Last night and tonight, I am enjoying a wonderful stay at the Gritti Palace, courtesy of Princess Cruises. The company has brought me, and a dozen or so other journalists, here for a shipyard tour of the new Royal Princess, entering the final phases of construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in nearby Monfalcone.
Dinner this evening will be a special treat. We’ll be dining at the historic La Fenice Theatre, where Princess Cruises has booked the venue for a private dining experience for our group. We’ll be joined by Princess executives, as well as Monfalcone’s shipyard director. It’s a great opportunity to get some insights on Princess Cruises and shipbuilding. The icing on the cake, or sauce for the pasta is perhaps more appropriate in Italy, is dining at a Venice landmark.
In 1774, the San Benedetto Theatre, which had been Venice’s leading opera house for more than 40 years, burned to the ground, prompting construction of a new opera house on the Campo San Fantin.
In December 1836, disaster struck again when that theatre was destroyed by fire. It was quickly rebuilt, however, and La Fenice (The Phoenix) once again rose from the ashes to open its doors on the evening of December 26, 1837.
Believe it or not, on January 29, 1996, fire once again completely destroyed the theatre. Arson was suspected.
The new La Fenice was rebuilt in 19th century style, on the basis of a design by architect Aldo Rossi and using still photographs from the Luchino Visconti’s 1954 film “Senso,” which was filmed in the Theatre, in order to obtain details of its design.
It reopened on December 14, 2003, and hopefully, is here to stay.
Read more about La Fenice Theatre.