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Apollo Theatre

What to see in Mondavio, Pesaro e Urbino, Marche


Very close to the Rocca, the Apollo Theatre has recently undergone restoration. Despite its limited capacity of 120 seats, the theatre hosted an intense activity throughout the 19th century, with programmes that were sometimes of a good standard, organised by the Accademia del Teatro, founded in 1789.

The current layout is the result of a renovation in 1887, which involved the construction of the third tier of boxes and the modernisation of the decoration, in line with the prevailing aesthetic canons of the "belle epoque". This "restyling" involved many theatres in the area, such as the one in San Lorenzo in Campo, just 12 km from Mondavio, or the one in Sant'Agata Feltria. At that time, the reopening of the theatre, which took place during Carnival, was entrusted to the famous Rizzotti Comic Company. The theatre closed its doors temporarily during the First World War and, after various vicissitudes, was used as a cinema in 1947.

In reality, the small theatre was not built "ex novo", but had been created inside a church dedicated to San Filippo Neri, dating back, however, to an earlier period, most likely to the 15th century. All that remains of this structure are the perimeter walls and the underground crypt.

The stalls and the thirty-seven boxes, which can be accessed through an atrium, were built in the space of the nave of the pre-existing sacred building and, despite their small size, a way was even found to open the space for the café between the first and second order. The stage was built in the apse area, below which were the dressing rooms and manoeuvring mechanisms.

The floor of the stalls was also designed to be raised to the level of the stage, so that dancing parties could be held. This was one of the most common uses of the theatre, made even easier by the uniformity of the wooden floors. The internal stairs leading to the boxes are made of local white stone, from Cesane or Furlo, which once again confirms the material used in the noblest Mondavian buildings to emphasise architectural details such as portals, architraves and window frames.

On the plaster ceiling, one can admire an exquisite painted velarium, in the centre of which Apollo citaredo stands out. Further decorations embellish the balustrades of the various boxes, marked by Corinthian pilasters: lozenges with acanthus racemes on the second tier and flower garlands on the third.
The decorations pleasantly contribute to making this small theatre almost a graceful and elegant "jewel" in the city's crown.

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  • Piazza Giovanni della Rovere, 7 - 61040, Mondavio (Pesaro e Urbino)
  • 0721 977758
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= distances as the crow flies
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