Of the many famous opera houses in Italy, few are more legendary than Venice’s Teatro La Fenice. Originally opened in 1792, the theater quickly achieved the status of a major venue for opera performances.
The theater’s name, “La Fenice,” means “The Phoenix.” It was a reference to an earlier theater owned by the same company having burned down, in an optimistic look toward the mythic bird that rises from its own ashes. Unfortunately, the name proved to be a prescient one - La Fenice burned down twice, in 1836 and again in 1996. Both times, the theater was rebuilt. The second fire (and subsequent “whodunit” mystery) was chronicled in John Berendt’s book, “The City of Falling Angels.”