The Teatro alla Scala is arguably Italy’s most high-ranking and prestigious opera houseThe theatre is located on Piazza della Scala, right in the centre of Milan, near the Duomo. It is easy to reach by public transport, or on foot from other central locations. There is a good choice of places to eat and drink in the vicinity.
La Scala Ticket Office is located in Piazza Duomo, with access from the stairs of the Metro (open afternoons only). There is also an evening box office, open two hours before curtain up, in the theatre’s entrance where you can pick up pre-booked tickets or buy tickets for that evening. However, you should really book well in advance to guarantee a seat. The theatre’s official website contains full information on the theatre’s programme in English and Italian, and has an online booking facility.
The theatre is a formal environment, and the management take the trouble to define their dress code on the official website. Black tie is suggested for premieres; for other performances such sartorial heights aren’t necessary. However, Milan is an elegant city and La Scala is its most elegant venue, so visitors should aim to fit in. Audience members should avoid casual clothing such as jeans. Men should wear jackets (the website recommends a tie too) and women should aim for something neat and elegant. If in doubt – or if your packing space is limited – a simple black dress with jewellery is always a good bet.
Opera and Ballet at La Scala
Opera and ballet are both performed regularly at La Scala, and at the highest level. While enthusiasts will be planning their trip around a particular production, other visitors may find their stay coincides with a performance that appeals – you can plan in advance with the official website https://www.teatroallascala.org/
La Scala Museum and tours
The Museo Teatrale alla Scala is an interesting tourist attraction for theatre-lovers. The museum was founded nearly 100 years ago, and exhibits include costumes worn by Maria Callas, Carla Fracci and Rudolf Nureyev. Portraits and mementoes of opera and ballet stars of the past line the walls, as well as historic views and souvenirs of the opera house itself. One of the most curious and fascinating items on display is Verdi’s desk. The composer died in a Milan hotel in 1901, and upon his demise, his desk was preserved for posterity. You can see it in the La Scala Museum, complete with hotel notepaper, playing cards, a French dictionary etc.
There is also a special exhibition of historic instruments (including Verdi’s piano) and gramophones (including a fabulous 1920s attempt to camouflage a gramophone inside a table lamp).
The La Scala Museum is located on Largo Ghiringhelli, close to the theatre.
It is also possible to book tailor-made guided tours of the theatre’s auditorium and backstage areas – contact details for requesting tours are provided on the theatre’s website.
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