Just before he passed away, Puccini wistfully spoke of his desire to see one of his operas performed in his home of Torre del Lago, close to his birthplace in Lucca, where he composed some of his most famous operas. Sadly, he died before his wish could be granted. Today, however, we are much luckier and can invite you to enjoy premium tickets at the 64th Festival as part of a handcrafted Puccini tour where the award-winning journalist and opera producer Adrian Mournby will speak.
The Puccini Festival
Whether you love opera, outdoor performances, the work of Giacomo Puccini, classical music and/or central Italy, you’ll be inspired by the tour that we have put together to visit Lucca and Torre del Lago. Join us to pay homage to the composer and writer of some of the world’s most famous operas including Madame Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West, La Rondine and La Bohème.
This year, which will be the 63rd festival (the only one in the world dedicated exclusively to Puccini), we have secured premier tickets for our clients to have exceptional seats at two performances: La Bohème and Turandot.
In between performances you’ll be enjoying the medieval town of Lucca, which was Puccini’s place of birth. Here we’ll take you to see the house where he was born and its piano on which he composed Turandot. However, Lucca is equally famous for its picturesque charm with its elegant loggias, blind arcades and twisted columns. The churches are stunning and the shopping is good – lingerie and silk underwear are Lucchese specialities.
The Puccini Pilgrimage
Together we’ll be following in the footsteps of Puccini on the excursion to his ancestral home in Celle dei Puccini, where the museum houses various artefacts and memorabilia related to the composer and his life. This is one of my favourite parts of the tour as all the guests come together after the visit to enjoy a hearty lunch of regional dishes. It’s a pleasure to participate in this repast with likeminded travellers against the backdrop of this small Tuscan village.
We’ll also be taking you to the Villa Puccini at Torre del Lago, where the composer was buried. With its sunny beaches, shady pine forests and peaceful lake, it’s easy to understand why Puccini fell in love with this corner of Italy.
Our Guest Speaker
I was delighted to persuade Adrian Mournby to join this tour and share his passion for Puccini and his work with us. Adrian will be addressing the group with two presentations before the opera performances, and he will also be chatting informally to the group on the subject.
Adrian is a journalist and has produced operas by Purcell, Mozart and Handel – so it’s safe to say he knows his classical music! You most likely know him from his superb Radio 4 series ‘Whatever Happened To….?’. His contribution to the tour is bound to be witty and entertaining – you’ll come away with a unique insight into Puccini and his music.
Of course the highlights of the tour will be the performances of La Bohème and Turandot, the first and last of Puccini’s operas. I fully anticipate that some of our guests will be moved to tears by the final act of La Bohème as the love stories play out. Turandot is also a tear jerker: the story of the cruel Chinese princess who is ultimately softened and tamed by true love. Both the performances of these operas this year are set to be superb experiences for their audiences.
Where You’ll be Staying
We’ve chosen a hotel from our portfolio that will put you in the heart of Lucca within a setting that characterises the elegance and charm of the town. The Hotel Ilaria is nestled beneath a majestic plane tree and overlooks a park. It was originally the stables of the Villa Bottini and its annexe, the Residenza d’Alba, was formally a church that was constructed in the 14th century.
I’d recommend taking advantage of the complimentary bicycle hire that the hotel offers: Lucca is the perfect size to tour by bike.
Want to Know More?
If you’ve joined any of the guided holidays with Prestige Holidays then you’ll know what a treat awaits you with the Puccini Festival Escorted Tour next July. It’s a chance to join fellow music lovers and Italophiles for an experience that you’ll remember for life.