Teatro della Concordia, the smallest in the world
Teatro della Concordia, in Monte Castello di Vibio (Perugia), was built by a group of rich local families in the beginning of the 19th century, during Napoleon’s occupation. It opened in 1808.
In 1993, after the latest restoration, the municipality started using the official definition of “smallest theater in the world”. Obviously this sparked great controversy, with many other theaters claiming they hold the record for “smallness” (let’s not forget that court theaters are scattered all over Europe). However, only the Concordia is a faithful scale model of the great Italian and European theaters: it has a bell-shaped floor plan, a proscenium, fresco decorations on the entire surface and in the foyer, dressing rooms, a meeting room, a grand staircase entrance, a lobby, a ticket booth… All the classic architectural elements of the “Italian theater” are here, made in unrivalled Lilliputian size.
To mention a few numbers: there are 99 seats (37 in the arena and 62 in the boxes), squeezed in 68 square meters, while the stage measures 50 and the foyer is 29. In September 2002 this tiny wonder was honored with a customized stamp issued to declare it “Italian cultural and artistic heritage”.
A document of the early 19th century, regarding the opening of the facility, states that the creators of the building “made it little, so it would be proportionate with their town. But civilization is not measured in volume or square footage.”
Now, this is something on which everyone can agree.