The Opera House, Teatro Massimo, in Palermo is the largest in Italy.
No, I didn’t attend a performance although it certainly would have been something to write home about. I don’t have the wardrobe.
They started building this in 1874 and it opened five years later with Verdi’s Falstaff. I don’t know much about opera so I can’t tell you much here but I can pass on the news that this theatre is a classic example of the sort of corruption that once plagued Sicily.
The theatre had to be closed temporarily in 1974, but thanks to excessive costs, political problems and, shall we say, criminal controversies, the reopening was delayed for twenty-three years.
I’m not interested in the Mafia. That sort of activity is in the past and everyone in Sicily just wants to put it where it belongs – in history.
(I wonder what role this theatre played in The The Godfather: Part III. I haven’t seen the movie).
I had a coffee in the lovely little piazza and gazed at the theatre, imagining the wonderful crowds who flocked there in the 19th century.
What I would give for a time machine!