Discovering the most beautiful theatres in Calabria

Artistic itinerary among Calabrian theatres

© Regione Calabria

Art and Culture

Feb 14, 2024 11:29 AM

Are you passionate about historical theatres, shows and curious backstories? We propose a fascinating tour to discover the most beautiful theatres in Calabria, from north to south.

Places that have shaped the history and culture of the region through great seasons and unforgettable characters, historic festivals, Ubu awards and magical locations.

Journey to the great theatres of Calabria

The tour of theatres in Calabria starts from the historic municipal theatres of the provincial capitals, veritable temples of performance and scenic art in Calabria, whose seasons have always enriched the region's artistic and cultural offerings, as well as representing places to visit in their own right, treasure troves of beauty waiting to be discovered.

Visitors and enthusiasts wishing to learn about the history of theatre in Calabria and the most beautiful halls can start their tour from the historic "Alfonso Rendano" Municipal Theatre in Cosenza.

Dedicated to the pianist, composer and inventor of the third piano pedal (therefore known as the "Rendano pedal" or "independent"), this unique traditional theatre is located in the historical centre of Cosenza, the so-called Cosenza Vecchia, in Piazza XV Marzo.

Teatro Rendano
Regione Calabria

Of Renaissance origin, the Rendano Theatre reached its peak between the 19th and 20th centuries, when the original neoclassical building, designed by architect Nicola Zumpano, opened to the public with a performance of Aida. Remodelled over time, today the building traces its original horseshoe shape, with three tiers of boxes, a gallery, stuccoes, decorations and a large foyer.

The Rendano's historical curtain, designed by Domenico Morelli and executed by the Neapolitan Paolo Vetri in 1901, is still visible today and illustrates the arrival of Louis III of Anjou in the city in 1433.

Today, the "Rendano" offers a wide-ranging programme, alternating opera, concerts, drama and dance.

Another historic theatre in Calabria, among the places of culture not to be missed, is the "Francesco Cilea" Municipal Theatre in Reggio Calabria.

A magnificent structure named after the homonymous composer from Palmi, the Cilea Theatre stands along Corso Garibaldi, in the heart of the city. Rebuilt after the terrible earthquake of 1908, the building evokes the forms of classical and Magna Graecia architecture.

Teatro Cilea
Regione Calabria

The interior features a large modernist-style hall, which replaced the original in the 1960s, designed in a horseshoe shape with three tiers of boxes, a gallery and a large royal box in the centre. With its 1500 seats, it is the largest of the three main theatres in Calabria.

The first floor is also home to the Pinacoteca Civica, which exhibits valuable works of modern and contemporary art.

The season at the Cilea Theatre also ranges from prose to dance and great concerts.

Finally, the Politeama Foundation Theatre of Catanzaro, joins the Municipal Theatre in the artistic offer of the capital. Inaugurated in 2002 in the city centre by architect Paolo Portoghesi, the Politeama in Catanzaro is named after Mario Foglietti, a director, journalist and writer from Catanzaro.

The exterior features an animated, Bernini-inspired façade; the interior a horseshoe-shaped hall with stalls and five tiers of boxes.

The Politeama Theatre offers a rich programme of festivals and events spanning the most popular genres of today's productions.

Teatro Politeama
Regione Calabria

Other theatres to discover in Calabria

The Calabrian theatrical scene is articulated and varied, with an overall offer that meets the tastes of young and old alike, distributed over all the provinces between publicly managed structures, private foundations and independent companies.

Among the main theatres in Calabrian cities in addition to the three aforementioned:


  • Acquario Theatre 
  • Morelli Theatre 


Castrovillari (CS)

  • Sybaris Theatre 



  • Municipal Theatre 
  • Apollo Theatre Cinema



  • Municipal Theatre 


Lamezia Terme (CZ)

  • Grandinetti Theatre 
  • Umberto Theatre 
  • Franco Costabile Theatre 


Vibo Valentia

  • Moderno Theatre Cinema


Reggio Calabria

  • Politeama Siracusa Theatre