Unmasking the comedians

The influence Carlo Goldoni had on Italian theatre is immeasurable, and his museum is not to be missed. The palazzo is hard to find. The land entrance is in an alley so narrow that you must consider the width of your umbrella before venturing there in the rain. The water entrance is easier to locate, […]

The Lighter Side of Machiavelli

“Go and catch a falling star, get with child a mandrake root…”. This begins John Donne’s poem, and another writer created another literary work a century before, that dealt with a virtuous woman, and with the magical mandrake plant. So begins John Donne’s Song, a poem that was probably written early in the 17th century. The poem lists […]

This is the smallest theatre in Italy

In the small town of Vetriano, in the province of Lucca, is this theatre, now part of the Guinness World Records. This historial theatre, is now recognised as the smallest world! The theatre is located between houses and the streets of this stunning Tuscan village and keeps features of the 19th century, with a very little stage which is still […]

Backstage at the Olimpico

Vincenzo Scamozzi’s final touch for the Olimpico was an amazingly detailed, three-dimensional stage set behind the scaenae, depicting the ancient city of Thebes Andrea Palladio channelled the great Roman architect and writer Vitruvius, studied Roman ruins, and added his own Renaissance ideas. With his Quattro Libri dell’Architettura (Four Books on Architecture), he dominated grand-building design […]

Viewpoint: Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily

The dramatic view out to the Castellammare del Golfo from Segesta in Sicily is only matched by its dramatic history. Both must have outdone the spectacles played out in its theatre.   As background scenery goes it would be hard to beat the awe-inspiring panorama of the Hellenistic amphitheatre at Segesta in western Sicily. Segesta […]