Since 2004, the Teatro del Falcone (Falcone Theatre) has hosted temporary exhibitions only, although its history as a theatre goes back more than five hundred years.
The Falcone is the oldest Genoese historical theatre and its origin seems to date back to an inn called “ad signum Falconis” on the Strada di Prè where, from the end of the sixteenth century, shows staged by travelling companies could be watched before they moved on to the city centre.
The auditorium underwent improvements and enlargements in the following decades and, in 1602, was bought by Gabriele Adorno and turned into a real theatre around 1651. The Republic of Genoa thus found itself with its first theatre for a paying public, second only to Venice. Eugenio Durazzo, who already owned Palazzo Reale, bought the theatre at the end of the seventeenth century and had it rebuilt in 1704 after it had been destroyed by fire two years before.
To be able to have a theatre within the perimeter of his palazzo was the highest ambition of Eugenio Durazzo, who was undoubtedly a man with an extraordinary personality and wide interests. The Durazzo family was certainly the only one in Genoa that had private access from their apartments to a real theatre, to which the paying public entered from the open street.
Eighteenth-century chronicles recall numerous cultural and worldly events at the Falcone, one of them being the hospitality given to Carlo Goldoni, who lived in Genoa in the spring and summer in 1736 while following the Venetian company of San Samuele. In 1824, the theatre became the property of the Savoys and went into a phase of slow decline, until finally becoming a warehouse at the end of the century.
The Falcone suffered irreparable bomb damage on 9 May 1944. Between 1948 and 1949, following a project by Raffaello Trinci, it was completely demolished and a reinforced concrete building was erected on its foundations, following Le Corbusier rationalism, and opened in 1953 for art exhibitions, conferences and concerts.
Il Teatro bombardato
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