The office and home of the Teatro Povero company is in a former storage barn built in the mid-17th century.
This was a highly meaningful location for the many generations of sharecroppers who lived in Monticchiello and its surrounding countryside. It was here that all the grain produced by the peasants’ hard work was brought to be weighed and shared equally with the owner of the lands which they worked. In fact the main landowner of the village lived in the farmhouse (fattoria) immediately next door. The barn was built as the store house for his share of the grain. And the cellar spaces underneath stored his share of the wine produced.
Nowadays both these spaces belong to the Poor Theatre (Teatro Povero) co-operative. The cellar rooms have been restructured as the Aldo Nisi Room, which is used and lent out for exhibitions and conferences, for our own meetings, for rehearsals of the village band; and they act also as the theatre’s archive and as part of its wardrobe.
The Barn (Granaio) itself, on the other hand, has two functions. Its larger space houses the Tepotratos Museum; the remainder is our real centre of activity, multi-faceted like the spirit of the Teatro Povero. The Barn is the seat of many different activities run by the Co-Operative: it’s the company office; a newspaper shop; a centre for distribution of prescribed medicines; the village tourist office; an internet café with various media outlets; a support service for residents who need help with IT; and a buffet kitchen selling aperitifs and snacks. It is also, as will be apparent, an outlet (The Teatro Povero Shop) for the sale of local products: craft work, food produce, and wine.
Thus the building where at one time produce was divided between peasants and their landlord, in a system long seen as oppressive and unfair, has now become a treasure house for the community and for its visitors, as a result of the voluntary labour and commitment of all those who have kept the Teatro Povero alive over so many years.
The Barn is the heart of our activities, along with other spaces close by in the centre of Monticchiello: the village square, the Bronzone Tavern, the company’s Little Theatre, and the Aldo Nisi Room.
All our spaces can be used for a multiplicity of functions, and are available both for company events and for anyone who applies to use them.
We are open seven days a week, with very rare exceptions, during office hours: 9-12:30 and 3-6 p.m.
The Barn (il Granaio): tourist information point, The Teatro Povero Shop.
1) St. Agatha’s Gate (13th century) – entrance to the village
2) Towers on the village ramparts
3) The Company’s ‘Little Theatre’ (former Misericordia Church, 17th century)
4) Former Commenda Palace
5) Former Town Hall
6) Church of Saints Leonard and Christopher (13th century)
7) Saint Martin’s square (where plays were staged until 2004)
8) Square of Commendation (theatre venue from 2005)
9) The Provost church of Saints Leonard and Christopher
10) Museum of Traditional Popular Tuscan Theatre (‘Te.Po.Tra.Tos’)
11) The castle keep (13th century)
12) The ‘sally port’ tower
13) Public laundry basins
14) Saint Rocco’s Church (13th century)
15) The Aldo Nisi Room
16) The Bronzone Tavern