Disabled people and their guides
Privates, concessions for events and shows
Fees and forms are available at:
Legal marriages and civil unions celebrations
It is possible to book the Olympic theater garden (or the Olympic theater Odeon, in case of rain), Chiericati Palace (the Zodiac Room) and Villa Guiccioli (the auditorium) for the celebration of legal marriages and civil unions.
- Legal Marriages
- Civil Unions
Link to the Culture sector, development promotion and museums webpages: