The heart of the Florentine theatre season
Teatro Verdi in Florence is the beating heart of the Florentine theatre and music season. Just a few minutes’ walk from the city’s main monuments, it has stood in the historic Santa Croce district since 1854, when it opened as Teatro Pagliano. It was named Teatro Verdi in 1901.
It is the largest “Italian-style” theatre in Tuscany, with stalls, a gallery and six tiers of boxes, for a total 1,538 seats. The theatre was built on the site of the former Arte della Lana washhouse, memories of which are preserved on the nearby Via dei Lavatoi, and the Stinche Prison, active for 500 years. Famous people including Niccolò Machiavelli, Giovanni Cavalcanti and Benvenuto Cellini passed through its cells.
The old prison was converted into a theatre by architects Francesco Leoni and Luigi Manetti between 1834 and 1839, which was later expanded by Telemaco Bonaiuti in 1850. Inside, you can admire paintings by Cesare Maffei and Luigi Dell’Era and the painted curtain by Bandinelli.
It has hosted important events, including a party to support Garibaldi’s expedition in 1859 and a concert for the Unification of Italy in 1861. The theatre is also indirectly mentioned in Collodi’s Pinocchio.