San Carlo Opera

The oldest continuously operating opera house in Europe, the Teatro San Carlo is a beautiful, newly-restored venue for opera and other cultural events. Its opera company's reputation is second only to La Scala in Milan.

How to Get Tickets

There are several ways to get tickets, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:

    • Box office (in person) - Tues to Sun 10-7 or one hour before a performance, you can buy tickets for any performance. This gives you the best prices and information, although you have to physically go there. This is also the only way to buy tickets within 2 days of the performance.
    • Box office (fax or email) - You can fax or email your credit card information and type of ticket you desire to 081-400-902 or (you can write your request in simple English and it should be understood). The ticket office will send you a confirmation and hold the tickets at the ticket office for pickup (typically 1 hour before the performance). This gives you the same selection and pricing as going in person, although you have less information about specifically which tickets you'll get, and you have to send your credit card information over an unsecure connection.
    • Online - Several websites offer easy ticket-buying, such as vivaticket (which several other sites seem to link to). This is by far the easiest, most secure option, although they have less ticket selection. They will meet you just inside the front door.
    • Under 30 "Last Minute" Tickets - If you are under 30 years old, you can buy special €15 tickets, which go on sale (if any seats are available) one hour before each performance. It's a great, cheap way to enjoy a good show (often with great seats), although of course there is always the possibility that it will be sold out. (You might consider calling the box office at 081-797-2331/2412 in advance to see if it's worth coming.) Unfortunately this is cancelled! Folks under 30 can still get the "Symphonic Card 4 Youth" and "Opera and Symphonic Card 5 Youth" which give you tickets to 4 symphonies (and, for the second card, also 1 opera) for only 40 or 70 euro, respectively (unfortunately only described on the Italian website).

Useful words: platea = orchestra, palcho = box (there are 4 rows: Palcho I, II, III, and IV, each one further up. Palcho II is the best, although what matters more is how close to the center you are--if you are too close to the sides, your view may be obstructed.)

How to Get There

San Carlo is located next to the Royal Palace, Galleria Umberto, and Piazza del Plebiscito. Here are the various ways to get there:

    • Driving - Not for the faint of heart, but essentially the only way to go for a late show. Several parking lots are nearby, including a public one less than a block away next to the Castel Nuovo.
    • Metropolitana Line 2/Cumana - Take either one to Montesanto; walk down Pignasecca (home of a good market) towards via Toledo. (If you get lost, just ask Dov'e via Toledo?). Turn right on via Toledo, heading towards the water. Turn left at Piazza del Plebiscito; the opera house will be on the right. Check the transportation page for when this closes, as well as late-night bus options.
    • Funicular Centrale - Take this from Piazza Vanvitelli in Vomero to Galleria Umberto; walk through the Galleria, turn right in the center, and cross the street to the opera house.

Don't come late! Contrary to normal Italian procedure, they start on time...and latecomers are forced to sit in the worst seats. As they say in Italian, Chi tardi arriva, male allogia.

What to Wear

There is not a strictly enforced dress code, but most men wear a suit or coat & tie (and women wear the equivalent). Black tie is certainly acceptable, and other "nice" clothes (say, slacks & a sweater) are probably OK.

Where to Eat Nearby

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