Amphitheatre in the Vittoriale degli Italiani

Amphitheatre in the Vittoriale degli Italiani

“A marble shell under the stars”

Margraf has helped to bring to life the ideal theatre envisaged by Gabriele D’Annunzio

 On 4 July, one of Gabriele D’Annunzio’s greatest dreams came true! Showing great support and a forward-thinking outlook, the Lombardy regional authorities and the Vittoriale degli Italiani Foundation have carried out a joint project with the Italian company Margraf, a leading international name in marble quarrying and processing. Together, they have given concrete form to a flawless theatre pictured by the poet. He described it as “A marble shell under the stars” and saw it as the ideal venue for his plays, surrounded by the breathtaking Vittoriale degli Italiani in Gardone Riviera. D’Annunzio himself chose the location, in an area of the grounds with sweeping views that take in Isola del Garda, Monte Baldo, the Sirmione peninsula and above all the charming Rocca di Manerba. In 1931, D’Annunzio sent the architect of the Vittoriale, Gian Carlo Maroni, to Pompeii so that he could take inspiration for the design from the oldest Roman amphitheatre in the world. Work began between 1934 and 1935, but it was soon brought to a halt by financial difficulties, which were compounded by the death of D’Annunzio and the start of the Second World War. The Foundation got the building work started again in 1952 and it was completed the following year. On 8 August 1953, the Amphitheatre was officially opened with a concert by the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra, conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini. Unfortunately, the stalls and tiers of seats were still made of concrete at the time. Now the magnificence of the original design of the “Parlaggio”, as D’Annunzio referred to it, has finally been brought to life by 1,500 m² of Margraf Rosso Verona marble with a rough finish. It covers the steps of the tiered seating and the stalls, in place of the unattractive concrete. Margraf has embarked on numerous initiatives in the field of art and culture, including a partnership with the Venice Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale, a sculpture symposium at its site in Chiampo (near Vicenza), and efforts to push stone processing beyond the established boundaries using futuristic machining techniques, as seen in the ground-breaking “Arcolitico” and “Ripple” at the Margraf Area in Gambellara (near Vicenza).

Technical details

  • Amphitheatre in the Vittoriale degli Italiani
  • Gardone Riviera (Brescia)
  • Opening: 4 July 2020
  • Marble used: Margraf Rosso Verona
  • Amount: 1,500 m²
  • Finish: rough
  • Features produced: surface for tiered seating steps
  •  Maximum size of slabs on steps: 140 x 80 cm (thickness: 5 cm)

 

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