Small Italian marionette theatre. There was already a theatre in the Palazzo Ludovisi in Rome when La comica del cielo ovvero la Baldassara (The Actress of Heaven or La Baldasarra) by Giulio Rospigliosi (Pope Clement IX) was performed there in 1668.
In 1690, the palace came into the possession of Marco Ottoboni, nephew of Pope Alessandro VIII, and later took the name of Fiano from the duchy acquired by the Ottoboni family in 1731 (see Pietro Ottoboni). A public theatre was opened there and functioned between the late 18th century and the mid 19th. It was one of the most fashionable theatres of Rome and was frequented by men of letters and foreign travellers who were drawn by the marionette shows and by the theatre’s main attraction, the “mask” (maschera, stock character) of Cassandrino, created by Filippo Teoli. The activity of the theatre ceased shortly after the death of Teoli in 1844.

(See Italy.)


  • Ademollo, Alessandro. I teatri di Roma nel secolo XVII [The Theatres of Rome in the Seventeenth Century]. Roma, 1888; rpt. 1969.
  • Bourgeois de Mercey, Frédéric. “Le théâtre en Italie”. La Revue des Deux Mondes. No. 22. 15 April 1840, pp. 185-213.
  • McCormick, John, with Alfonso Cipolla and Alessandro Napoli. The Italian Puppet Theater – A History. Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Co., 2010.
  • Stendhal. Rome, Naples et Florence. Paris, 1826.