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turiste con gelato

Teatro Niccolini, the oldest theatre in Florence, was inaugurated in 1658 as the seat of the theatrical company called the ‘Accademia degli Infuocati’. This was one of the two Florentine dramatic companies that descended from the splitting up of the earlier ‘Accademia degli Immobili’ company.

il teatro niccolini firenze

A few years later, the other descendent took up residence at Teatro della Pergola, another beautiful example of an Italian theatre in Florence.
The original name of Teatro Niccolini was Teatro del Cocomero because it was situated on Via del Cocomero. The street name was later changed to Via Ricasoli. In 1860, the name of the theatre was changed to honour Giovan Battista Niccolini, the playwright from Livorno. In 1888, it was the first theatre in Tuscany to have electric lighting. The ‘Accademia degli Infuocati’ continued to hold the property until 1934 when it was sold to a private family.
As movies became popular, Teatro Niccolini underwent the same transformation as many other theatres in Florence. It was converted into a movie theatre and remained such until the 1970s when the owners, together with Roberto Toni and Carlo Cecchi, founded the Granteatro company. Active for about fifteen years, the company revived the theatrical role of the property and produced a series of memorable seasons with the participation of great Italian artists such as Carmelo Bene, Paolo Poli, Vittorio Gassmann and Carlo Cecchi himself, as well as foreign companies under the guidance of Ingmar Bergman, Judith Malina and Julian Beck of Living Theatre, among others.
In 1995, Teatro Niccolini was closed because the structures no longer met the standards for public meeting places. Subsequently, a well-known publisher and printer bought the property. In 2007, the new owner launched a major refurbishment project for the structure, which was completed only at end 2015.
Completely restored, Teatro Niccolini was presented to the public and returned to benefit the city on 8 January 2016. In the intentions of the owners, during the daytime the theatre will be used by Opera del Duomo to project video introductions to visiting the Il Grande Museo del Duomo Florence (Cathedral, Baptistry, Bell Tower and Museum). In the evening, it will offer the shows programmed for the season by the Foundation of Tuscan Theatres (Fondazione Teatri della Toscana), which also manages the other historical theatre, Teatro della Pergola. With the opening of Teatro Niccolini, the Accademia degli Infuocati was also re-founded. It will organise cultural events in the theatre.
Photograph of the theatre courteously provided by ANSA.

Published: 27/1/2016

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