Guided Tour of La Scala Theatre and Museum
- Guided tour: Friendly local guides meet up with you at the Milan Visitors Center and give you an inside look La Scala, also known as Teatro alla Scala, Milan's legendary opera house. The tour is spoken in six languages, depending upon the day you visit.
- La Scala Theatre: Whether you're an opera fan or now, everyone gets a kick out of seeing this stunning music palace. It's especially exciting to experience the view from an opulent box. Check out the glistening crystal chandelier above. If you're lucky, you might even get to see the artists rehearse from the stage.
- La Scala Museum: Get Fast Track entry to this museum is home to an exquisite collection of costumes, instruments, paintings, statues, and other documents related to opera and La Scala's history.
About this Milan tour
When you think opera, you think La Scala. This Milan theatre is considered to be the pinnacle of operatic locations. It opened in 1778, back during the American Revolution. Opera legends including Giuseppe Verdi, Arturo Toscanini, Maria Callas, Franco Zeffirelli, Gioachino Rossini, Giacomo Puccini, Luchino Visconti, and Riccardo Muti all plied their trade here. And famous operas like Madame Butterfly premiered here.
On this GoBe tour, see not just the theatre, but the accompanying museum. Teatro alla Scala, meaning "theatre at the stairway," has such a rich history. For instance, opening night each year is held on December 7, the feast day for St. Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan, and it's an over-the-top event. All
Music is serious business here, down to the opera house's design. Sure, there are many luxurious red velvet and gold boxes for the swells to sit and watch the show with their opera glasses on. But there is also a very democratic feature to La Scala called the loggione, or gallery, with less expensive seating above the fancy boxes. Rather merciless opera fans will literally boo singers and musicians off the stage. This happened in 2006, when Roberto Alagna was catcalled for his performance in Franco Zeffirelli's production of Verdi's Aida. Alagna was so unnerved by the loggionisti that he stormed off the stage. That meant understudy Antonello Palombi, who was dressed in blue jeans and a t-shirt, not a costume, had to take over for him, mid-song. And people think sports fans are brutal.
Historically, some of the booers (and cheerers) at La Scala were paid (or bribed), and demanded money from the artists. Today, they're shameless hecklers so brutal that they even booed Luciano Pavarotti in 1992 when his voice cracked in a performance of Verdi's Don Carlo. But the cheap seats fans also encourage singers to do their best. If you can make it at La Scala, you can make it anywhere.
An operatic gesture
Allied bombings severely damaged La Scala during World War II, but conductor Arturo Toscanini once again helped bring it back to life. Toscanani, who had served as La Scala conductor and artistic director, had helped raise money to get La Scala reopened after World War I. But he opposed Mussolini's fascist regime and left Italy for New York during WWII. In 1945, his daughter Wally visited him to talk him into helping his old opera house. He donated 1 million lire himself and raised money to help rebuild La Scala. Toscanini also conducted the May 1, 1946, concert reopening the theatre. The show featured music by opera legends Verdi, Rossini, Boito, Puccini, and an epic solo by soprano Renata Tebaldi, bringing down the (rebuilt) house.
Please meet in the lobby/reception area of your hotel. Be sure to indicate the name of your hotel at check-out so we know where to meet you. Your guide will be holding a sign with GoBe or�your name on it.
Traditionally, Tuesday to Saturday retail hours are 9:30am-12:30pm and 3:30-7:30pm, with a half day on Monday (3:30-7:30pm). The majority of shops still close on Sundays, though fashion stores stay open during the major fairs and at other times throughout the year. Euros or credit cards are recommended for purchasing lunch, shopping and refreshments.
Travelers must be able to walk approximately 1.5 miles over varying surfaces with steps and inclines. This tour is not suitable for travelers with limited mobility.
Cultural, Walking Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Travelers must be 6 years of age or older and accompanied by an adult to participate in this tour.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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