Even if you don't like opera, a visit to La Scala is more than worth it. The interior of the building looks more like a cathedral than a concert hall. Did you know it was built on the site of a church, the Santa Maria delle Scala, between 1775 and 1778? Verdi established his fame here as well as Maria Callas.
It was severely damaged during the Second World War, but was reopened in 1946. From 2002 to 2004 the building was thoroughly restored. The opening of the theatre season is every year on 7 December, the name day of Saint Ambrose, the patron saint of the city of Milan. That opening is a spectacle: everyone dresses up in the most beautiful clothes and does not merely visit the opera, but also wants to see and be seen.
If you want to attend a performance, you have to be there in time. Ticket sales start two months before the performance in question and are often sold out on the same day. If you manage to get a ticket, a beautiful experience awaits you in the most famous opera house in the world and one of the most popular sights in Milan. Opera (or ballet, or any other performance) of the highest level and that's what the audience expects. It hardly ever happens, but if a performance is disappointing for the audience, it will show. By the way, if you have a ticket, make sure you're on time. After the start of the performance, no one is allowed in, no matter how hard you wave your expensive ticket.
Out of season you can visit the adjacent Museo Teatrale alla Scala. There you can see an overview of the construction and restoration of the theatre, but more interesting are the collections of musical instruments, posters and costumes. Particularly beautiful is the collection of old gramophones and gramophone records.
Website: Teatro alla Scala
Address: Piazza della Scala 1
Times and entrance fees for performances differ.
Consult the Teatro alla Scala website for up-to-date price information and show opening hours.