Carnival festivities, sumptuous balls in the grand houses lining the Grand Canal, gambling and entertainment have always been part of the city of Venice. Going to the theatre also used to be fashionable: at the end of 1600, there were as many as 18 theatres in Venice. The Commedia dell'Arte of the famous Venetian playwright, Carlo Goldoni, become famous throughout the world. Few of those 18 theatres remain. The most important are:

The most beautiful opera house in the world. It was host to composers such as Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Wagner, Verdi, Britten, Nono, Maderna, and singers such as Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Franco Corelli, Alfredo Kraus, Carlo Bergonzi, Fiorenza Cossotto, Leyla Gencer, Luciano Pavarotti, Mirella Freni, as well as directors such as Serafin, Bernstein, Stravinsky, Maderna, Karajan, Abbado, Muti and Chung.

The second home of the Teatro La Fenice, originally called the Teatro di San Giovanni Grisostomo. It dates from 1677 and was built where the home of Marco Polo had once stood.

This was formerly the Teatro Vendramin of San Salvador and was renamed for the playwright Carlo Goldoni, who presented his works here in 1762, after the 1818 restoration.

See also

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