The imposing Politeama Garibaldi Theater overlooks Palermo’s Piazza Ruggero Settimo with its triumphal arch entrance. It was built in the late 19th century, and today is home to the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana.
The word “politeama” comes from Greek and refers to the theater being built for multiple purposes, since Palermo already had a grand opera house in the Teatro Massimo. It’s primarily known for the Orchestra, however, and looks every bit inside like the classic Italian theater it is.
The theater itself is all red velvet and gold, with two levels of theater boxes lining the semi-circular main seating area. Two rows of columns ring the outside of the circular building, meeting at the triumphal arch at the entrance. Even the theater’s curtain at the front of the stage is a work of art, depicting a scene from Greek mythology painted in 1891.
Some Palermo tours include visits inside the Politeama Garibaldi Theater, and hop-on hop-off bus tours through the city stop nearby if you want to visit on your own.
Guided tours of the Politeama Garibaldi Theater must be booked in advance and last approximately 20 minutes.