An opulent opera house in the center of Naples is still a world class cultural venue. The Teatro San Carlo is the oldest opera house in Europe and its sumptuous design was the model for others to follow. It was built in 1737 for King Charles III of the House of Bourbon, 41 years before La Scala in Milan and 51 years before La Fenice in Venice. It has 3,300 seats, and was the largest in the world when it opened. San Carlo Theater became an immediate success and musical destination. It has perfect acoustics, and attracted famed composers Rossini and Verdi to perform their works there.

The horseshoe shape has six levels of tiered boxed, decked out in luxuriant velvet and highlighted in gold. Originally blue and gold for the colors of the Bourbons, it now boasts a rich red and gold color scheme. Floor seating is staggered to offer good views of the stage. Crystal chandeliers, velvet draperies and painting complete the perfect scene. It is a truly beautiful theatre, one that exudes class and culture. San Carlo is still active, offering a full seasonal program of opera, symphony and ballet.

Tours of the theater are offered daily between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

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Address in Naples:

Via San Carlo, 98.

Ph. (+39) 081 797 2111.

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