The Teatro Comunale di Bologna is open to everyone who would like to visit us.

The tour, during which visitors will be able to discover all the fascinating aspects of the Theatre, passes through the Respighi Foyer, the auditorium (Sala Bibiena) – renowned for its perfect acoustics – the area below the stalls – star of the Theatre with the splendid pantograph which was once used to raise, lower and move the entire parterre – the Rossini Foyer and other stunning areas with their rich historical background.


The history of the Teatro Comunale is closely linked to culture in the city of Bologna.
The fire that destroyed the Teatro Malvezzi made it necessary to build a new theatre and, following a public debate, the design project was assigned by the Senate of Bologna to Antonio Galli da Bibbiena in January 1756.
The Teatro Comunale was inaugurated on 14 May 1763 staging the first-ever production of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Il Trionfo di Clelia.

The Theatre, one of the first to be built in brick, is located in a thriving part of the city, testament to the intention to have a permanent venue for the community. Structurally faithful to the original design, as the wooden model produced by Bibbiena shows, which is now housed in the International Museum and Library of music of Bologna, the Teatro Comunale is an architectural heritage to discover.

The Sala Bibiena embodies some unique features.
The bell shape of the auditorium, unlike the conventional design (U-shaped) adopted by other Italian theatres, means that the audience is inside of a sound system (of a bell) – allowing them to listen and see perfectly, wherever they are sitting.
Another distinctive feature is the wooden mechanism located below the stalls, designed by Filippo Ferrari in the early 19th century and which started to operate in 1820. This apparatus was used to raise the parterre to stage level, when masked balls and other special events were held, which were frequent at the time.
A great deal of work was carried out to conserve and improve the Teatro’s acoustics and appearance over the years.
From 1853 to 1854, the theatre’s interior was given the red and gold fittings.
In 1931 fire destroyed the stage, leading to new work on the Theatre. Besides the reconstruction with an added level for the stage, a part of the proscenium – one of the biggest of Italian theatres – was also altered. The grand terrace, already designed by Antonio Galli da Bibbiena, was also built during those years, overlooking Piazza Verdi and set back from the portico, giving the theatre an elegant, streamlined appearance.
From 1980 to 1981, new restoration works were carried out to overcome the serious threat to stability caused by woodworm. The furnishings were restored to their original green upholstery and the acoustics were improved.
More recently, in 2016, the seats in the stalls in the Sala Bibiena were replaced and a new acoustic chamber for a rounder, softer sound was built.
Originally designed as a venue for everyone, the Teatro Comunale has been at the heart of city life over the years. A large public theatre for opera, which previously had only been a pursuit of the élite and only staged in halls or theatres built inside the sumptuous villas of the local aristocracy.

The walls of this theatre recount its history and the history of the city of Bologna.

NOTE: As the guided tours are held at the same time as the Theatre’s daily activities (rehearsals, events, activities in the auditorium…), tour routes may vary.


The visits are suspended in August

from Semptember 3rd 2020:

Thursday H 10.30 -italian/english
Friday H 10,30 – italian/english
Saturday H 11.00 | 12.15 – italian/english


50 minutes approx

8€ full price
5€ Under30

Number of participants
35 max

Tickets can be purchased at the box office and online


In collaboration with:

The Teatro Comunale di Bologna is also part of the Gran Tour musical circuit organized by the GAIA Eventi and Le Guide d’Arte Associations.

342 012 04 30 (10.00-13.00)