• About

    Teatro Sociale (Social Theater) is the largest historical theater of Mantua, located in the center of the city, in Piazza Felice Cavallotti.



    At the end of the Napoleonic period, there were two theaters in Mantua: Teatro Regio, built in 1783 by Giuseppe Giorgio Pietro Baldassarre Piermarini, and the Scientific Theater (Teatro Scientifico), built by Antonio Bibiena in 1769. Both theaters were located outside the city center, and the need for a new theater centrally located appeared at the beginning of the 19th century.

    On January 12, 1817, a special commission of notable citizens was formed to find a designer for the new theater. The commission chose not to risk it and turned to the well-known designer Luigi Canonica, former royal architect and the author of notable projects such as the enlargement of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the new hall of Teatro Grande in Brescia and the rebuilding of Teatro della Concordia in Cremona.

    On June 24, 1818, the first stone was laid in the presence of Count Ferdinando Arrivabene, the Marquis Francesco Zanetti, Luigi Preti and the architect Giovanni Battista Marconi, in charge of supervising the works.

    Teatro Sociale was completed in 1822 and opened on the evening of December 26th.



    The facade of the theater, in Neoclassical style, has an Ionic peristyle with six columns and a triangular pediment. On the facade, in two niches located near the main entrance, there are placed the statues of Melpomene and Talia, works by Antonio Spazzi.

    The main hall of the theater consists of three tiers of boxes and two galleries. For the interior decorations, Canonica relied on the painter Francesco Hayez, who created medallions representing Apollo and Minerva, to decorate the vault of the stalls.



    Teatro Sociale is located about 650 meters away from the Mantua railway station. The closest bus stop is located in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, about 100 meters away, on the bus Lines 4C, 4S, 4T, 6, 7E, 7M, 8, 9 and CC.

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