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Located in Piazza Verdi at the corner of Via Maqueda and Via Cavour, the Teatro Massimo was one of the world's largest theatre complexes when construction was begun in 1895 according to designs by Giambattista and Ernesto Basile. The vast structure was nearly complete by 1897 and is said to be haunted by the ghost of a nun who lived in the convent that once stood on this location.
Its main gallery is about the same size as that of La Scala (Milan). The Teatro Massimo is one of Italy's most famous opera houses, and a monument to the Neo Classical movement. To moviegoers, the most famous performance associated with the Teatro Massimo took place not on the theatre's stage but on its steps, during the last scene of The Godfather Part III, filmed here in 1990. The Teatro Massimo web site is linked from our Links Page.
Another nineteenth century opera house, the Politeama Garibaldi, is located a few blocks away in Piazza Ruggero Settimo near the intersection of Via Libertà and Via Dante. This structure was completed three decades prior to the Massimo, and though it is considerably smaller boasts very good acoustics.
© 2008 Best of Sicily Travel Guide. Used by permission.