(b. 1734, Foligno, d. 1808, Foligno)

Exterior view

Teatro alla Scala, Milan

In Habsburg-ruled Lombardy, Giuseppe Piermarini was the official architect until the French invasion in 1796. As a pupil of Vanvitelli, he represented the Roman tradition his early works in Milan. His most celebrated building was the Teatro alla Scala, rebuilt in 1776-78.

The façade to the square is articulated by coupled columns and pilasters over a rusticated ground floor, pedimented windows and a tall attic floor, missing Cinquecento elements with French influences. The depth of the projection features is differentiated on each story, creating a busy effect, while the 'porte cochère' (the porch where vehicles stop to set down passengers) at the main entrance represents a forward-looking element.

Milan's Teatro alla Scala (Theatre at the Stairway; popularly called La Scala), is one of the great opera houses of the world. Damaged by bombing during World War II, La Scala was quickly reconstructed and reopened with a concert by Arturo Toscanini in 1946. Extensive renovations also took place in the early 21st century.