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Goldoni and Livorno

Goldoni and Livorno

A story all to be told

The Secret of the Name Teatro Goldoni

Do you know why the most important theater in the city of Livorno is named after the Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni?

In 1859, with the end of the Lorenese rule over Tuscany, the Imperial and Royal Leopold Theater (which was its original name) had to change its name. At first, it was chosen to dedicate it to the Caporali, who had wanted and directed it in its early years, but even this choice was not definitive and only a year later, in 1860, it took the name Regio Teatro Goldoni.

Yes, but why? What led to this choice?

Well, we now reveal a secret that not even many people from Livorno know: Livorno is the city where Carlo Goldoni’s life changed radically. After the death of his father in 1731, in order to support his family, he had to choose a legal career, putting his great passion, theater writing, on the back burner.

At least, until 1747, when, while he was working as a lawyer in Pisa, his friend and theatre director Girolamo Medebach invited him to Livorno to watch the staging of two of Goldoni’s plays, Griselda and La Donna di garbo, which he had written a few years before.

Well… the staging of his plays in the Livorno theater and the contract as a playwright that Medebach offered him at the end of the performance struck him so much that it convinced him to abandon his career in law forever and dedicate himself exclusively to the theater for the rest of his life.

So now you know the reason why Livorno wanted to reciprocate the affection of one of the fathers of modern theater by dedicating its most important theater to him.

In reality, apart from this episode, as Goldoni himself wrote in his Autobiographical Memoirs of 1787, Livorno always remained in his heart. Not by chance, when he wrote La bottega del caffè in 1750, he drew inspiration from the Livorno shops on via Ferdinanda, and for The Vacation Trilogy, written for the Teatro San Luca in Venice, he chose to set it in Livorno again, specifically in Montenero.

Useful informations

  • Who:

    Alone, Children and families, Groups, In pairs, With friends

  • When:

    Autumn, Spring, Summer, Winter

  • What:
  • Other characteristics

    Indoors, Reachable by public transport, Without reservation

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