When you are planning your next vacation to Italy, add one more item to your to-do list. Although there’s already plenty to do and plenty to see, we’d like to suggest an evening to an Italian theater, a great way to get to know Italy’s comprehensive history and culture. Harking back to the age of the Renaissance, the art of Italian theater has been refined and perfected through the centuries. Drama? Check. History? Check. Opera? Check. The modern Italian play has something for everyone. If you’ve already decided on viewing an Italian play, you’ll find that there are a plethora of different theater options on offer in any major region or city.
1. Italian Theater in Verona: Arena di Verona
Built in 30 AD, the Arena di Verona is one of, if not the, oldest amphitheaters in Italy. Located in Verona’s buzzing Piazza Bra, the Arena di Verona hosts everything from the historical Italian play to the latest modern rock show. The summer season promises outdoor shows and fresh air. So whether you’re in the mood for Monteverdi or Pearl Jam, the Arena di Verona is sure to have something for everyone.
2. Italian Theater in Rome: Terme di Caracalla
Translated as “Baths of Caracalla,” the Terme di Caracalla is converted into a stage for the summer. Not to worry – these “baths” are no longer the site of public showers and the like; rather, they are a monumental testament to the beauty of ancient Roman architecture. Located beyond the Colosseum, the Terme di Caracalla boasts one of the largest stages in Italy, and summertime performances of ballet, opera and orchestral music are hosted by Rome’s famous Teatro dell’Opera.
3. Italian Theater in Palermo, Sicily: Teatro Massimo
If your vacation in Italy takes you to Sicily, make sure to check out Teatro Massimo. Currently the largest theater in Europe, Teatro Massimo is located in Palermo. Massimo’s summer locale is Teatro di Verdura, an outdoor theater that seats up to 2,000 and is highly regarded for its pitch-perfect acoustic. Avid movie fans will recognize that Teatro Massimo has been used in some major films, including The Godfather III.
4. Italian Theater in Milan: Teatro Alla Scala
We’ve saved the best for last and Teatro Alla Scala is, without a doubt, one of Italy’s most prestigious theaters. Many of Italy’s finest actors and singers have passed through here, and the theater also hosts a school for aspiring artists, musicians and actors. The theater boasts a bookshop, a restaurant, bar and a museum; it can be found in Milan.