Published On: Thu, Sep 8th, 2016

Why we love these five open air venues

Not only does Italy boast a fantastically distinguished and high-profile operatic heritage, the nation also has some stunning open air venues to match…

Verona Arena, Verona, Veneto


Built in 30AD, this incredible Roman amphitheatre is the third largest in existence and provides an out-of-this-world setting for the city’s three-month opera season, from June to August. Blessed with an enormous stage area, this atmospheric venue has hosted a multitude of operas since 1913, when the festival was first staged.

In Roman times the venue could seat up to 30,000 people, but for safety reasons this is restricted to around half the number for today’s shows – still pretty impressive going.

Italia!’s production editor Jenny visited for the 2008 opera season to see Verdi’s Nabucco on a balmy June evening: “It was sensational. Even before the performance began, I loved watching the amphitheatre fill up with locals, tourists and opera fans of all ages as the day’s light began to dim, and each row was alive with the movement of fluttering fans. The opera itself was wonderfully stirring – all the more so as the heavenly voices of the singers drifted upwards into the starry night sky.”

Why we love these five open air venues

Macerata Sferisterio, Macerata, Le Marche


Originally designed built as a sports venue in the 19th century, the Sferisterio is now one of Italy’s finest open-air venues, boasting glorious acoustics. Opera and ballet fans head to this stunning neo-classical venue in the summer, where the acclaimed Stagione Lirica festival is held in July and August.

Why we love these five open air venues

Nuovo Gran Teatro all’Aperto, Torre del Lago, Tuscany


Set right by the lake in Puccini’s famous home-town, this new venue is the setting for the annual Puccini festival, and is a fittingly romantic and evocative place to watch such operatic classics as La Bohème or Madama Butterfly. Indeed, once you’ve seen them here, nowhere else will quite compare.

Why we love these five open air venues

Terme di Caracalla, Rome, Lazio


In summertime, ever since 1937, Rome’s famous Teatro del’Opera moves its performances to the dramatic ruins of the ancient Roman Baths of Caracalla. It’s a space that provides a spectacular spot for open-air opera, right on the site of a breathtaking architectural wonder.

Why we love these five open air venues

Piazza del Duomo, Spoleto, Umbria


This terraced square outside the city’s cathedral acts as one of the main venues for Spoleto’s acclaimed Festival dei Due Monde – it is in this location that several of the festival’s opera performances are held, as well as the atmospheric final performance of the festival.

Why we love these five open air venues

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