Teatro del Giglio
The prior Teatro Pubblico (Public Theater), inaugurated in 1675, which had been destroyed by a fire and rebuilt. After the Napoleonic upheavals, the site had fallen to ruin. A new theater, represented by this Neoclassical-style structure, was built at the site in 1818 by Giovanni Lazzarini. The rusticated portico is surmounted by a balustrade upholding pilasters, that lead to a tympanum with the coat of arms of the city. The frieze reads Teatro Comunale del Giglio.
The name giglio or lily derives from the fleur-de-lis emblem (?), that was part of the Bourbon heraldic shield of the reigning duchess, Maria Luisa of the House of Bourbon. In the early 19th century, the interiors were painted by Luigi Gatani, while the sipario or theater curtain was painted by Federico Tarquini.
During the 19th century, the theater underwent updating, adding gas lighting in 1872, and electric lights in 1911. It was closed for two years during World War War I. A major refurbishment took place in the 1980s. A statue of Garibaldi stands in the square in front of the theater.
- Guida di Lucca e dei luoghi più importanti del Ducato by marchese Antonio Mazzarosa, 1843, page 69.
- Guida del Forestiere per la citta e il contado di Lucca, by Tommaso Felice Trenta, 1820, page 45.
- Teatro del Giglio official site, history.
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