Milan and La Scala
Perhaps no opera house in the world can rival Milan’s La Scala for sheer musical pedigree and glamour. Known by its Italian name, Teatro alla Scala, it has premièred great works by the likes of Bellini and Puccini, and scores of glittering débuts have been made here, by virtuosos as diverse as Maria Callas and Paganini.
This tour allows music lovers to immerse themselves 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 special tour of the Ansaldo workshops, engine rooms of La Scala, reveals the secrets of staging opulent, worldclass theatrical productions. Go backstage for a glimpse of carpenters working on set design and see dressmakers running up flamboyant costumes. With tickets to magical performances included, don’t miss this chance to live and breathe the world of Italian opera at its finest.
- Enjoy a series of stunning performances in this magnificent Italian city
- Be welcomed backstage at the iconic La Scala opera house for a special tour
- Step inside the final resting place of Giuseppe Verdi, now a rest and retirement home named Casa Verdi
- Accept an invitation to tour the Ansaldo workshops, where props and costumes for La Scala are created
- Sample fabulous Italian cuisine throughout this tour at authentic and local restaurants
- Cultural Excursion
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
In the morning, we meet at London’s Heathrow airport and catch a flight to Milan’s Linate airport. Upon arrival, we make our way into the city where we check into our hotel. After we have unpacked and relaxed a little, there will be an introductory lecture at the hotel where we can find out more about this city and its reputation for opera. Dinner will be at the hotel this evening.
Today, we depart on foot for the Museo Teatrale alla Scala. We spend time here looking at the collections and exhibits which tell the story of the iconic venue’s legacy. After lunch, we travel by coach for a special tour of the Ansaldo workshops. This is a privileged opportunity to see the craftspeople working hard on the sets and costumes that bring La Scala’s operas to life on the stage night after night. We return to our hotel to prepare for dinner at the Marchesino restaurant before attending the first performance on our tour: Ballet – Giselle with music by Adolphe Adam.
This morning we walk to the restored palace of Casa Manzoni. It was here in 1785 that Alessandro Maznoni, author of the novel The Betrothed, was born. Verdi dedicated the Requiem to him. We continue to one of Milan’s best loved department stores for lunch on a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Duomo di Milano, Milan’s magnificent cathedral. In the afternoon we take a private guided tour of the Duomo itself before returning to our hotel. This evening we will attend the second performance on our tour: Opera – L’Eilisr d’Amore with music by Gaetano Donizetti.
A leisurely walk through the city to Castello Sforzesco, a 15th century castle that was built on the remnants of a 14th century fortification. En route, we pass through Piazza Cardusio and the elegant pedestrian street of Via Dante. Our destination is the Musical Instrument Museum and we discover its collection of over 700 15th to 20th century instruments. Following a break for lunch at a local restaurant, the afternoon will be spent at leisure. Shop for souvenirs or do some more sightseeing before we set off for an early light supper so that we can enjoy a backstage tour of the La Scala opera house just before attending the last performance on our tour: Opera – Quartett with music by Luca Francesconi. This will be the final performance of the week.
Today gets off to a leisurely start as we enjoy some more free time. The opportunity to continue to explore this vibrant city and we can enjoy Milan’s incredible shops and museums or simply relax at one of the many coffee bars. After lunch, we depart for Casa Verdi, the final resting place of Giuseppe Verdi. Described by the 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. From here we drive to Linate airport and catch our return flight back to London Heathrow.
- 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
- Opera Tickets - Entry to all performances in the programme. We request the seats in the centre stalls as these offer the best view although seats in boxes are usually more expensive. There is no guarantee that we will get the seats requested as availability is often limited. Where it is possible to avoid boxes as an alternative we will, but in some cases it may be the only option.
Weather in April can be rather unpredictable although it should be pleasantly warm in the latter part of the April. Although you are unlikely to need winter clothing you may wish to pack a jacket and shoes suitable for cooler weather and possible rain.
There will be some walking around Milan although none of the distances are particularly long. The city is flat and most of the centre is closed to traffic. The hotel is about a 5 min walk from the cathedral square and 10 minutes to the La Scala opera house.
We will be walking to and from the opera house on both nights. Both performances start at 20:00. On performance evenings dinners will be served at the hotel. This is so we can have time to eat something before setting off to the opera house where we are treated to a backstage tour just before the performance.
There is no particular requirement regarding a dress code to any of the performances at La Scala although you may feel more comfortable with smart casual clothing.
There is some free time for shopping and exploring the city. Credit cards are accepted in most places although you may need some cash, Euros, for smaller purchases.
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