The Venetians with their poetic, pleasure-loving character could hardly have existed without the charm and glamour of fiction. It is true that footlights, curtains, and a double bass were sufficient to create the world of wonders which they loved. But they would have died if altogether deprived of their theatrical illusions. In the eighteenth century, Paris had three theatres.
The venetian Theatre
Giacinto cattoli as arlecchino
The commedia dell’arte
Among the very few Italians who in the sixteenth century had a clear and concrete idea as to what dramatic form was and should be was that fantastical Florentine il Lasca.
From the Balli di Sfessania
Carlo Gozzi and his plays
It happened one day, that Carlo Gozzi met with Goldoni in a bookseller's shop. They exchanged sharp words ; and in the heat of the altercation Goldoni told his merciless critic, that it was an easy talk to find fault with a play; but desired him to observe, that to write a play was a very difficult one