Massimo Opera House (Teatro Massimo)
The Teatro Massimo opened in 1897 with an inaugural production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff, and still has an annual opera season that runs from fall through spring. Visit this Palermo highlight on a guided walking or Segway sightseeing tour, or stop here on your own during a hop-on-hop-off bus tour.
Architectural tours often include a visit to this spectacular theater, as do itineraries inspired by The Godfather, as the final scenes of The Godfather Part III were filmed here. If visiting the city from September through June, you can also see opera, ballet, or concerts as part of the regular performance season.
Things to know before you go
- Walking tours of Palermo largely take place outdoors; sunscreen and a hat are recommended during summer.
- There are a number of different tours offered daily by the Teatro Massimo, including special tours that give access to the backstage or roof terrace.
- Standard tours of the theater are accessible to wheelchairs; backstage tours are partially accessible and the terrace is not accessible.
- A visit to this historic theater is a must for opera aficionados, but even those who are more interested in architecture than music will enjoy exploring the interiors.
How to get there
The Teatro Massimo is located in the city’s historic center, a pleasant walk from the port, train station, and main city attractions.
When to get there
If you are interested in touring the theater, you can join one of the guided tours that run roughly every hour from 9am to 5p daily. To enjoy a performance, check the schedule from September through June for available dates and tickets.
The Ornate Interiors of The Teatro massimo
Dedicated to King Vittorio Emanuele II, the Teatro Massimo took more than 22 years to build, and seated 3,000 spectators when it first opened. Renovations reduced the number of seats to around 1,380, but kept the tiered theater boxes and the royal box, arranged in the typical horseshoe shape of historic opera houses. Once inside, check out the painted ceiling—the moveable panels can open for ventilation, an important innovation in the meridional climate.
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- Branciforte Palace (Palazzo Branciforte)
- Capo Market (Mercato di Capo)
- Four Corners (Quattro Canti)
- Politeama Garibaldi Theater (Teatro Politeama Garibaldi)
- Vucciria Market (La Vucciria)
- Piazza & Fontana Pretoria
- Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo)
- Church of the Gesù (Chiesa del Gesù)
- Ballarò Market (Mercato Ballarò)
- Mirto Palace House Museum (Palazzo Mirto Casa Museo)
- Palermo Cruise Port (Terminal Crociere di Palermo)
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