Italy theatre is almost as old as the country itself. It can be traced back to Roman tradition and still thrives today in this vibrant country. The theatre in ancient Rome was flourishing and quite varied from street performances to festivals to acrobatics and the plays of Plautus. Today, that tradition continues with breathtaking operas, stunning ballets, and soothing classical music. There is so much theatre to be seen and heard all over Italy that it will be sure to please every type of traveler.
Perhaps the most famous Italy theatre is Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. This ornate venue opened in 1778 and features red velvet seating and gold furnishings. Take in a show in one of the 2,800 seats and see some of the finest opera in the world. Many operas premiere here, so if you have a particular one in mind, be sure to get your tickets well in advance.
If your travels take you to Venice, you’ll want to take in the Teatro La Fenice a stunning and acclaimed theatre in the Sestiere di San Marco. The name for this opera house translates into The Phoenix as it has been burned down and rebuilt several times. This theatre has been around since 1792 and hosts over a hundred performances every year from renowned directors.
If Naples is one of your travel destinations, be sure to visit the Teatro di San Carlo. This is the oldest theatre hosting opera in the world, and it is a wonder to behold. Since 1737, this theatre has hosted ballet, classical music and opera. It is the largest theatre in Italy and has 1,386 seats. If you want to see opera, that season runs from January to May. The Ballet season takes place from April to June.
The island of Sicily also has theatres, like Teatro Massimo in Palermo which happens to be the third largest opera house in Europe and has been touted as one of the finest in the world. Its famed acoustics and domed architecture make it a historical landmark as well as a place of entertainment. Opera, ballet and music performances are hosted here. Moreover, as a side note for movie buffs the final scenes of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather III were filmed here.
If an outdoor venue is on your wish list, you can visit the Arena di Verona to watch various musical productions or in the summer months, opera. This restored Roman theatre is steeped in historical wonder and significance and is a sight to behold.
Italy brings us the world's first operas composed towards the end of the 16th century. The peak of Opera's popularity grew in the 19th century with works of Gioacchino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. The farther of modern opera is considered to be Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643). Another name worth mentioning is Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) the late great Italian operatic tenor who became on of the most popular tenors of all time.
Italy theatre is a cultural experience you will never forget. Whether it’s Milan, Venice, Naples, Sicily or any number of the other theatres in the country, this experience is a must for your Italian vacation.