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Milan Attractions

Le Scala Opera House and Museum

The world's favorite opera house, La Scala, on Piazza della Scala, boasts a recently restored dazzling red velvet auditorium. Audiences at the exquisite performances of Italian operas and ballets are often dotted with international dignitaries. Book tickets before the season starts (December 7).
Designed by Piermarini, the theatre was built between 1776 and 1778 under the patronage of Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria when much of Northern Italy was ruled by the Habsburg dynasty.
During the course of the 19th century, however, La Scala was to become a symbol of the Risorgimento, the struggle for Italian unification, largely through its link with the life of the great composer Giuseppe Verdi. His stirring arias, often not-so-veiled references to yearnings of the oppressed, became patriotic calls-to-arms. The theatre's civic significance was crowned in 1872, when it became the property of the City of Milan.
La Scala continues to be one of the meeting points for Milan's élite. The repertoire is distinct in that, even though it often programs the Italian opera classics, it also champions unusual gems.


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