Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily

I loved Palermo so much I can’t possibly sum it all up in one, two, or even three posts. So for the next several Mondays, I’m going to share travel tales from Palermo . . .

Palermondays are here!

Now you may remember that before Cherrye and I set off for our trip to Sicily, I mentioned wanting to visit the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. Well we did!

Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Sicily on Flickr

This magnificent opera house opened in 1897 in part to provide national unity for the newly formed country of Italy; remember the Risorgimento and unification of Italy only occurred in the 19th century.

Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Sicily on Flickr

As the largest opera house in Italy and the third largest in all of Europe, Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele seats 1,350 and features 7 tiers of boxes around an inclined stage, all in the shape of a horseshoe.

Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Sicily on Flickr

The opera house was built by the architect Giovanni Battista Filippo Basile, paying homage to classic Sicilian architecture; the exterior is reminiscent of the ancient Greek temples of Selinunte and Agrigento.

Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Sicily on Flickr

Take a virtual tour of Teatro Massimo here.

Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Sicily on Flickr

Don’t forget to come back next week for another Palermonday!

32 Beans of Wisdom to “Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily”
  1. I like this series. Nice photos. I cannot wait to see Palermo in person.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Red tape, Spaghetti All’amatriciana, a nice tub

    Palermo is so special. The end of February turned out to be a *fabulous* time to visit πŸ™‚

  2. 04.28.2008

    I had a whole plan to see “Manon Lescaut” at that theatre in June. Now it may not go that way… but I appreciate these pics, if for no other reason than to get Sofia Coppola’s horrible “acting” at the end of Godfather III out of my mind…

    Paolo’s last blog post..Requiem for a dream?

    I actually thought of your plan when I was preparing this. Che tragedia if you don’t go….

    As for Sofia, luckily I had other things (named Garcia) to distract me πŸ˜‰

  3. 04.28.2008

    Yeah, watching Andy chew up the scenery almost made that movie watchable. Can you see about getting him declared an honorary Italian?

    Paolo’s last blog post..Requiem for a dream?

    Excellent idea. I recently watched AG on Inside the Actor’s Studio (YouTube is my friend). Incredible.

  4. Gil

    My wife has to retire so we can get to Sicily in nice (warm not hot) weather as the two or three days we spent there barely touched the beauty that Sicily seems to offer! Thanks again for sharing.

    For now, Gil, be sure to come back here on Monday for more Palermo πŸ˜‰ And yes, Sicily has so many wonderful things to see and do…it’s a whole other world really πŸ™‚

  5. 04.28.2008

    I love the colours on the facade of the building, that wonderful red and burnt orange they look so striking against the stone.

    amanda’s last blog post..The rule of threes

    I loved those banners too; just had to work them into some close-ups πŸ™‚

  6. vanessa

    It’s such a cool theatre – did you try to take a photo of the whole buidling – too big to fit in one frame!!

    We went to see a show there – actually ti was a final dress rehearsal – and were in one of the boxes on the side. Pretty much all the other guests there were old men and it SO reminded me of the muppets and the old dudes in the wings who criticise everything.

    Pretty damn awesome place. Would be good if they had SET time for tours thought, instead of ‘waiting until enough people turn up’…..

    Yeah we didn’t even try for a tour; we were there around 5 pm on a Sunday evening in February so I can’t imagine much was possible. There *were* a lot of people around, very fashionable–definitely the fancy part of Palermo πŸ˜‰

  7. figcharlie

    Do you hop over there quite often then? Swim or ferry?

    figcharlie’s last blog post..saluting

    Actually that was only the second time I’ve gone over to Sicily in the 5 years I’m here. And funny you should ask about swimming–the ticket-checker on the train joked about swimming when I asked how we actually got from that train to mainland Sicily (you see, we had to get off at a place that wasn’t listed on our tix so it wasn’t a stupid question, but he was less than helpful–go figure. Good thing I knew the name of the place the ferries left from!).

  8. 04.28.2008

    Palermo is one of my favourite places too – next time you plan a trip back to Sicily you should go to Mondello if you have not already been. It is in Palermo, but is a beach front ‘suburb’ on the outskirts. There are massive villa’s lining the sea front and the area is just stunning. I told bel ragazzo that I want to live there πŸ™‚ Well one can dream can’t they? Also did you go to Cefalu on your trip? You must go there next time too. So, so vey pretty.

    Leanne’s last blog post..Pretty wildflowers

    We didn’t make it to Mondello, but it was also February, so I doubt there would’ve been much point to it–we were wearing winter jackets! And we did pass through CefalΓΉ and wanted to stop but we just didn’t have time. Next time though πŸ™‚

  9. Joanne

    My hubby spent a month in Palermo the summer before we got married and he fell in love. With Palermo of course! I went down for a weekend while he was there and it was just magical. Sadly we have never managed to get back even though we have been to Catania and Messina since we got married. Sigh, there are just too many places to visit. We need to quit our jobs and travel for a living. Let’s get sponsors!!!

    Joanne’s last blog post..Food pop culture 1

    I’m *so* with you there Joanne. Travel sponsors would be fabulous!

  10. 04.28.2008

    Wow, that place is huge. I can just imagine how great it would be to get all dressed up and go to an opera with a full-house πŸ˜‰

    My Melange’s last blog post..Healthy Pasta

    Would be wonderful, wouldn’t it?!

  11. 04.28.2008

    I just love traveling vicariously through your blog! You take such fantastic photos too.

    kacey’s last blog post..Mama’s Got a Brand New…

    And I love when you travel with me Kacey–remember to come back next Monday for more Palermo πŸ™‚

  12. 04.28.2008

    I never realized how beautiful it was there! Thanks for sharing.

    Devon Ellington’s last blog post..Monday, April 28, 2008

    More next Monday Devon! My pleasure to share πŸ™‚

  13. 04.28.2008

    I wish I knew then what I know now! I was in Sicily 3 times. Once at age 5, 11 and 18. My 18th year was the best. I was there for 3 months.
    What a life! But it always is when you are a guest! Hoping to go back one day with my family for a visit.
    I stayed in Palermo with an Aunt once but they only took me to Termini Imerese, the beach and Campagnia.

    Lucy’s last blog post..HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTINE!

    Oh experiences are so different as you get older and more, ahem, mature πŸ˜‰ Hope you get to go back too πŸ™‚

  14. 04.28.2008

    I’ve never been to Palermo but I know it’s such a lovely city. Very nice pictures!

    Pip’s last blog post..Torta con cocco e lime

    Grazie Pip πŸ™‚

  15. 04.28.2008

    The name of that town makes me think of a boy I went to high school with…Peter Palermo, he must have been Italian.
    I love Italy and I hope to visit Palermo one day…and Calabria too!

    meredith’s last blog post..Foire aux Plantes

    Yes yes *and* Calabria Meredith!

  16. 04.28.2008

    Oh what fun! Palermondays!! Like someone else said, it is such a joy to travel vicariously through you! Thanks!

    Glad you enjoyed today Dory…more on the way πŸ™‚

  17. Superb! That means I get to travel to Palermo on Mondays now too!

    Susan from Food Blogga’s last blog post..Baby Artichoke and Asparagus Risotto

    Yes yes! Hope you enjoy Susan πŸ™‚

  18. 04.28.2008

    Hm…..seems like I have to put Palermo on my list of places I want to visit in Italy πŸ™‚

    Absolutely Britt-Arnhild! Good to see you πŸ™‚

  19. 04.28.2008

    What gorgeous photos of the building detail! Thanks for sharing!

    Elizabeth’s last blog post..A Different Kind of Meet-Up

    Thanks Elizabeth, and thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  20. 04.28.2008

    How insanely beautiful! I have yet to see an opera in Italy, even though I have been there during opera season…they seem to not have any going on…LeSigh.

    sadira’s last blog post..Comfort Food…

    What horrible luck! Although I have to say catching things open and operating while visiting places in Italy *can* be quite a task….

  21. 04.28.2008

    HA! Palermondays! I love it. I’m glad I’ll get to take some virtual trips through Palermo weekly…great photos!

    Karina’s last blog post..Fun Monday – Walk with me…

    Thanks Karina! See you next week (if not before) πŸ˜‰

  22. 04.28.2008

    Love the pics.. Hope it was fun for you. Can’t wait to see more. xo

    bella’s last blog post..fruitylicious

    So, so, so much fun Bella…and more photos on the way πŸ™‚

  23. SabineM

    Lovely post and shots. Funny, my community here in Southern CAl is called Palermo. I always hate to even say it because it LOOKS NOTHING LIKE ITALY!
    DArn it!
    I need to move!

    Oh that’s funny Sabine! I always see something about a community in Florida called Calabria too….

  24. 04.29.2008

    Beautiful pictures. I feel like I was there. πŸ™‚

    Cherrye’s last blog post..Travel Tip Tuesday

    Hee hee πŸ™‚

  25. 04.29.2008

    Ah, I’m so looking forward to more of your Palermo posts… I’ve never been, but I sure do want to after reading your fabulous posts and GORGEOUS photos! : )

    Concetta’s last blog post..Frappuccino & More WMHB

    I look forward to having you along Concetta πŸ™‚

  26. 04.30.2008

    What gorgeous photos! I simply have to find a way to get back to Italia!

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday: Simple Breads 2 – Crusty Bread

    Thanks Jen; come on over πŸ™‚

  27. 05.02.2008

    Nice! Were you able to take in a performance?

    Not this time πŸ™ Someday though!

  28. 05.02.2008

    OH MY GOSH. That’s so gorgeous! I am dying to get there and walk the streets, breathe the air, touch the places that humanity has built and let all of it soak right into me.


    Love that lion, he’s magnificent.

    Thank you.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    Wanderlust Scarlett’s last blog post..The Road Ahead

    Would love to walk those streets with you…and then take in a quick opera πŸ˜‰

    I knew V would love the lion!

  29. 05.06.2008

    I love those photos! What a beautiful building…your photos compliment the building much more than the Godfather did (although I didn’t mind looking at Andy Garcia πŸ™‚

    I wonder if the inside shown in the movie was that actual inside of the Teatro Massimo? I’m sorry I missed seeing this building the day I visited Palermo. I guess I will just have to return.

    I’ve wondered about the inside too–never looked it up to find out though. We *almost* missed this too since it’s kind of off on its own as far as sites go, but I’m happy we braved the bus system to get there πŸ™‚

  1. [...] again! If you missed the first installment, please check out last Monday’s visit to Teatro Massimo... bleedingespresso.com/2008/05/palermos-la-fontana-della-vergognafountain-of-shame.html
  2. [...] weeks ago, we visited Italy’s largest opera house, Teatro Massimo, and last week we were at La Fon... bleedingespresso.com/2008/05/quattro-canti-in-palermo.html
  3. [...] visiting Teatro Massimo, La Fontana della Vergogna, and Quattro Canti, we’re now continuing along ... bleedingespresso.com/2008/05/palermo-la-porta-nuova.html
Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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