Jun 10, 2024 4 min read

Ultimate Travel Guide to Rome, Italy - Cultural Experiences

The theaters are the undeniable pride of Rome. Opera and classical ballet enthusiasts will undoubtedly visit one of the grand cultural institutions of the Italian capital.

Theatre Rome, Italy

History and archaeology fans will be able to walk through the remnants of ancient theaters, which served to entertain the public during Ancient Rome.

Theatre of Marcellus

The Theatre of Marcellus (Teatro di Marcello) was created during the Roman Republic (1st century BC) and was then known as Theatrum Marcelli in Latin. The residents of the ancient capital had the opportunity to enjoy drama and outdoor performances by artists.

The construction of a stone amphitheater with a diameter of 111 meters was carried out by Emperor Augustus, who dedicated the building to the memory of his nephew, Marcus Marcellus (Latin: Marcus Marcellus).

The grand theater was made of tuff and lined with travertine. In its heyday, it could accommodate up to 20,000 spectators.

The grand theater was made of tuff and lined with travertine. In its heyday, it could accommodate up to 20,000 spectators.

In the 4th century AD, the Theatre of Marcellus completely lost its original purpose and became deserted. In the early Middle Ages, the building was transformed into a fortress.

In the 16th century, the Orsini family built a residence based on the fortress and the ancient theater. In modern times, residential apartments are located on the upper floors of the Theatre of Marcellus, while the lower floor serves as a venue for small summer concerts.

Pompeii Theatre

The Theatre of Pompey was constructed around 55 BC by the noble Pompey Magnus. This building was the first theater in Ancient Rome made entirely of stone. The theater was part of a vast complex that also included gardens and a curia for Senate meetings. The ancient amphitheater was dismantled for building materials for Christian churches and villas of Roman nobles.

The Theatre of Pompey (Teatro di Pompeo) is now destroyed, remembered mainly for the tragic event of Julius Caesar's (Latin: Julius Caesar) assassination within its walls.

The ancient Roman theatre of Pompey was so grand that in modern Rome, its location now encompasses an entire block and metropolitan area:

  • Via del Biscione, Via di Grotta Pinta, Via dei Chiavari, Via dei Giubbonari, Via del Sudario. These streets are part of the Jewish Ghetto;
  • Largo di Torre Argentina - Piazza Argentina, a corner of Rome where the remains of ancient temples are preserved. In the ancient ruins, the Romans have set up a shelter for homeless cats, which is why Piazza Argentina is known as the place where the cats live.

Modern theaters

Ticket prices range from 20 to 150 euros, but it's not just about the money. Theatre engineers reserve the best seats in advance or purchase a season ticket for any theatre. In response to the question "How to buy a ticket to a Roman theatre?" here is a tip: use the official website of the institution, make reservations, or purchase through online booking.

And most importantly, plan your free time a few months before your anticipated trip to Rome. For high-performance premieres and world-class shows, tickets can even be sold out half a year before the event!

The Eternal City has approximately 10 opera houses, but the demand for classical art is so high that buying a theatre ticket in Rome will not be easy.

Roman Opera Theatre

The Roman Opera House (Teatro dell'Opera di Roma), also known by the name of its founder as Teatro Costanzi, is one of the most renowned cultural institutions in the Italian capital.

The Temple of Roman Opera was built in 1880 by a brilliant entrepreneur, owner of luxury hotels across the country - Domenico Costanzi. One of Costanzi's hotels was located on Via Nazionale, and shortly after the new theatre opened, there was a direct connection to the entertainment venue.

The original architecture of the theatre was Neo-Renaissance, with an interior striking for its elegantly painted dome. Young people in the capital noted the excellent acoustics of the Roman Opera House. The theatre's debut was Gioachino Rossini's opera "Semiramide," which was admired by members of the royal family: King Umberto I and his wife. Despite all the efforts, the money Costanzi invested in the theatre did not yield the expected financial returns.

Terme di Caracalla

Since 1937, some of the summer theatre events of the Roman Opera have been held at the Baths of Caracalla (Terme di Caracalla). In addition to classic opera and ballet, concerts and other events take place at this archaeological site in the capital. The highlight of this series will be a concert by Elton John on July 12, 2015.

Address: Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 7, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Ticket Price: From 20 to 150 euros
Dress Code: Mandatory

Teatro Argentina

The Argentine Theatre (Teatro Argentina) was initially dedicated entirely to opera, but now it also features contemporary art and bold productions.

The theatre building is located in Piazza Argentina (Largo di Torre Argentina), better known as "the place where the cats live." The theatre was constructed in 1731, making it the oldest theatre in Rome. Notably, the builders disregarded the city's historical and architectural heritage, "burying" part of the ancient Roman Theatre of Pompey under the foundation of the new building.

The theatre's reconstruction at the beginning of the 19th century was undertaken at the expense of the influential Sforza-Cesarini family, with Gerolamo Theodoli as the architect. In 1815, Teatro Argentina resumed its activities with the debut of Rossini's opera "The Barber of Seville." Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the stage hosted numerous high-profile premieres, including operas by Giuseppe Verdi and Luigi Pirandello, and plays by Maxim Gorky and Henrik Ibsen.

Teatro Sistina

Teatro Il Sistina was built in 1946 by Marcello Piacentini. In 1949, the institution was dedicated to the growing film industry. However, by the 1960s, the cinema stage began to be used for theatre performances and cabaret shows. Since 2003, Teatro Sistina has held the title of the Italian Musical Comedy Theatre.

Over the years, the vast auditorium, seating 1500, has witnessed performances by world-renowned stars such as Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Burt Bacharach, and Liza Minnelli. Musical productions like "Evita" and "West Side Story" have thrilled the audiences of Il Sistina. Numerous Italian theatre and film actors have showcased their talent on the theatre's stage, including Marcello Mastroianni, Delia Scala, Gigi Proietti, Enrico Salerno, and others.

Plan your visit carefully, as the demand for tickets is high, reflecting the city's status as a global center for classical and modern performances.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to The Traveler.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.