Milan and La Scala
Perhaps no opera house in the world can rival Milan and La Scala for sheer musical pedigree and glamour. Known by Italians as Teatro alla Scala, it’s premiered great works by Puccini and Bellini. Scores of glittering debuts have been made here – one of Italy’s largest stages – by virtuosos as diverse as Maria Callas and Paganini.
Verdi conducted his Requiem in this 18th century Neoclassical gem in 1874, and also conducted Toscanini on the cello in Otello.
This tour allows music lovers to become immersed in a whirlwind of history and stagecraft. The history of opera is lovingly detailed at La Scala’s museum, Museo Teatrale alla Scala, where a fascinating collection of paintings, costumes, statues and documents are curated.
A tour of the Ansaldo workshops, engine rooms of La Scala, reveals the secrets of staging opulent and world-class theatrical productions. Go backstage for a glimpse of carpenters working on set design and see the dressmakers running up flamboyant costumes.
With tickets to Donizetti’s comic opera Don Pasquale and Francesca da Rimini by Riccardo Zandonai, this is a not-to-be-missed chance to live and breathe the world of Italian opera at its very finest.
- Cultural Excursion
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We touch down in the sparkling city of Milan and transfer to our fabulous hotel in the centre of it all.
This afternoon we whet our appetites with a fascinating lecture on the history and operatic traditions of the region.
Tonight we dine at Teatro il Marchesino – a sophisticated, modern restaurant offering refined Milanese cuisine right next to La Scala itself. A favourite amongst the opera-going locals.
The first full day of our tip is devoted to La Scala, one of the world’s best-loved and most enchanting operatic venues. Here we enjoy a tour of the theatre’s lavish interiors, from its stunning auditorium, to its sumptuous royal box. We also take in La Scala’s museum, a spectacular collection of costume, portraits and historical instruments.
We break for lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to La Scala’s own Ansaldo workshops, a vast industrial space in constant use, where sets are constructed, costumes are designed, and rehearsals are performed. A thrilling encounter with backstage life – and our chance to sneak a peek at what is coming next.
After dinner, we make our way to La Scala once again – this time as members of the audience. Our performance this evening is Don Pasquale, first shown at this venue over 150 years ago, and rapturously received.
Following breakfast we travel to Casa Verdi, the final resting place of Giuseppe Verdi. Described by this celebrated composer as his greatest achievement, Casa Verdi was established as a rest and retirement home in 1902, designed exclusively for those whose lives have been dedicated to music. Since then, over 1,000 musicians have called this beautiful sanctuary their home. As part of our visit we explore the house’s delightful museum, as well as exquisite rooms showing Casa Verdi as it would have been during the composer’s own lifetime.
After stopping for lunch we head for the restored palace of Casa Manzoni. It was here, in 1785, that the author Alessandro Manzoni was born. He later went on to write The Betrothed, the novel which propelled him into literary stardom. Verdi composed Requiem in his memory, and traces of Manzoni’s legacy still linger within these Renaissance walls.
Tonight we enjoy dinner in the city, followed by a stellar performance of Zandonai’s tragic masterpiece, Francesca da Rimini.
We take our final morning easy, enjoying free time in Milan to spend at our leisure. You may wish to stop at one or two of the city’s world-renowned museums and galleries, or simply unwind in a sun-kissed square.
Later, our group meets for lunch in a restaurant overlooking Milan’s sumptuous Piazza del Duomo – an unmissable opportunity to dine in view of the city’s magnificent Gothic cathedral, and watch the world go by.
Our return flights depart in the afternoon.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
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