Take a seat, Sicily is such a beautiful show! Maybe you have already read the article about theaters in Sicily (if not, click here), well…now it’s time to discover some other special venues on the island. Let’s start our cultural journey together.
So many theaters in Sicily, each of them has a story and it’s interesting to know their curiosities and peculiarities. From Palermo to Segesta, from Cefalù to Syracuse, let’s see where you can enjoy shows and live performances. Let’s lift the curtain!
Teatro Politeama, Palermo
Teatro Politeama Garibaldi is located in the city center of Palermo and is the second most important theater of the city. It was inaugurated on June 7th 1874 and the opera they chose for the opening night was ‘I Capuleti e i Montecchi’ composed by Vincenzo Bellini. For many years this theater was known as Teatro Municipale Politeama but when Giuseppe Garibaldi died in 1882, it was named after him. Visitors cannot avoid being enchanted by the Neoclassical architecture of the building, moreover on the top of triumphal arch, you can see a bronze quadriga that depicts the Triumph of Apollo and Euterpe flanked by two statues of knights on horseback. If you love classical music, this is definitely the place to be since it houses the Symphonic Sicilian Orchestra.
Teatro Antico, Segesta
Let’s travel towards the province of Trapani, we are stopping now in Segesta. If you visit the archaeological area of this town, you’ll be amazed by this suggestive ancient theater. It’s one of the oldest theaters in Sicily and dates back to III century BC, when the inhabitants of Segesta built it on the top of Monte Barbaro. Sea and hills are the natural background of this venue that still nowadays is used for any kind of performance since it can host up to 5,000 people. Every summer, the magic begins. It’s a sort of time machine, open your eyes and start dreaming: actors, music and dancers will create the best atmosphere ever.
Teatro Cicero, Cefalù
Sometimes, theaters in Sicily hide a secret. And Teatro Cicero in Cefalù keeps a huge secret! In 1988, Giuseppe Tornatore decided to use this theater as a location for the set of ‘Cinema Paradiso’. Thanks to this movie, Teatro Cicero got an outstanding visibility all around the world. It was built in 1818 using the traditional shape of Italian theaters and at the beginning of the XX century – due to the increasing popularity of cinema – was turned into a movie theater. Over the years, Teatro Cicero was used for many different purposes, was renovated and nowadays is open again for the community of Cefalù and all visitors who want to jump into a very special location.
Teatro Greco, Syracuse
This is a true monument, welcome to the Ancient Theater of Syracuse. It is a part of the Unesco World Heritage Site of Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica and is considered one of the most beautiful locations in the world. It dates back to the V century BC and was renovated in Roman Age. Here in Syracuse, in 456 BC, Aeschylus presented his tragedy ‘The Aitnans’ to celebrate the re-foundation of Catania, at that time called Aitna. Even ‘The Persians’, that had already been performed at Athens in 472 BC, may have been performed at the Ancient Theater of Syracuse.
Nowadays the tradition goes on, so every summer the Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico (INDA) organizes some performances of Greek tragedies at the sunset. It’s one of the most attractive events happening on the island, people come even from abroad. And you, what are you waiting for?
The curtain falls and…applause!