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The Theatre la Scala

An iconic theatre built in 1778 which has consistently held the most famous opera and ballet performances.

TravelCurious Tip

La Scala’s season traditionally opens on 7th December, the feast day of Saint Ambrose, Milan’s patron saint

Often referred to simply as La Scala, Milan’s opera house ranks among the best in the world. Milan’s previous theatre, the Teatro Regio Ducale, was destroyed by a fire in 1776; ninety wealthy, querulous Milanese then clubbed together to ask Archduke Ferdinand of Austria for a new one. They got their way: the church of Santa Maria alla Scala was demolished and within two years La Scala was built on its site, keeping only the name.


Construction was funded by the sale of lavish private boxes and La Scala soon became a popular meeting place for the noble and the rich. The gallery, found above the boxes, was open to the (slightly) less wealthy. These loggionisti could be very vocally critical of performances — and this remains true today. In a truly operatic piece of melodrama in 2006, Roberto Alagna stormed off stage when he was booed by the loggionisti, meaning that his understudy - in T-shirt and jeans - had to be rushed on mid-scene to replace him.


Mostly, however, the drama is kept on stage. Since its inauguration, La Scala’s stage has been graced by many classic operas, from those of Verdi to those of Puccini, and its theatre has been filled by some of the world’s marvellous voices, including Pavarotti, Placid Domingo, Diana Damrau and Cecilia Bartoli. It’s a venue that truly deserves its reputation.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Milan
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
One of the world's oldest shopping malls, this vast emporium is known locally as "Milan's drawing room".
Milan Cathedral
This spectacular Gothic cathedral, took 600 years to build. With Napolean finishing the facade in 1805.
Piazza Mercanti
"Merchants square" is former epicentre of the city where swords, hats and suits of armour were once sold.
Quadrilatero d'oro
The local name for the four streets that contain the world's most famous up-market shopping district.
Museo Poldi Pezzoli
Founded by Gian Poldi Pezzoli this art museum holds a wide variety of Italian and Northern European work.
Museo Bagatti Valsecchi
Originally the Bagatti brother's house, it contains Renaissance furnishings, tapestries and art works.

Related Tours

Full Day Highlights of Milan with Da Vinci’s The Last Supper
In this six hour walking tour, your expert local guide will direct you to some of the most important historical and cultural sites of this magnificent city. 

Milan is a vast, modern city which plays an important role as an Italian economic and industrial hub. However behind this industrious veneer lies a city steeped in history, culture and fashion. Milan is home to stunning frescos and art including that of the great Leonardo Da Vinci. 

Note: this tour must be booked one month in advance for the last supper to be included.

  • Commence at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
  • Snap pictures of Da Vinci's iconic The Last Supper
  • Visit Milan's historic theatre, the Theatre la Scala
  • Walk through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the world's oldest shopping mall
  • Enjoy your time at Piazza Duomo, where the Gothic cathedral stands
  • Stroll through Piazza Mercanti, where suits of armour were once sold
  • Explore the artwork of  Sforza Castle
  • Learn about neoclassical artwork inside Brera Palace
  • Stand in awe of  the San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, a royal chapel
The Last Supper

Your guide will take you to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a Dominican convent and world heritage site which contains world-famous mural of Da Vinci's The Last Supper. This iconic mural depicts the moment Jesus realises that he will be betrayed by one of his disciples. This tour includes skip the line tickets. 

The Heart of Milan

You will visit the Theatre la Scala, an iconic theatre built in 1778 and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world's oldest shopping malls. A vast emporium known locally as "Milan's drawing room". Get to the heart of Milan’s fashion at the Quadrilatero d'oro, the world's most famous upmarket shopping district. Walk through the Piazza Duomo, "Cathedral Square" which is regarded as the heart of Milan to the spectacular Gothic cathedral itself, which took 600 years to build.

Your guide will take you to the Piazza Mercanti or "Merchants Square" where swords, hats and suits of armour were once sold. Explore Sforza Castle, which holds some of Milan's most important artistic work. You will visit the Brera Palace a neoclassical construct containing the Pinacoteca di Brera, an art gallery showcasing Milan's most famous work. Visit the San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore; a royal chapel built in the 16th Century, with stunning frescos that often go missed by Milan's tourists.
Half Day Highlights of Milan with Da Vinci’s The Last Supper
In this four hour tour, your expert local guide will direct you to some of the most important historical and cultural sites of this magnificent city.

Milan is a vast, modern city which plays an important role as an Italian economic and industrial hub. However behind this industrious veneer lies a city steeped in history, culture and fashion. The majestic churches and cathedrals contain stunning frescos and architecture that cannot be missed, and the world renowned fashion district is a fascinating place to explore. In addition the art collections found in Milan boast a wide variety of work which include none other than the great Leonardo Da Vinci. 

Note: this tour must be booked one month in advance for the last supper to be included.

  • Commence at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
  • Snap pictures of Da Vinci's iconic The Last Supper
  • Visit Milan's historic theatre, the Theatre la Scala
  • Walk through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the world's oldest shopping mall
  • Enjoy your time at Piazza Duomo, where the Gothic cathedral stands
  • Stroll through Piazza Mercanti, where suits of armour were once sold
  • Explore the artwork of  Sforza Castle
The Last Supper

Your guide will take you to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a Dominican convent and world heritage site which contains world famous mural of Da Vinci's The Last Supper. Da Vinci's iconic mural depicts the moment Jesus realises that he will be betrayed by one of his disciples. This tour includes skip the line tickets. 

Mercantile Milan 

You will visit the Theatre la Scala, an iconic theatre built in 1778 which has consistently held some of the most famous opera and ballet performances. Next will be a stroll in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world's oldest shopping malls. This vast emporium is known locally as "Milan's drawing room" and is built with an impressive glass-vaulted arcade design.

Your guide will be pleased to take you to the Piazza Mercanti or "Merchants square" where swords, hats and suits of armour were once sold. Explore the adjacent Sforza Castle, the former home of the ruling Sforza dynasty for centuries. It now holds some of Milan's most important artistic work.
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