The Verona Shakespeare Festival and Fringe

01 Jul 2023 - 31 Aug 2023
Verona, Italy


The Verona Shakespeare Festival was founded as a tribute to William Shakespeare in 1948 by Renato Simoni, the librettist of Puccini’s Turandot. It opened with a production of Romeo and Juliet with a translation by Nobel laureate Salvatore Quasimodo, a prestigious cast, and Giorgio Strehler as assistant director. Ever since that premiere, the Festival, which takes place in the Roman Theatre, has marked Verona’s summer and become one of the most important Shakespeare Festivals in the world, attracting international directors and stars besides landmark Italian productions.The Shakespeare Festival holds a central position within the broader multidisciplinary programme called Estate Teatrale Veronese (ETV; Verona Summer Theatre Season, which in 2022 reached its 74th edition). In the past few editions, the ETV has added a full repertory of classical drama (in collaboration with the National Institute of Ancient Drama in Siracusa), as well as music and dance programmes, with the best from the national and international panorama.For more than seventy years now the history of the Veronese summer seasons may be encapsulated in a long list of productions, actors, directors, scenographers, musicians, dancers, choreographers, and so on. And yet none of this could have happened without its prestigious headquarters, considering the historic and artistic value that this place perfectly embodies and which has constituted a central location for world-level theatrical culture for centuries, from its founding during the first century AD until now. From 1974 onwards the organisation of ETV has been facilitated by the valuable organisational, managerial and administrative assistance of the Municipality, while over the years other city venues have joined the Roman Theatre: the Corte Mercato Vecchio and recently the various buildings of the Civic Museum System.


The Verona Shakespeare Fringe Festival was born in the heat of the 2020-21 Covid-19 Pandemic as an initiative of the Skenè Centre of Verona University, in collaboration with international partners and under the auspices of the Municipality of Verona. The Festival was founded to provide a platform for international collaboration, cultural exchange, and aesthetic experimentation. Closely connected with the educational activities of the Shakespeare and the Mediterranean Summer School run by the Centre, since 2022 it has become part of the Estate Teatrale Veronese (which in the same year reached its 74th edition), run by the Municipality, and is currently organized by it with the Skenè Centre of Verona University.The VSFF counts as its partners the Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival, Hamletscenen and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Performers who is 2022 participated in the VSFF have come from all over the world, from countries including Bangladesh, Georgia, Greece, Norway, Serbia, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine. All shows have been recorded and can be found on our website. The mission of the Verona Shakespeare Fringe Festival is to create an international, multi-lingual festival in Verona, Italy, that serves as inspiration and space for the plays and poetry of William Shakespeare. Steeped in the sights and sounds of Verona, the Festival fuses the work of researchers and artists who dissolve previous boundaries between stagecraft and scholarship; makes possible new modes of performance, reception, and transmission; and creates opportunities for audiences to experience a diverse array of imaginative responses to Shakespeare’s works. The festival seeks to cultivate new work, cultural exchange, and intercultural dialogue, opening a space beside the long-lived Shakespeare Festival at the Teatro romano, which was inaugurated in 1948.The Festival seeks to cultivate new work, cultural exchange, and intercultural dialogue. The Festival offers young and experimental artists the chance to showcase their work and dialogue with each other; favours inclusiveness and openness; supports multilingual and multicultural approaches to Shakespeare, and provides a site for translational encounters between artists and researchers in a free-wheeling exchange of vibrant conversations. The festival seeks to be without borders. It cultivates opportunities for audience development and aesthetic possibilities across a diverse spectrum of theatrical knowledge. The festival understands Shakespeare as lingua franca, a language for intercultural exchange and theatrical creation. Like the Roman god Janus, it sees the past and future together as one, as it envisions Shakespeare as relentlessly alive, consistently new, and constantly renewable.

Practical info

Pricerange per day

10 to 25 euro


Snack bar

Main target group

16 - 25 y/o , 25 - 50 y/o , Above 50 y/o

Directions & transport

Car park , Train/tram/bus , Airport (max 20km)


City center

Average attendence per day

Above 10.000 attendees

Art disciplines

Ballet , Contemporary Dance , Folklore and folk arts , Interdisciplinary , Literature

Support for disabled people