Buti | Teatro Francesco Di Bartolo

The ‘Francesco di Bartolo’ Theatre was founded in 1842, when a group of wealthy families joined together in an association and financed the construction of the theatre in order to serve “…plays, music, dance parties, balls and entertainments…”.

Typical Italian-style theatre

The name was chosen in honour of the 15th century poet from Buti, author of the first commentary on the Divine Comedy.

The theatre presents distribution and architectural characteristics of the theatres of the time, with a ‘horseshoe’ plan, with stalls, stage and two tiers of boxes, as well as other rooms. In this sense, it constitutes a typical example of an Italian-style theatre inspired, with an extremely reduced module, by La Scala in Milan. The ‘palchetti’ structure sanctioned the role of the local aristocracy, as each family owned a palchetto (there are 25) while the entrance to the theatre was forbidden to the people.

The interior

In the 19th century, it boasted a beautiful white curtain (unfortunately lost) painted by the local painter Annibale Mariannini, with an image depicting the Pisan heroine Paola da Buti stepping on the Florentine flag, freeing Buti from oppressive rule. Even the Murano glass chandelier, which covered the theatre’s vault, was never found again. The long restoration completed in 1987 respected the original structure and colours, returning the theatre to its splendour. With its 220 seats and excellent acoustics, which also make it suitable for musical performances, it has become an important centre for theatrical production in just a few years, a true research theatre. Unconventional festivals (“Piccoli Fuochi”) are organised here, and national-level shows are produced.

A theatre of experimentation and research

The theatre also preserves the traditions of popular amateur theatre together with the Compagnia del Maggio “Pietro Frediani”, a research on the tradition of the Maggio (the art of recitar cantando), thus recovering a heritage that risked being lost.

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