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The Puppet Theater in Carlo Goldoni’s museum in Venice
Since 1953, inside the beautiful Palazzo Centani in the San Polo district

Since 1953, inside the beautiful Palazzo Centani in the San Polo district is housed the museum dedicated to the famous Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793).

Through illustrations of Goldonian comedies, explanatory panels, furnishings, paintings and memorabilia, the museum recounts the life and work of Carlo Goldoni, and the context of Venetian theater and Venetian society in the 18th century.

The most interesting room is certainly the one in which a puppet theater has been set up.

This incredible installation comes from the collection of the Grimani ai Servi family and documents the excellence of Venetian craftsmanship in making a refined imitation of real life, as can be seen from the richness of the clothes of the various characters, made with precious fabrics and fashionable cuts. These puppets allow to know and admire not only the particular refinement of the artifacts, but also the extraordinary ‘engineering’ of their mechanisms.

In the eighteenth century the Venetian puppets theater had represented an entertaining playground for literary and musical happenings and an ingenious domestic substitute to the events of public theaters. It also constituted a sort of ‘chamber theater’, opposed and alternative to the ‘theatre in the square’, in which the puppet shows were represented.

The scene depicted in the puppet show is inspired by the Third Act – Scene XIII and XIV – of the ‘Servant of Two Masters’, a comedy composed by Carlo Goldoni in 1745 which was a great success.


Location: Carlo Goldoni Museum, Venice

Opening: from March 28 to June 30, 2019

Hours: 10 am – 4 pm – Wednesday

Ticket: up to € 5

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