Teatro La Fenice is one of the most popular destinations in Venice, Italy. Indeed, it is an opera house that attracts thousands of theater fans every year. Because of its immense importance in the history of the country’s theater in general, and the history of the opera overall, Teatro La Fenice is a landmark attraction in Italy.
In the 1900s, Tearto La Fenice was one of the most well renowned opera theaters in the world. In fact, the four biggest composers of the bel canto era had their opera premiered here, that is, Verdi, Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini. The name of the opera theater is related closely to its history.
The theater was initially closed down due to a dispute over the ownership of the land on which it is built. But once the noble Veneers reclaimed the land, they rebuilt a more lavish and majestic opera house than the one that stood there before.
The name of the opera still stands as a testament to its resilience and its ability to rise from its own ashes. The theater was burned down three times over the course of history, but to this day, it stands tall and proud. The first fire happened in 1774, the second in 1836, and the last one in 1996.
After the 1996 fire, the theater was rebuilt again and opened in November 2004. To commemorate this occasion, Italians and Europeans started the tradition of the Venice New Year’s Concert that is now held annually.
How To Reach
Here are the best ways to reach the opera house from the airport:
1. Take the ‘A’ Ferry
This ride will take you straight from the Venice Marco De Polo airport to the opera house. After a short walk from the airport, you will reach the port, and from there, you can take the ferry. The entire journey will be just over an hour, and it will cost you around 15 EUR. The public ferry is the most efficient way of travelling to the opera house.
2. Ride the Trams
There are several trams that take passengers from the airport to the opera house. You can either take the ‘Autostradale’ which offers a direct connection between the two destinations. Or you can take the ‘Line 35’ tram from Marco Polo Airport which will take you to Piazzale Roma. From here, you will have to walk about 25 minutes to reach the opera house. This whole journey will cost you around 8 EUR.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Teatro La Fenice during spring, that is, between May and June, or in fall, that is, between September and October. This is because the weather of Italy is the most pleasant during these months. The most lavish and prestigious performances are held during Spring and Fall, that is why, it is recommended to plan your visit during these months.
Besides, between March and April, for instance, the weather is quite hot. The sun is very strong and unpleasant, and you may not want to step out during this time, like the many locals. Additionally, between July and August, the country sees the monsoon weather.
Since the opera house is located near a high tide shore, it is not recommended to go there during this time, as the high tide may result in flooding of roads. Furthermore, this can also delay public transportation, and you may have to rent or buy rubber shoes to protect yourself from the water.
Between November and February, the country experiences quite cold weather. But it is also the low tourist season or off-season, so you might get some cheap flights and accommodation. However, the theater does not have that many performances during these months.
Moreover, you can check the calendar of the theater on their official website in advance, so that you know which performances you want to see and you can plan your trip accordingly.
Other Essential Information
Location: Campo San Fantin, 1965, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Timing: The opera house is open every day between 10 am and 6 pm without an opera performance. However, the opening hours may differ during any production, usually in the earlier half of the day.
Entry Fee: If you just want a tour of the opera house, it will cost you around EUR 20. But if you want to see a performance, you will have to consult the box office at the opera house, as the prices of these tickets change from time to time depending on the season, as well as the performance itself.
It is recommended to arrive at the opera house half an hour before the beginning time of the performance you are there to see, because you may need some time to buy tickets at the box office. You can also collect tickets for upcoming performances beforehand at the opera house. The information regarding various upcoming performances in the next few months can be found on the website of the opera house.
Photography: If there are no rehearsals running during your tour of the opera house, you can take pictures free of charge. However, it should be noted that no pictures should be taken during a performance or rehearsal, nor should you use these pictures for any commercial purposes. You can also hire a professional photographer inside the opera house if you want to take some professionally done photoshoots.
Distance from Nearest Airport:
14 km from Venice Marco De Polo Airport.
History of Teatro La Fenice
Teatro La Fenice was founded in 1792. During the 1900s, the theater staged many operas and world premiers of famous artists like Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, Gioachino Rossini, and Gaetano Donizetti. 29 plans were submitted for the new design of the opera house.
The plan by architect Giannantonia Silva’s design won. Work on the building started in 1791, and speedily completed in April of 1792. Soon after its opening, the opera house gained reputation as one of the most splendid operas in Europe.
Near the end of the 1800s, Venice had seven major theaters, and the grandest of them was the Teatro San Benedetto. However, there was a judicial dispute over the ownership of the land. And the theater was handed over from the Noble Association of Box-Holders, under whom the theater originally functioned, to the nobles of the Venier family.
La Fenice was then reconstructed in an image even grander than the original theater. Because of its rebirth and change in fortune after all the troubles it had to go through, the theater was named La Fenice. Unfortunately, a fire consumed the opera again in the year 1836.
The association that overlooks the functioning of the theater immediately started its reconstruction, and the work was completed in record time – within one year. By the end of 1837, on December 26, the opera house opened again to the public.
On January 29, 1996, the opera house for the second time was consumed by fire. Legend says that this time it was arson. The plans for reconstruction began under the supervision of Aldo Rossi, and the opera, true to its name, rose again out of its own ashes and reopened in 2003 and has remained open since.
Architecture of Teatro La Fenice
In 1792, the architecture of the building was planned by Architect Giannantonio Selva. In fact, the façade of the building as designed by him is the only part of the opera house that has survived the two subsequent fires. The façade is primarily neo-classical, and bears the theater’s insignia of a phoenix.
There are also two statues of the goddesses of dance and tragedy: Melpomene and Terpischore. The foyer of the opera house is symmetrical – the right side is a mirror image of the left. There is also a plaque in the right wing which commemorates the transfer of shares of the opera.
The current interiors of the opera house is based on the designs created by Aldo Rossi. You can see various paintings of female figurines on the ceiling, and paintings of cherubs just outside the boxes. With a movable orchestra platform, fire-resistant velvet curtains, and change in colour of the boxes from beige to a pastel green.
Teatro La Fenice indeed has managed to stay modern with the times while still maintaining the architectural elements of the age when it was first built.