The “Mini Scala” a stone’s throw from Lake Como
Nicknamed the “Mini Scala” after hosting the Teatro alla Scala after it was bombed in 1943, the Teatro Sociale in Como is among the oldest and most impressive theatres in northern Italy.
Designed by architect Giuseppe Cusi, it was opened in 1813 on the site of the Castello della Torre Rotonda by the Società dei Palchettisti (Box-holders’ Society) with a performance of “Hadrian in Syria”, before the facades were completed.
It has been modified several times over the decades. The current painting of the ceiling vault, depicting the Muses descending from Olympus to crown the artists, was designed by Gaetano Speluzzi and painted by Eleuterio Pagliano during extension restoration work in 1855. The hall is shaped like a cello case with five tiers of seats, two of which are dedicated to the galleries.
In 1938, the Teatro Sociale Arena was converted into an open-air theatre able to seat up to 4,000 people. The Como City of Music Festival is held there every year between June and July, with a programme featuring operas, concerts, ballets and plays.