Teatro del Mondo: An Overview of History and Design

May 24, 2023

The Teatro del Mondo, translated as the "Theater of the World," is a floating masterpiece that represents the history of architecture and the necessity to express creativity. Located in Venice, Italy, the Teatro del Mondo has an intriguing history that involves politics, art, and architecture. This article aims to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the Teatro del Mondo's history and design, adding insight into this iconic floating theater.

History of Teatro del Mondo

In 1979, the city of Venice hosted an international art exhibition known as the "Magiciens de la Terre." The aim of this event was to expose a wide audience to contemporary art and to establish Venice as a prominent location for art exhibitions. Among the exhibits, was a floating theater that quickly became the talk of the town. This was, in fact, the Teatro del Mondo.

The idea behind its construction was inspired by the 16th-century design by Andrea Palladio for the Venetian architect Vincenzo Scamozzi. The original teatro, however, was never built, and the design remained only on paper for centuries. However, the director of the Venice Biennale in 1979, Paolo Portoghesi, thought of bringing this idea to life and give it a contemporary tone.

The construction of the Teatro del Mondo started in 1979 and carried on until the event's opening on June 6, 1980. The Italian shipyard at Chioggia built the theater, and it was able to sustain itself and move around the lagoon without any external aid.

Design of Teatro del Mondo

The Teatro del Mondo is an iconic structure that assimilates traditional architectural concepts with modern design. The theater's form was inspired by the classical Greek theater, but with a contemporary twist aimed at incorporating modern woodworking techniques fused with the traditional materials of Venetian architecture.

The stage is circular, with a diameter of 12 meters, and the arena can accommodate up to 250 spectators. The backdrop of the stage is an open arch that frames the Venetian landscape in its view, adding to the theater's uniqueness. Also, very typical of the Venetian style and reminiscent of Scamozzi’s designs, the external surface of the building was completely covered in wood shingles, which helped to blend the structure with its natural surroundings.


The Teatro del Mondo has become a symbol of Venice's contemporary art and inspires people from all over the world. The floating theater continues to be a magnificent example of the power of design and creativity. Understanding its history and design helps provide insight into the thinking behind its construction. Therefore, anyone traveling to Venice cannot miss the opportunity to experience the beauty and spirit of the Teatro del Mondo.



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