The most famous Opera Theatre in the world

There are few places as associated with pure, refined class as La Scala

La Scala opera house is one of Italy‘s most famous buildings. In this article, we’ll explore the history and curiosities.

The Teatro alla Scala is the most famous opera theatre in the world.

After the fire of February 25, 1776, the Duke Theatre was destroyed. ‘La Scala’ was built as a replacement of the old Theater in 1776 and was inaugurated in 1778. The new theater got its name because it was built in the former location of the Santa Maria alla Scala church by the neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini. After that, the theatre was rebuilt after the bombing in 1943 and inaugurated a second time in 1946, with a concert by art director Arturo Toscanini. Assigned place to melodrama, world famous artists performed at the Scala such as Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and Verdi. Today it is one of the most visited landmarks in the city centre of Milan.


  • Like many others theaters of the time, La Scala was also a casino.
  • Since 1951 the opening night takes place on the 7th December, the feast of St Ambrose, patron of Milan, to give extra symbolic meaning to the premiere.
  • Every single family had its balcony and they could add hangings. Indeed, the owner’s social status was acknowledged by the balcony’s richness. Only the curtains had to be strictly uniform… now red but before it was blue. The balcony number 13 is completely ornated by mirrors, why? this anonimous family wanted to appear ‘extreme’ at everyone in the theatre!

  • The 700 seats in the basement, once for the “lower” classes, were mobile, so that they could be easily moved to make a space to dance and even participate in horse riding competitions.
  • The legend says that into the theatre the ghost of Maria Malibran and Maria Callas lived
  • One of the most famous attractions of the theatre is the enormous central chandelier, which counts 400 light bulbs. The light bulbs are plastic and not Bohemian crystal… the decision was not taken for economic reasons, but for safety, because otherwise the structure required excessive weight. To understand how big the chandelier is just imagine that a man can enter inside!


The Museum and the stage itself are vibrant experiences even for those who do not specifically appreciate the opera. Discover our Untold History Tour ‘The Opera and the Drama queen of Milan’


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