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A guide to opera in Italy

3 min read

A guide to opera in Italy
A language of love, opera is Italy’s modus operandi for storytelling, bringing together dramatic flair, humour, music, staging, costume, and movement. This year, in the world's largest amphitheatre, Arena di Verona, opera celebrates its 100th year.
Holidays in Verona bring you to a city filled with culture and history. With galleries, the famous opera house, and exquisite architecture, it is the perfect destination for your next trip to Italy. Head to the setting of Romeo and Juliet with a visit to Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House) and lean out from the famous balcony. Or head to Piazza Bra for a spot of lunch and sit and watch the world go by. After a busy day of sightseeing, enjoy a night under the stars at the famous Verona Opera Festival, an evening not to be missed!
The Arena di Verona is a Roman architectural giant with impeccable acoustics. This grand work of open-air mastery, which once held 30,000 people, has been hosting its great annual summer opera festival for 100 years. It began as a celebration, to commemorate the centenary of Giuseppe Verdi, arguably Italy’s most gifted composer.
This year, from 16th June to 9th September 2023, the prestigious opera festival will exhibit a special programme like you’ve never seen before, kicking off with the grand opening weekend where a brand-new production of Verdi’s Aida will be unveiled. In just three months, visitors to Verona will also be able to enjoy 50 unrepeatable performances that unite the finest Italian operas, and that are being directed and produced by leading luminaries of the stage. Top performers, symphony orchestras, and choruses from across Italy’s opera houses, such as Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, will be playing a role in this extravagant event.
If you prefer to celebrate opera away from the limelight of Verona this year or wish to combine this centenary with other operatic delights in Italy, then there are several other destinations and festivals to recommend.
Naturally, you can head to the world’s most prestigious opera house, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, or discover the floating city’s operatic roots with an evening at Teatro La Fenice in Venice. There’s both opera and ballet to be discovered at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, or you could regale in summer productions at the amphitheatre, Baths of Caracalla, on the city’s outskirts.
Citalia offers a four-day short break in the seaside town of Viareggio, where you’ll get to explore Tuscany and pop over to catch a fabulous performance at the Puccini Opera Festival, which takes place from 14th July to 26th August 2023, in nearby Torre del Lago. One of Italy’s greatest opera composers, Giacomo Puccini, lived and worked in a house just moments from the festival’s open-air venue, which always features his most renowned operas, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, and Turandot.
Image of town of Viareggio in Italy
 For somewhere really off-the-beaten-path, we recommend a night at Teatro Comunale in Città della Pieve, a picturesque medieval town in Umbria.
You can even combine your holiday on one of the Italian islands with an operatic performance! In Sicily, visit Italy’s largest theatre at Teatro Massimo in Palermo, or venture to the Sardinian town of Cagliari for a night at Teatro Lirico. Wherever you’re planning to visit, we can always help you secure tickets for some legendary productions.

Discover the real Italy with Citalia

Ready for a night at the opera? Citalia are the UK’s leading Italy specialist with over 90 years' experience in tailoring holidays to Italy. Experts are on hand every step of the way to ensure you make memories to last a lifetime. It’s never too late to start planning your Italian escape!      
Visit citalia.com to discover the real Italy on your next adventure. Andiamo!
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