Malibran Theatre

Campiello del Teatro, 5873, Cannaregio 30133 Venezia VE, Italy

The Malibran Theater is one of the largest and most luxurious Venice theaters. It is also one of the best-known opera houses in the city. The Malibran Theater played an important role in Venetian society over the centuries. So why is it so important for Venetians and what can you expect from the visit? Let’s find out!

How to get to the Malibran Theater

On the Venice map, you’ll find the Malibran Theater in Cannaregio, the second-largest Venice neighborhood. The theater stands on a hidden Corte del Teatro o de l’Opera. You can either walk or use a vaporetto. Rialto is the closest water bus stop, a recognized Venice location with an iconic Rialto Bridge. It takes about a 5-minute walk to reach the theater from there. 

How to visit the Malibran Theater

Many guided walking tours around San Marco include a stop at the Malibran Theater. You can explore the theater’s exterior while learning some intriguing facts. Alternatively, you can see a performance. Book your tickets on the official website of the La Fenice Theater, but make sure the performance takes place in Malibran Theater and not Teatro La Fenice

History & architecture - the Marco Polo’s house

Did you know Marco Polo’s house once stood in the same place until it was destroyed in 1597? Today, you can find a memorial plank on Corte Seconda del Milion (look it up on the Venice map!). 

The theater became one of Venice theaters in 1677. Its original name came from the nearby church of San Giovanni Crisostomo. Yet in 1835, the theater received the name after a famous singer Maria Garcia Malibran. After having performed "La Sonnambula", she refused her fee and donated it for the theater’s renovation. 

The designer behind the Malibran Theater was Tomasso Bezzi, commissioned by the Grimani brothers. It was once the most extravagant and the richest one of Venice theaters. The opera performances held there were mostly for private guests from the Venetian nobility. 

The building of the Malibran Theater we see today is the result of renovations in 1919 and 2001. It features wider boxes and an elongated gallery, reminiscent of its original structure.

Why you should visit

The Malibran Theater attracts thousands of spectators from Italy and abroad. It has a capacity of about 900 seats. Most travelers come here for the elegant ambience and a more local feeling. Compared to the well-known Teatro La Fenice, this theater is usually full of Venetians and people from all over Italy. 

Surely, the performances are of high quality. The Malibran Theater has hosted various artists, musicians and the most beautiful Italian operas. We remember performances by Giuseppe Verdi, such as “La Traviata”, “Nabucco”, “Trovatore” and “Falstaff”, as well as operas by Bellini and Wagner. 

Things to do in the area

The location of the Malibran Theater on the Venice map is very central. That means it’s close to the most popular Venice attractions including the stunning St Mark’s Basilica on Piazza San Marco

It is also where you’ll find the Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr, and the Marciana National Library. Besides, you can get a discounted ticket to all these Venice museums if you visit all three.

One place we really wouldn’t want you to skip is the nearby Santa Maria dei Miracoli. It is one of the most unique Venice churches, located only 5 minutes away. Also known as the Marble Church, it features an early Renaissance architecture, incredible artwork inside, and has a miraculous story behind it. 

Already mentioned above, another legendary Venice location nearby is Ponte di Rialto. It is the bridge you can see on most people’s Venice photographs. To see the authentic Venice life, head to the Rialto Market. There you’ll find the freshest seafood and local produce.