La Scala is a world renowned opera house. The premiers of many of Verdi and Bellini’s best works are set there. In 1776 the empress Maria Theresia, which was at the same time a duchess of Milan, ordered the construction of a new opera house because the old one, Theatro Reggio, was destroyed due to a fire. Chief architect was Guiseppe Piermarini. The new opera house was built on the site of the church “Santa Maria dela Scala” and derives its name from the name of that church. The opera was officially opened on 3 August 1778 with the opera “Europe revealed” by Antonio Salieri.

The building has neoclassical exterior and it does not impress at first glance. This is because in the past it was located on a narrow street. The square that is now in front of it is formed later. There used to be a portal at the center of its façade. This portal was the place where the coaches used to stop. The capacity of the building is 2200 seats located on five floors with lodges and galleries. Unlike the facade, the interior is quite rich. The lobby is decorated with fluted columns and large mirrors on the walls. The hall is in the shape of a horseshoe and is famous for its perfect acoustics. Predominant colors are white, silver and gold. The chandelier is made of Bohemian crystal and contains 365 lamps.

In the museum of the theatre you can see the unique collection of the Parisian antiquarian Jules Sambon. Various theatrical attributes illustrate the history of La Scala. Much of them are dedicated to Guiseppe Verdi.

The season in La Scala starts annually on7 December, the day on which Saint Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan, is celebrated. This is the most important event for the local society, compared even to the Cannes Film Festival and the Oscars.

Address: Largo Ghiringhelli 1;

You can see information on tickets and opening times here.

You can see more photos from the opera house in our Gallery: