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  • Address: Piazza della Scala
  • Admission: Opera tickets: €10 - €215; Museum tickets: €6
La Scala is one of the world’s great opera houses. Built in Milan a stone’s throw from the Duomo in the late 1770s, the theater has seen premiers of some extraordinarily well-loved operas, including works by Rossini, Puccini and many by Italy’s beloved Verdi. The word “scala” means “staircase” in Italian, but the theater gets its name because it was built on the site where the church of Santa Maria alla Scala once stood. The exterior of the opera house may not be as impressive as the nearby cathedral, but a walk through its historic halls is a must for any music lover.

The theater at La Scala holds more than 3,000 spectators, and three walls are made up of those quintessentially old-world theater boxes. The walls are adorned with gold and the boxes are lined with red velvet. It’s an impressive sight, whether you’re an opera lover or not.

Although La Scala’s opera season isn’t year-round (and even if you aren’t interested in seeing a performance) you can still get a peek inside. Plan to visit La Scala’s museum, which is inside the opera house. The historic pieces on display aren’t likely to be of too much interest (unless you’re a serious opera fan), but if your museum visit doesn’t coincide with a rehearsal on the main stage then you get to walk into one of the theater’s red velvet boxes for a few minutes. This is the highlight of the museum, so be sure to ask at the ticket window if the theater is open to visitors before you go in.

Tours & Tickets

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