The Theater: Sarasota Jewel Box

Minutes away from the Gulf of Mexico, on the manicured grounds of the Ringling Museums sits a theater unique in all of North America. The Asolo (pronounced Ahs-olo) is an 18th century Italian wooden court theater, transported board by board in 1951 from the Old World to the New. Elegant, intimate, enchanting, with a triple tier of embossed balconies, the Asolo was the great Duse's home theater, and playgoers of a bygone day included Chopin, George Sand and Robert Browning.

During the past few years, under enterprising and dedicated leadership, Asolo has achieved full...