by Benedetta Tintillini
Monte Castello Vibio, a small village that has preserved its medieval shape, holds within itself a place so special and unique. But is it really the smallest theater in the world? The challenge is open with the theater of Vetriano near Lucca, which is registered to Guinness, but in this case it is not a space created as a theater, but a nineteenth century building, conceived for other use, then converted to a meeting place in which it was made a theater.
The Concordia Theatre (then called “establishment”). It was founded by 9 upper-class families of Monte Castello in the early 1800s as a private place, which could be accessed only by invitation of the owners.
After about 40 years of total neglect, in 1993 the theater came back to life, that was the realization of the dream of a child, whose portrait can be seen in the only vintage photo of the theater dated 1929: the child’s name was Nello Latini.
That child, who was allowed to enter to watch a puppet show on the day of the Epiphany, fell in love with the Concordia Theater and loved it until the last day of his life.
75 year old in 1993, in possession of the theater keys, he began to open it to tourists and the curious, and show the theater returned to its former glory, giving way to the activity that is currently the major source of livelihood for the association: the theater guided tours .
He used to make such as theater stamps reducing the image and cutting the borders, and in 2002 , with the approval of the then President Ciampi, the stamp with the effigy of the Concordia Theatre in Monte Castello was issued. Another dream came true.
I could talk about the frescoes made by the Agrettis, father and son (14 years old!), the perfect acoustics thanks to the wood that covers the ceiling, or the particular atmosphere that you breathe, but I wish that everyone discovers it, lives it, visiting and becoming a friend of the theater and helping it to grow.
Volunteers welcome visitors, and always with renewed enthusiasm, tell the history, stories and lives, linked to this magical heritage of Monte Castello and all of us.
Are you thinking about a journey? Click HERE