Giacomo Puccini's operas and music are universally known.
From Lucca, where he was born and went to school, his music has spread all over the world. Today Giacomo Puccini attracts fans from all over the world interested in his life and fascinated by his music.
Puccini is one of the most represented composers in the world and was born in Lucca on December 22, 1858. Descendant of a family of composers who, over the span of about two centuries, have represented the music tradition of Lucca.
After his studies in Milan and his beginnings as a composer, Puccini came back to his homeland, while his operas gained success in major Italian and foreign theaters. He lived in Lucca, then in Versilia, and never left the house of his ancestors where he occasionally returned to recover and compose.
And what better company could we have than Puccini himself, starting from his ancestral home to the high school residence, we can get to know villages and cities, and also the splendid natural sceneries of the Apuan Alps and the Versilia coast, in occasion of a weekend or for a long stay.
In the small mountain village of Celle di Pescaglia (today Celle Puccini), in via dei Meletoli 51, the door of the elegant sixteenth-century building opens the beautiful stone house of the ancestors, between chestnut woods and fresh air where the young Giacomo went with his parents and sisters for summer stays and which he really loved. Today it hosts the Casa Puccini museum in Celle Puccini and this is the only thing that has changed since then.
Before finishing his studies, Giacomo Puccini frequented the nearby village of Bagni di Lucca to play the piano in a dance orchestra at the Academic Theater, the Casino and the Ducci room in Ponte a Serraglio. After more than a decade, Puccini returned several times in summer to Bagni di Lucca as a vacationer, like all rich locals of his generation, at the Grand Hotel delle Terme where he composed the second act of La fanciulla del West.
In Lucca, there are many places linked to the life of the Maestro. Inside the sixteenth-century walls, the birthplace of Corte San Lorenzo, not far from Piazza San Michele.
The basilica of Santi Giovanni e Reparta where he was baptized; the cathedral of San Martino where the Puccinis were organists for generations; the Boccherini music institute with many of his documents; the church of San Paolino where he made his debut at the end of his studies at the “G. Pacini " conservatorywith a composition that he will mention several times in his subsequent works and the church of San Pietro Somaldi where, still a student, he performed at the organ that, once famous, he restored at his own expense and finally the Teatro del Giglio where he personally supervised the staging of many of his operas.
And finally Versilia where he moved in the years of maturity, attracted by the lights and atmosphere that impressed many of the artists of the time. At first a house on the hills of Chiatri, surrounded by olive trees, then passionate about hunting, as well as boats and cars, he found inspiration for music on the shores of Lake Massaciuccoli, in the villa on the lake, that he used to call "caro bozzo",an inspiration for many operas and where he spent his free time by hunting and in the company of friends; Finally in the Villa di Viareggio where, on the fashionable seafront of the beautiful Art Nouveau clubs, cafes and theaters, together with him, many artists settled.
(foto: N. Ughi, U. Conti)