Opened in 1897, the Massimo Theatre was the largest opera house in Italy and the third largest in Europe (only behind Paris and the Grand Opera of Vienna).
Its enormous size created controversy in the city because many citizens wondered if a theater of this size was necessary. However, the time did not prove them right and it quickly became one of the most famous theaters in Europe, due to the quality of its plays and operas, attracting people of high social position of the continent to the city of Palermo.
Today, it still hosts works by many symphony orchestras and plays, still one of the most important theaters in Italy.
In addition, the theater is known worldwide, since it was part of the scenography and filming of the movie "The Godfather III".