I had never been to a theatre in Italy until I went to Dracula in Vicenza’s modern theatre last Tuesday. We decided (we = myself and two of my friends) to purchase this very nice theatre deal which consists of four performances of any kind in the year 2020 for only 60 euros. So we still have three more performances to go and I’m already looking forward.

Having read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I was convinced that I would manage to understand most of the story, despite the formal Italian language that would be used (and it’s something I’m not quite familiar with yet). Fortunately, when the actors spoke slowly I could follow enough and very surprisingly Count Dracula spoke English from time to time.

It was a beautiful performance and for me an amazing experience. Although, initially I had some worries about what I should wear to an Italian theatre. Once, I passed by the theatre of Venice and people were standing there in full dress, looking astonishing, like only Italians can, and I feared that my wardrobe would not fit the occasion. But it apparently depends entirely on the kind of performance that you’re going to see. A play is not for casual dress, but you don’t have to appear in a suit. However, I’m slightly concerned about the ballet performance we will be watching in April. Fortunately we have some time left and I’ll be able to consult my Italian friend about her opinion on Italian decorum before I return to the theatre.

These are some of the things I worry about from time to time, because Italy in this aspect can be very different from the Netherlands. Yet, I actually feel very pleased that these are my main concerns nowadays. I don’t think there are many people at my age who can live their life this carefree, who can enjoy the theatre on what would typically be a working day. I don’t always realise how fortunate I am. But I’ll be planning to enjoy the next trips to Vicenza theatre wholeheartedly and I’ll try to be fully aware of the amazing opportunity to be able to do and plan anything I like for the first couple of months of 2020. And after that, we’ll see.

From Italy with love,

Merel

p.s. this is, however, (I really think I should mention it, even though it might sound slightly (or not so slightly) cheesy) entirely made possible by my amazing boyfriend. Without him I would not be able to pretty much take an entire year off.