Rome for Theater Lovers: How to Take Advantage of Rome’s Theater Scene

Rome has been a world capital for theater for millennia. The ancient Romans built theaters across their empire, and those playwrights helped to lay the foundation for theater as we know it. Rome today is home to numerous opera houses and theaters, and whether you prefer opera, ballet, dramas, or comedies, you will find a bustling theater scene to explore during your time studying abroad in Rome.

Here are some of our favorite opera houses and theaters to visit in Rome:

  1. Teatro dell’Opera. Rome’s main opera house is stunning and hosts operas, ballets, and special evening events. If you will be spending time abroad during the summer months, we highly recommend checking out a performance at the Terme di Caracalla, the ruins of Rome’s public baths where the national opera company performs amongst the ruins from July-August. Be sure to check out John Cabot University’s planned trips and activities for your semester abroad, as we often offer nights at the opera at discounted prices.IMG_1331
  2. Teatro Argentina. This privately-owned theater is smaller than the main opera house, but is beautiful and provides a traditional European theater experience. Their season features a wide range of operas, ballets, and other types of performances.
  3. Teatro Olimpico. This modern theater built in the 1930s hosts a wide range of performances, from concerts to dance productions.
  4. Globe Theatre. While only open from June through September, Shakespeare fans will love seeing his plays performed in this reproduction of his original theater in Rome’s Villa Borghese. The majority of plays here performed in Italian, but they do offer some evenings in English. Even if you catch an Italian performance, the experience alone makes it a worthwhile evening during your time abroad.
  5. Salone Margherita. This small opera house mainly hosts opera performances by its theater company. Although not as prestigious as the main theaters, this theater is particularly unique in that your ticket price includes a free pasta break during intermission. If you wish to see an opera performance but are unable to attend a show at one of the larger opera houses, Salone Margherita is a unique alternative.
  6. Teatro Valle. This beautiful opera house has been an issue of contention for the last several years in Rome, as artists occupied the theater to prevent privatization. The opera house is in need of restoration work and an agreement has not yet been reached, but this beautiful theater is definitely worth visiting if you find it open when exploring the historic center.

If you would like to perform or help out backstage during your semester abroad, John Cabot University’s theater groups would love to welcome you! Both the Theater Society and Performing Arts Company produce shows throughout the year, and we also offer drama courses during the fall and spring semesters.

Learn more about applying to John Cabot University in Rome.

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