There are a few things to bear in mind if you want to enjoy a traditional Italian theatre experience on your next trip to Italy.
When You Should Visit
Despite plenty of open-air options for summer, it’s actually the autumn and winter months that are best for experiencing theatre in Italy. This is when the nights are shorter and cooler, allowing for indoor entertainment with better choreography and acoustics. Season dates vary slightly from venue to venue – for example, Siena’s Teatro dei Rinnovati runs from November to March/April, while the English theatre of Rome runs from October to June – so always check the schedule before you book your trip to Italy.
Where to Buy Cheap Show Tickets
If you don’t want to end up broke by the end of the season, booking ahead is essential for reasonably-priced tickets. Most venues have a website with an online booking option, but you can also choose a one-stop shop like Select Italy or Viva Ticket, both of which cover a variety of theatres.
For discount theatre tickets book your seats on the day or you may qualify as a ‘concession’ (if you’re a student or are over 65). Prices generally vary depending on the show, but opening nights are always more expensive, while the summertime can be cheap as few locals visit indoor theatres.
How You Should Dress
If you’re attending opening night then evening dress is the norm as these can be very ritzy occasions. At any other time, you should still dress up a little – so while you won’t need to include a ball gown or tuxedo when packing for your trip to Italy, avoid wearing jeans, sneakers and hooded sweatshirts at least.
Another general rule of thumb is to never wear purple as this has religious connotations, relating back to when the Catholic Church banned the theatre for forty days before Easter. Of course, this no longer applies but the tradition has stuck, as traditions are apt to do, and so Italians won’t wear purple out of respect for the church.
However you decide to dress, wherever you decide to go and whatever you decide to see, the most important thing is to enjoy your evening. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience or it may be something you do every year, but either way a night at an Italian theatre is always molto speciale.
(Photo by www.tapja.com)