Of the many historic opera houses in Italy, few are more legendary than Venice’s Teatro La Fenice. Opened in 1792, the theater quickly became a major venue for opera and ballet. Today you can view the sumptuous 19th-century-style interiors during a musical or dance performance, or join a guided tour of the theater.
La Fenice has a rather understated facade that belies the opulence within, and it’s an impressive sight whether or not you’re a fan of opera or ballet. A tour of this famous opera house is a must for any music lover, so consider joining a walking tour of Venice’s highlights that includes a stop at the theater to learn first-hand about its fascinating history and architecture. Of course, you can also soak in the elegant atmosphere by enjoying a concert, ballet, or opera during the performance season.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Purchase performance tickets in advance to ensure a seat.
- The theater boxes and gallery are accessible to wheelchairs.
- The dress code for opening or gala performances is semi-formal; regular performances is smart casual. Shorts or sleeveless t-shirts are not allowed.
- Photographs are allowed during theater tours but not performances.
- There is a cloakroom where large bags, umbrellas, and cameras must be left during performances.
How to Get There
Teatro La Fenice is located on the Campo San Fantin square in the heart of Venice. Take Vaporetto (public ferry) line 1 or 2 to the Rialto stop; from there, it’s a short walk to the theater.
When to Get There
Performances at the Teatro La Fenice run year-round. The theater is open for tours daily, though opening times may vary when there’s a rehearsal or performance scheduled.
The Rise of the Phoenix
The theater’s name, La Fenice—or “The Phoenix”—pays tribute to an earlier theater, owned by the same company, that burned down. Unfortunately, the name proved prescient—La Fenice burned down twice, first in 1836 and again in 1996. Both times, though, it was rebuilt.