Festival Verdi when in Parma, Italy is a must, ouritalianjourney.com

Teatro Regio and Festival Verdi

So you are in Parma, Italy – home of Parmesan Reggiano and Prosciutto but guess what else? Home of one of the greats… Giuseppe Verdi!

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Teatro Regio di Parma

The Teatro Regio di Parma was originally constructed as the Nuovo Teatro Ducale Theatre and is the opera house in Parma, Italy. Located in the heart of Parma, at Strada Giuseppe Garibaldi, 16/a. It’s a must-see when visiting this beautiful town.

Gary and I took a private tour just before we were lucky to attend the 2016 Festival showing of Giuseppe Verdi’s, Il Trovatore.

The 1,400-seat auditorium, with four tiers of boxes topped by a gallery (which used to be complexly open), was inaugurated on May 16, 1829, when it presented the premiere of Vincenzo Bellini’s Zaira, but with all of its showings, it did not prove to be popular with the Parma audiences.  

Teatro Regio, Parma, home of the Festival Verde, ouritalianjourney.com
back of teatro

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The Teatro Regio achieved prominence in the years after 1829, especially after the composer Giuseppe Verdi, who was born only 20 miles from Parma, achieved fame after he came to direct Nabucco in 1843, which was a huge success. Since that time, the Teatro Regio has staged every one of his operas. Verdi was adopted by Parma as its native son.


Teatro Regio, Parma
the royal seats

For those who might not recognize the name, Giuseppe Verdi was to opera what the Beatles and Rolling Stones were and are to rock and roll.

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Teatro Regio, Parma
the stage

Festival Verdi

Today, the company stages about four operas each season from mid-January to April, and, since 2003, it has presented an annual Verdi Festival each October in honor of the Maestro’s birthday. The festival is a delightful way to experience traditional and contemporary stagings of Verdi’s works.

Gary and I were very lucky to get the last few seats (and great ones too!) for the October 23rd showing of Il Trovatore, as part of the 2016 Festival Verdi. A central figure in Italian opera for much of the nineteenth century, Giuseppe Verdi wrote a total of twenty-eight operas. Almost half of them have been staples of the international operatic repertoire since their first productions. Verdi composed some of the most enduring operas of all time. 

In Conclusion…

Il Trovatore | Our night at the opera

The opera was amazing. We sat in Box 11 and met several nice people. Three of the people we met traveled from Milan, Bologna, and Genoa to see this opera. What struck me was that the words were projected above the stage in Italian and English. I asked Fabrizio (one of the gentlemen in our box seat) if that was common in Italy and he said that it was. Interesting.

Teatro Regio, Parma
Gary and I in 2016

Editor’s Note:  This post was initially published in February 2017, and was updated in April 2024 for accuracy and additional information.



  1. You did MUCH better than we did. Our seats–only ones available for the obscure opera Le Due Foscari–were up against the ceiling! Couldn’t see a thing. But the music was beautiful. No supertitles as I recall. Maybe that’s a new thing.

  2. We visited this beautiful opera house when in Parma 2 years ago but unfortunately, there were no performances scheduled. We Did attend an opera at Teatro Massimo in Palermo and while it is certainly a thrilling experience, the boxes are small, confining and stiflingly hot. As we usually travel in warmer weather weather, we will have to look for outdoor performances in the future. Beautiful article, though.

  3. Ilene. Looks amazing. Hope you had some great meals in Parma also
    My wife and I spent 2 weeks there in 2018 and didn’t want to leave!
    Godersi! Jeff in Florida

  4. That looks wonderful, however, we’re limited to traveling by the schedule of the university where I teach. We are in the early stages of planning another Italian road trip for next (late) spring. We thoroughly enjoyed our month-long drive around Italy this year and are sorry we missed you in Lucca. We cancelled our stay in Bologna this past spring due to the floods and had planned to go there in the upcomng spring. However, we’re now considering Parma instead. Any recommendations? Whichever one we stay in, we plan to do a day trip t the other.

    1. Ciao Dennis – yes, we are sorry we missed you when visiting Lucca. We stayed in one place in Parma for the entire time- Residenza Cavour which was more modern than we like (and really a hotel) but we arrived in August and you know what that means in Italy. It was a great location and they let us keep two of their bikes in the lobby to use our entire time. We really enjoyed staying there and visiting Bologna. Hope that helps.

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