Thursday, 6 October 2016

A Night at the Opera

With some trepidation we headed off to Spoleto to see a performance of The Masked Ball by Verdi. The trepidation came from us never having been to a full opera before, but we knew a weekend away in a lovely Italian town is always a Good Thing.

The road to Spoleto

Spoleto is a small city of around 40,000 nestled in the hills close to the centre of Italy. It has a long, long history which has left it with a large and beautiful historic centre surrounded by the modern town. It is built on a hill at the end of a valley with views all around, so as you approach there is a castle and a huge aqueduct to see.

Happy concert-goer with tickets

As we had arrived in the afternoon there was only time to dress for the Opera (for me that just meant putting on shoes) and heading out to meet a group of ex-pats in time for a 5pm start. We were very lucky to get seats in a box with a perfect view. The opera house (Teatro Nuovo) is as gorgeous as the photos should attest to. The show took nearly three hours with a couple of breaks - somewhat hard going at the start but it warmed up towards the end with a dramatic finale.

The ceiling of the theatre

As it was a Sunday night and not many restaurants were open we had booked a nearby family restaurant which the (now) elderly owners had been running for 51 years! Sadly it told as we didn’t think the homemade food was particularly good nor good value. Nice but not as good as we’re used to here.

The following morning we spent wandering around this gorgeous town. And we’d have to say it is our new favourite place in our Large Town category. So many interesting buildings and little lanes. The Duomo was certainly a highlight as was the 13th C aqueduct. Unfortunately due to the recent nearby earthquake, at Armatrice, it had been shut for inspection and we couldn’t walk across it.

Saw my favourite car in a model shop
(on the right, though I'd be happy with either)

Detail of ceiling in the Duomo

13th C aqueduct

Duomo interior

English friends Mary Jane, Jeff, [Vicki], and our friend and host Pauline

a delicious lunch

Final reminder of why we were there!

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