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The Puccini Festival with David Mellor
In what's sure to be a memorable trip, you can experience the Puccini Opera Festival this August in the company of Classic FM presenter, David Mellor. You will be based in Lucca, in stunning Tuscany and enjoy guided tours of many of the Italian composer's former haunts and the places that inspired his work. They will include his birthplace, the beloved villa in which he spent his summers as well as his ancestral home. During your four-day stay you will head to nearby Torre del Lago, among the world's finest settings for opera, where you'll watch performances of Tosca and Madame Butterfly.
"Giacomo Puccini is rightly seen as one of the real opera greats. A genius of straightforward tastes, he wrote sparingly, producing an opera every four years or so. As a consequence, all are beautifully wrought, pack an emotional punch and do not outstay their welcome. He produced music for the people, which anyone with a musical ear can revel in. The chance to hear Puccini in what was his home and his inspiration is too good to miss. I have always enjoyed my visits to Torre del Lago and I can't wait for the opportunity to join you there."
- David Mellor
The life of Puccini
Torre del Lago
Celle dei Puccini
- Four nights' bed-and-breakfast at the four-star Palazzo Alexander hotel.
- Four dinners.
- Scheduled return flights from London to Pisa (other regional airports available on request, some at extra cost).
- Comfortable coach transfers.
Category one tickets to Tosca and Madame Butterfly.
- Exclusive events and Q&A with David Mellor.
- Special opening and guided tour of the Puccini Villa at Viareggio.
- All visits as outlined in itinerary.
- Tour manager and expert lecturer.
Day1Flight to ItalyPisa, Italy
Catch an outbound flight to Pisa from London. Upon arrival, transfer to Lucca, a charming Tuscan town with cobbled streets and lovely piazzas. Your overnight stay and dinner this evening will be at the Hotel Palazzo Alexander.
Day2Puccini's birthplace and operaLucca, Italy
Today we get introduced to Puccini with a visit to Puccini's birthplace and museum. Here guests will view original documents, personal artefacts, original furnishings and paintings. We proceed to the Institute of Musical Studies "Luigi Boccherini", to the Church of S. Paolino e Donato and briefly to the Teatro del Giglio. After lunch, we will be treated to a talk by the Director of the Fondazione Giacomo Puccini on the great man's life and his heritage. The Puccini Foundation director will also give a guided tour of the Foundation. After some free time, we have an introductory lecture and dine on a boat on Torre del Lago before attending a rousing performance of Tosca in the evening.
Day3Lucca and Torre del LagoLucca, Italy
We enter into the world of Puccini this morning with a guided tour of Lucca, including the spectacular Cathedral of St Martin, where Puccini's ancestors were maestri di cappella for 124 years in succession. We continue to the Cathedral Museum and Baptistery of Santi Giovanni e Reparata, as well as to Piazza Anfiteatro shaped by the erstwhile Roman amphitheatre. After lunch, we see Puccini's house in Viareggio, where the director will especially open the villa and give us a guided tour. We'll have some free time in this fashionable seaside town before ending the day with a special dinner.
Day4Celle dei Puccini and operaLucca, Italy
This morning we visit the Celle dei Puccini and its museum. Housed within the home of Giacomo Puccini's ancestors, this elegant 16th century mansion not only showcases a typical Italian country house complete with its furniture, farm tools and everyday objects, but it also exhibits some of Puccini's personal belongings, which were donated by his own nephews. Afterwards, we eat lunch at the nearby Ristorante Puccini, where delicious regional fare is served. Following our meal, we return to Lucca for an afternoon of leisure time. Following a lecture on Puccini, we visit his wonderful lake side summer villa at Torre del Lago before the second opera performance, this time of Madame Butterfly.
Day5Walking tour of Lucca and fly to UKPisa, Italy
After free time in the morning in beautiful Lucca, we make our way to the airport for our transfer home.
Hotel Palazzo Alexander
Historic building with classic interiors
Hotel Palazzo Alexander is a historic building in the centre of Lucca, located just inside Lucca's historic walls, with easy access from Porta San Donato. Lucca Cathedral and Guinigi Tower are both just a 10-minute walk away. Antique wooden floors and marble bathrooms invite you to this classical setting, where staff are multilingual. Rooms feature Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Fresh local produce is served for breakfast, American buffet-style and there's a bar for evening drinks.