The oldest theatre in Spoleto, Teatro Caio Melisso was built in the second half of the 17th century, using part of the structures of the unfinished Palazzo della Signoria.
The first mention of the theatre was made in 1664, as the „room for comedies”, which led to changing its name in Noble Theatre in 1668.
The original wooden structure was enriched in 1751 with decorations, curtains and scenes, which gave it a very precious appearance.
After 1819, due to the theft of the 18th century decorations, the theatre was looking bad and the Spoletans showed the desire to have a larger one, so, in 1853, some of them tried to set it on fire.
Teatro Nuovo was built in 1864, surpassing the decadent Noble Theatre, which however, after only ten years, was renewed by the will of the Municipality. The project was entrusted to the Spoleto architect Giovanni Montiroli and, in 1880, the theatre was reopened under the name Caio Melisso.
Caio Melisso was a playwright, librarian and Roman poet who lived in the first century of our era. He was the librarian of the court of Roman Emperor Augustus.
The theatre has a horseshoe-shaped layout, three tiers of boxes and a lodge. The ceiling is decorated with paintings depicting Apollo and the Muses and the curtain with the Glory of Caio Melisso, both works by Domenico Bruschi.
The theatre has a capacity of three hundred seats and, from 1958, it hosted important performances of the Festival dei Due Mondi.
HOW TO GET THERE
The theatre is located in Piazza del Duomo, near the Spoleto Cathedral and about 1.5 kilometers away from the train station. If you need precise directions from where you are, use the map below.