excerpt from 'Italy Volume 1' pp. 94-96 (244 words)

excerpt from 'Italy Volume 1' pp. 94-96 (244 words)

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Italy Volume 1

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After the Duomo, there is no shrine in Milan so attended, no edifice so prized, as the THEATRE OF THE SCALA. The ideas of pleasure and of devotion may indeed be here confounded by an inseparable association; for it was on the ruins of the ancient church of SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA, that in 1778 this splendid and extensive theatre was built.


In the upper boxes a few lights twinkled, where Tarocco is played, in cadence to Rossini's delightful symphonies. The fronts of the boxes almost uniformly exhibit a tête-à-tête; sometimes a lady and gentleman, sometimes two ladies: for two only appear in front, though the back of the box may be crowded. The ladies take off their large bonnets and hang them on the box, exactly as at Paris […] The most scrupulous ladies of the highest ranks come alone in their carriage to the opera. As soon as they enter their box, and have glanced their eye along the circles, giving or returning the Italian salutation, which has something at once infantine and coquettish in its beckoning gesture, they turn their back to the scene, and for the rest of the night, hear and see nothing out of their own society; except when apprized by the orchestra that some scene in the ballet; or some aria or duo in the opera is about to be performed, which it is good taste or good fashion to listen to and admire.

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excerpt from 'Italy Volume 1' pp. 94-96 (244 words)


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