LUCCA AND PUCCINI
- First of all we’ll go into the Church of San Paolino where, in 1880, Puccini presented his “Mass for Four Voices and Orchestra” (later renamed the Messa di Gloria); we’ll then go to the house where he was born and see the beautiful bronze statue of him in the little piazza. Very close to the house is the Church of San Michele where his father played the organ. Next we’ll go to the permanent Puccini exhibition www.pucciniopera.it, where scores, letters and other material are on display. We’ll then pass by the Giglio Theatre because his father was orchestral director there and all Puccini’s operas have been staged there. Next we’ll go to the Cathedral of San Martino where his father was chapel master. Finally, we’ll walk past the Boccherini School of Music of which his father was director, and in front of the Church of San Pietro Somaldi which has an old organ with the Maestro’s signature. i
- To this itinerary dedicated to Puccini’s world, I’d like to add some Art Nouveau artworks from Puccini’s time, the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the twentieth. Puccini was a good friend of Galileo Chini, a fine artist who developed this style in Tuscany. In Lucca, there are a good number of shop windows and villas in this beautiful, decorative style. Along the streets I’ll point out these wonderful witnesses from a golden age. From the Walls, we’ll see some beautiful villas with mosaics, frescos and wrought-iron pergolas.
- To complete the day dedicated to Puccini, we’ll go to Torre del Lago (20 km from Lucca) to visit the villa where he lived and where he composed all his most famous operas.
- If you like, we can take a break in town to sample locally-produced wine and extra-virgin olive oil with typical Lucca snacks.
- Bike hire: full day euro 12.50, 3 hours euro 7.50 http://www.biciclettepoli.com/
- The permanent Puccini exhibition is open from Tuesday to Friday and entrance is free.
- Lucca has a railway station so you can get here by train. If you prefer to be comfortably driven by a private chauffeur, ask me for a free quotation.
- We can do this tour on bikes or on foot.