Ettore Romagnoli and the classic theatre in Malesco

Scena del don chisciotte di Ettore Romagnoli

Ettore Romagnoli


Ettore Romagnoli was born in Rome, 11th June 1871 and he was an Italian academic and interested in Hellenic studies.

He took his degree in 1893 and throughout his long career, he was a teacher at the University of Catania, at the beginning, and then a teacher for the universities of Rome and Milan.

He became famous as an essayist and literary critic, thanks to his translation of different ancient Greek works.

He wrote numerous literary critic works, poetry collections, and novels, as far as essays about theatrical subjects.

He was also a musician and composed numerous pieces of music for some of his Greek dramas at the Greek Theatre of Siracusa.


Ettore Romagnoli

 “These projects are too ambitious, too big for Malesco, Excellency!”

Ettore Romagnoli, fascinated by the landscape and the beauty of the Malesco, explained to Egidio Cattaneo, the chief magistrate of the town, his wish of representing the most important Greek dramas in Malesco. The chief magistrate told him that his ideas were too ambitious for Malesco, but Ettore Romagnoli was persuaded of his choice and replied that “Malesco will be the very centre of mundanity and culture of the area of Novara”. And he was right.

Despite some complaints from the people of Malesco because of the subject of the pièce, but helped by the tourism and high society authority, Ettore Romagnoli had his debut “indoor” with The Cardinal by Parker inside an old school used as a theatre. It has to be said that to avoid complaints, the chief magistrate announced that some people of Malesco would have played in the theatre ad actors, musicians, and tuners.

This was the first representation of a long series of works, played indoor and outdoor: from classical Sofocle’ and Eschilo’s dramas to Ettore Romagnoli’s own productions such as Don Chisciotte (Ndr. Don Quixote), Compensazioni d’amore (Love Compensations) and Il Labirinto (The Labyrinth), well appreciated in Malesco and all along other regions in Italy.

Ettore Romagnoli died in 1939. The inhabitants of Malesco dedicated a street, and later the open-air theatre, to him, to celebrate him and his works, not only as an academic but also for his commitment to the town.

With the words of Gennari: ” Greek theatre by Romagnoli was one of the most important artistic events which gave prestige to the Valle Vigezzo. Among those mountain populations, the glorious recitals of Romagnoli were like a meteor and they entered the legend, leaving behind themselves a remnant of crepuscular light”.


Piazza Ettore Romagnoli
28854 Malesco (VB)


Open during events.

It is possible to visit it externally throughout all the year.