In Corso Cavour, n. 122, a few steps from the Orvieto’s Duomo, stands the beautiful neoclassical Teatro Cittadino, a fine example of 19th-century architecture.
It was built in 1838, at the behest of a group of citizens who decided to establish an association for the construction of a real theatre in the city. The design and construction of the theatre in elegant neoclassical style were entrusted to Virginio Vespignani, a well-known architect responsible for restorations of many of Orvieto’s palazzi.
Before this date and starting from the 16th century, theatre was performed on the upper floor room of the Palazzo del Popolo, on a wooden structure that, however, eventually proved inadequate. The actors who performed for years on Orvieto’s stages were part of two associations, the first was called ‘degli Scemi’ or ‘dei Confusi’ and was replaced by the second called ‘dei Misti’, in the 19th century.
Internally, the theatre has large, elegant rooms that perfectly reflect the monumental appearance of the external facade. On the entrance stairway there are busts of four important figures: the architect Vespignani who designed the theatre, the painter Fracassini to whom we owe the beautiful painting of the theatrical curtain, and the two brothers Marino and Luigi Mancinelli. The theatre was named after the latter, who was a famous composer and musical director, in 1922.