Traveling with no plan in Italy allowed me to “land” at a hostel I possibly wouldn’t have found without being forced to ask random people in Milan where I could stay for cheap (because I didn’t have a hostel list, any addresses or a map – more on that in future posts.) In the hostel dorm I was assigned, I met a guy from Hong Kong who really wanted to go to Milan’s famous Teatro alla Scala (La Scala). I didn’t invite myself to go with him because a. I’m not usually a big fan of operas and classical concerts and b. he told me it would be more than 80€ per ticket if buying online. But since we decided we would hang out together around Milan that day, I figured I’d tag along when he went to try his luck at the box office in the metro by the Duomo.
I was waiting outside the box office for my new acquaintance, and suddenly he came out without a ticket – but beaming. See, the box office attendant had suggested that he show up at 5 p.m. that day at La Scala, where he could manage to get a ticket about 15 times cheaper than the normal price. I guess it’s a good way for them to get rid of leftover tickets. So I said why not – I would go with him there too. Since that day an orchestra was playing and not a legendary opera, the line for the tickets at 5 p.m. wasn’t very long. A nice older lady had us put our names on a list and assigned us numbers. At 5:30 p.m., the theater box office opened. We didn’t have to wait much to be called in. We paid 6,50€ each for our ticket!! We couldn’t believe it.
The sheer beauty of La Scala alone is worth going to the venue. I also did enjoy the music, in a concerto led by Austrian maestro Franz Welser-Möst. Even though I sat in what is probably the worst seat in the house – as far to the side of the stage as you can get, at the highest level, though with the price I wasn’t complaining – I could still see the performance well. And the sound is just so crisp… dreamy!