You look for the Rocca, you find it in the square in Busseto in the heart of the Luoghi Verdiani and a magnificent surprise opens up inside: the historic Giuseppe Verdi Theatre! Located right in the Pallavicino Castle, founded in the 13th century and extensively remodelled, it now presents itself in the appearance it was given in the second half of the 19th century, when it took the form of the Rocca to all intents and purposes. There had previously been another theatre, on the same site. Verdi had performed there in his youth, conducting a symphony for Rossini's Barber of Seville. The
theatre, designed by architect Pier Luigi Montecchini, is accessed through the portico, then up the grand staircase adorned with a bust of Verdi by Giovanni Dupré; the decorations are the work of Giuseppe Baisi and Alessandro Malpeli from Parma, while the ceiling medallions, depicting Comedy, Tragedy, Melodrama and Romantic Drama, are the work of Isacco Gioacchino Levi from Busseto (1865).
The theatre, which was equipped from the outset with all the most functional facilities, was recently restored, brought up to standard and reopened; its capacity is 300 people.