Teatro Massimo Bellini

Top choice in Catania

Completed in 1890 and made for homegrown composer Vincenzo Bellini, Catania's opera house is suitably lavish, from the stucco-and-marble extravagance of the foyer (dubbed the ridotto) to the glory of the theatre itself, wrapped in four tiers of gilded boxes. Its painted ceiling, by Ernesto Bellandi, depicts scenes from four of Bellini’s best-known operas. The Associazione Guide Turistiche Catania (www.guidecatania.it; info@guidecatania.it) runs 45-minute guided tours; email to book a tour and call ahead to confirm times as the theatre isn't always open.