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Venice: from theater to historic cinema to becoming a supermarket

Discovering the hidden beauties of a city is like leafing through the pages of a book full of stories and secrets, even more so if we are talking about Venice. Every corner of a city tells a story, and every building is a tangible testimony of the past.

In the process of exploration, we can rediscover the wonder of what was, what has become, and what still could be. The Teatro Italia becomes an eloquent symbol of how even seemingly ordinary spaces can hide a treasure of meaning and history, inviting us to embrace the unexpected and embrace the charm of what has been and what will be.

The Teatro Italia: survives in a supermarket

In the heart of Venice , the Teatro Italia has gone through an incredible metamorphosis over the decades. Built in 1915 by architect Giovanni Sardi , the building was initially a theater that brought to life theater and film shows, channeling the city's cultural energy. However, after periods of closure and abandonment, the fate of the Teatro Italia took a surprising turn.

In 2016, the Teatro Italia experienced a bold transformation, once again opening its doors to the Venetian public in a completely unexpected guise: that of a Despar supermarket . This choice sparked debates and perplexities, since it seemed unusual that a place of culture could be transformed into an arena of commercial exchange. However, the case of Teatro Italia demonstrates that the boundaries between culture and business can be blurred in innovative ways.

The history of Teatro Italia

In a strategic position along the very busy road that connects the Venice Santa Lucia train station to the Rialto bridge, stands a neo-Gothic building with a unique aura, characterized by the writing "Teatro Italia" on its facade.

The architect Giovanni Sardi created this structure way back in 1915, drawing from the Gothic aesthetics of the lagoon. In particular, the details of the single and triple lancet windows recall the magnificent Palazzo Ducale in Piazza San Marco and Palazzo Foscari in Dorsoduro, which now houses the university.

The façade reveals two distinctive coats of arms at first floor level, while a regal St Mark's lion sits enthroned at the center of the roof balustrade. The entrance is embellished with four wrought iron portals, the work of Umberto Bellotto, who also designed the chandeliers that illuminate the interior.

The Venetian artist Alessandro Pomi (1890-1976) painted an epic allegory in the center of the ceiling of the main hall, titling it “Glory of Italy”. Meanwhile, the talented Guido Marussig , originally from Friuli, together with other local artists, gave life to the Art Nouveau frescoes that decorate the interiors. This building stood out as one of the first to embrace the use of steel and reinforced concrete, representing a springboard for modern architecture.

Artistic respect and restoration: create a little gem worth visiting in Venice

The idea of ​​turning a historic theater into a supermarket could have raised concerns about respecting the building's artistic and historical heritage. However, exceptional commitment has been demonstrated to preserve the integrity of the building. An investment of over two and a half million euros was allocated to the restoration and furnishing of the building, with careful control by the Superintendence.

This collaboration prevented the Teatro Italia from falling into decline and safeguarded its cultural value. For example, the low wooden shelves also offer a spectacular view of the beauty of the room.

The Teatro Italia in Venice also hosted Ilary Clinton

One of the most significant moments in the history of the Despar Teatro Italia supermarket was the visit of Hillary Clinton in September 2019. The former First Lady of the United States and US Secretary of State stopped by the art installation “ Hillary: the Hillary Clinton Emails” by Kenneth Goldsmith, further exposing the synergy between culture, history and internationally renowned personalities in this unique place.

Here the Teatro Italia becomes a living example of how the combination of culture, history and modernity can lead to surprising results. To discover not only Venice but all the most beautiful hidden locations in the Veneto, it is convenient to plan a stay of a few days , booking in advance and without effort.


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