Massimo Theatre



This Theatre dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele is the largest opera house in Italy and the third-largest in Europe. Opened in March 1897, the neoclassical building has a large staircase that leads to the Corinthian pronaos at the entrance with six columns decorated with Corinthian-Italian capitals that support the pediment. On the sides of the staircase stand sculptures by Rutelli and Civiletti. A huge hemispherical dome overlooks the building: the dome frame is a cross-linked metallic structure resting on a series of rollers to allow movement caused by temperature variations. Internally, the large hall was designed by architect Ernesto Basile. Famous worldwide for its perfect acoustics, it has a horseshoe shape and five orders of boxes and gallery, covers an area of 450 square metres and can accommodate about 1300 spectators. Behind the boxes are small inter-communicating rooms. The decoration of the hall, by Salvatore Valenti, consists of wooden and stucco elements covered with pure gold and delicate paintings. The theatre features “the mirror room”, the “Pompeian hall”, the “coat of arms room”, the “sovereign’s hall” and the “coffee room”.

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