(by Eduardo Lubrano). In Vetriano, in the Tuscan Apennine mountains surrounding Lucca, there was a barn that Virginio Biagini, an engineer, entrusted to the community to turn into a theatre. It was 1889 and the villagers were so pleased that in just one year they transformed the building into a jewel of theatre architecture: 71 square meters, with 80 seats, 60 in the stalls, and 20 in two rows of the gallery. The first performances were prose and musical comedies, mostly written and performed by the townspeople themselves.
The theatre became one of the cultural and tourist attractions of the area and beyond and grew in importance until the ‘Società paesana’ that had been set up to build and manage it – formed by the inhabitants of Pescaglia – was left standing. Once the era of the society was over, the theatre experienced a period of decline. But in 1997 the heirs of engineer Biagini decided to donate it to FAI, Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano, which restored it and returned it to its original purpose. The stage is five and a half meters long and 30 meters deep, and there are two dressing rooms, a tailor’s shop, and a costume store.
The appearance of the theatre has been preserved as it was at the end of the 19th century: the curtain is decorated in neoclassical style, representing an allegory of the arts. At the bottom of the walls of the stalls there are wooden flowers painted with the dedications of the friends of the Teatrino who, over the years, have chosen to contribute with a donation to its maintenance. Everything is performed at the Teatrino di Vetriano: brilliant comedies, tragedies, concerts, but also reductions of operas.
Information on performances can be found here: https://fondoambiente.it/luoghi/teatrino-di-vetriano
Photo by https://www.toscanafilmcommission.it/