Ranking of the 15 most beautiful and important theaters in Italy

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The Italian territory has always played an important role in culture and history: art, music and theater are three disciplines in which well-known faces from our own roots have distinguished themselves for their ingenuity and creativity, remaining etched in the memory and considered points of reference also to centuries away. In the case of the theater, among the best known Italian architects we remember Antonio Bibiena, Andrea Palladio, Giuseppe Piermarini; among the opera musicians the list is very long, and Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Gioacchino Rossini and the great librettist Francesco Maria Piave stand out. The theater, born as a meeting place for the rich society, is today a place where performances of all kinds are held, but also conferences and important meetings; let's see the official ranking of the 15 most beautiful and important Italian theaters in Italy.

NB: the following ranking is the result of a survey that involved over 10.000 users of the community of, who were asked to select 5 preferences from a group of over 100 Italian theaters.

15 - Teatro Farnese, Parma - 612 votes

Arisen as court theater of the Dukes of Parma and Piacenza, is housed in a large hall and suffered a sad fate during World War II, coming almost completely destroyed. Rebuilt in the 50s, since 2001 it has resumed hosting important theatrical works: the version of the Rigoletto with Pavarotti, available on DVD and recorded at the Teatro Farnese.

  • Capacity: 3.000 seats
  • Period of construction: from 1617 to 1618

14 - Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza - 671 votes

A great Renaissance project by the architect Andrea Palladio, the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza was inaugurated in 1585 with theOedipus King of Sophocles. Since 1994 it is Unesco World Heritage, and is still used for festivals, concerts and ceremonies. The inside of the theater accommodates well 95 statues.

It is the oldest of the theaters on this list.

  • Capacity: 470 seats
  • Period of construction: from 1580 to 1585

13 - Bibiena Theater, Mantua - 711 votes

The Bibiena Theater of Mantua, also known as "Scientific Theater", is a small one pearl set in the wonderful city of the Gonzagas. Made by the architect Antonio Bibiena with the facade of Piermarini, the theater was built on what remained of an ancient Gonzaga palace: for this reason its dimensions are rather small. Today it comes open only on special occasions, such as the Festivaletteratura; it is however possible to book a visit.

  • Capacity: 363 seats
  • Period of construction: from 1767 to 1769

12 - Teatro Comunale, Bologna - 739 votes

Built following the fire that destroyed the Malvezzi Theater, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna was designed on project by the famous architect Antonio Bibiena. Curiosity: this was the the first theater in Italy to ever host an opera by Wagner, the "Lohengrin", which was followed by three other works by the same composer. Today it is one of the most active theaters in Bologna and in the whole of Emilia-Romagna.

  • Capacity: 1.034 seats
  • Period of construction: from 1756 to 1763

11 - Giuseppe Verdi Opera House, Trieste - 798 votes

Inaugurated in 1801, it enjoyed considerable success with Giuseppe Verdi's Nabucco (1843 - 1844). Subject of several renovations, in 1881 the capacity was increased. The Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi is known throughout Europe for National Operetta Festival, held from 1950 to 2011.

  • Capacity: 1.300 seats
  • Period of construction: from 1798 to 1801

10 - Teatro dell'Opera, Rome - 900 votes

Also known as Teatro Costanzi from the name of its creator, Domenico Costanzi, it was bought by the Municipality of Rome which in 1926 started an expansion and accommodation project, increasing the orders of boxes from 3 to 4. This theater is very important, as well as for the opera, also for the ballet: here was the Italian premiere of "The Firebird" by Igor Stravinskij.

  • Capacity: 1.700 seats
  • Period of construction: from 1874 to 1880

9 - Vincenzo Bellini Theater, Catania - 951 votes

Fulcrum of opera for Catania, the room is of immense decorative richness to the point of being considered one of the most beautiful of the theaters built during the nineteenth century. Numerous important works staged here, with some of the best known performers: in 1950 Maria Callas he performed in Bellini's Norma.

  • Capacity: 1.200 seats
  • Period of construction: from 1870 to 1890

8 - Teatro Regio, Turin - 964 votes

The Teatro Regio di Torino is another among the most important theaters in Italy and Europe: commissioned by Duke Vittorio Amedeo II, it underwent several changes of ownership and name changes. Damaged by fire in 1936, it was rebuilt in 1973, reopening on 10 April with the opera "I Vespri Siciliani" by Giuseppe Verdi. Among the artists, an extraordinary Maria Callas.

  • Capacity: 1.592 seats
  • Construction period: 1740

7 - Teatro della Pergola, Florence - 972 votes

Considered the "first great example of Italian theater", La Pergola di Firenze was built with a wooden structure in the seventeenth century with the novelty of the boxes. Over the centuries it has undergone numerous transformations: for example in 1912 the th and th tier of boxes were demolished to make room for the Loggione. It is believed that the genre of the melodrama.

  • Capacity: 1.200 seats
  • Construction period: 1656

6 - Carlo Felice Theater, Genoa - 984 votes

Main theater of Genoa, the Carlo Felice is also one of the best known in Italy. Located in the city center, it was also damaged during World War II. The process of procurement of works and reconstruction was long and tiring, and the theater was returned to the city only in 1991.

  • Capacity: 2.000 seats
  • Construction period: 1828

5 - San Carlo Theater, Naples - 997 votes

The San Carlo theater in Naples is one of the most prestigious in Italy and in the world, initially only the serious opera was represented. Over the centuries some of the most important personalities in the opera / musical field were guests, such as Händel, Hyden, Mozart before and Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi then. The two world wars caused considerable damage to the structure, and it was last restored in 2008.

  • Capacity: 1.386 seats
  • Construction period: 1737

4 - Petruzzelli Theater, Bari - 1005 votes

Fourth largest theater in Italy by size, the original capacity was 3.500 people, then reduced to 1.250 for safety reasons and for some renovation works. Stopped from 1991 to 2009 due to a serious arson, was inaugurated again with Puccini's Turandot.

  • Capacity: 1.250 seats
  • Construction period: 1903

3 - Gran Teatro La Fenice, Venice - 1047 votes

Theater with a long and complex history: victim of two fires, has undergone a double reconstruction. The substance, however, does not change: the Fenice is one of the most important Italian and world theaters, home to many world premieres of operas by Verdi, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and important opera and symphonic seasons. La Fenice was also home to the International Festival of Contemporary Music.

  • Capacity: 1.000 seats
  • Period of construction: from 1790 to 1792

2 - Massimo Vittorio Emanuele Theater, Palermo - 1092 votes

The Massimo Theater of Palermo is the largest opera house in Italy e one of the most important in Europe. The original capacity was 3.200 seats, and was the site of some important world premieres, including "Barbarina" by Gino Marinuzzi and "Mimì Pinson" by Ruggero Leoncavallo.

  • Capacity: 1.358 seats
  • Period of construction: from 1875 to 1891

1 - Teatro Alla Scala, Milan - 1118 votes

And here we are at the top of our ranking of the most beautiful and important theaters in Italy: the first place could not fail to be given to the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, home of the most prestigious national and international worksie in the center of the spotlight. Built on the design of Piermarini, the rooms such as the foyer are extremely elegant, while the hall represented the from the baroque theater hall to the neoclassical one. There are 6 levels of stages and galleries.

  • Capacity: 2.030 seats
  • Period of construction: from 1776 to 1778

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