Inspired by the Ancients


Architectural detail of Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, the largest opera house in Italy. Teatro Massimo was designed by Giovan Battista Basile in 1875. The construction was completed by his son Ernesto in 1897. The elder Basile incorporated decorative details from the ancient temples at Agrigento and Selinunte into the theater’s design.

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  1. Lovely detail of this building. It reminded me of the municipal Water Building in Buenos Aires and was built around the same time as this opera house. Very Baroque! Is it still being used for opera?

    1. Yes, Dana! After being closed for “renovations” and political intrigue from the mid-1970s through 1997, it has been restored with glory and Sicilians are very proud of it. And yes, they produce operas most of the year and other events.

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