Puccini Opera Festival

Statue of Giacomo Puccini
Statue of Giacomo Puccini
Amphitheatre Square, Lucca
Amphitheatre Square, Lucca
Aerial view of Lucca
Aerial view of Lucca
Torre Del Lago Lake
Torre Del Lago Lake

Lucca is a city ringed by Renaissance walls, their weathered stones warmed by centuries of Tuscan sun. Its charming streets are studded with Medieval churches and buildings, all seeming to swell to the strains of Puccini’s beloved operas. As well as being the beating heart of wine country, this wonderful area also happens to be the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini, Italian composer extraordinaire.

Visit Torre del Lago, a small lakeside town that was home to Puccini’s beloved summer villa, which we are privileged to visit. This town also plays host to the Festival Puccini, which is well-attended and held in its atmospheric open-air theatre. Opened as a museum by his son back in 1924, it is now a magnificent museum that tells the vibrant story of the composer’s life. Take a private tour of the renowned Giglio Theatre and step inside of Puccini’s home on this glorious cultural tour that will both inspire and delight any lover of opera.

  • Experience a total of two stunning opera performances on this tour
  • Meet a member of the Puccini Foundation during a private reception
  • Enjoy dinner during a scenic boat trip on the lake at Torre del Lago
  • Take a private tour of the historic Teatro del Giglio, seeing parts not ordinarily accessible to the public
  • Lose yourself in the story of Giacomo Puccini with visits to museums, personal encounters and more

Themes

  • Cultural Excursion

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2018

Day 1

We fly into Pisa and make a short transfer to our beautiful Tuscan base in Lucca, one of Puccini’s favourite towns.

Day 2

After a delicious breakfast, our day begins with a visit to Tenuta Lenzini, a stunning biodynamic estate in the foothills of the region, where grapes have been transformed into wonderful wine for many centuries. Following a private tour of the vineyard, we pause for an indulgent lunch, accompanied by some of the estate’s best vintages, including its expressive Toscana Syrah.

We travel back to our hotel this afternoon, before setting off to watch Madam Butterfly on the shores of Torre del Lago. A wonderful way to round off our first full day.

Day 3

This morning we rise for a trip to the coastal town of Torre del Lago, where we discover Puccini’s beloved summer villa. Opened as a museum by his son in 1924, this magnificently-preserved attraction offers an intimate look at the composer’s private life, displaying original paintings, manuscripts and his very own Fōrster piano. Within the museum’s peaceful chapel we find the maestro’s remains, along with those of his family.

Next we head for Lake Massaciuccoli, where we enjoy a tranquil boat trip with lunch on the scenic waters that once so enchanted Puccini and his loved ones.

We return to Lucca to visit the Puccini House Museum, the recently-renovated birthplace of the great maestro. Inside we find Puccini’s former home lovingly restored to include much of the family’s original furniture, as well as engaging exhibits of letters, scores and sketches.

Following this we receive an escorted private tour of the renowned Giglio Theatre, a remarkable institution with roots stretching back over 300 years, formerly frequented by Puccini himself.

We have some free time for the rest of the afternoon, before we return to Torre del Lago. This evening we have our second open-air opera, Turandot.

Day 4

Our sensory tour continues this morning with a visit to the Montechiari Estate, on the gentle slopes east of Lucca. This award-winning vineyard specialises in the production of five types of wine, including a voluptuous Merlot and Pinot Noir. We break here for a lunch and tasting before returning to Lucca.

We return to Lucca to visit the Puccini House Museum, the recently-renovated birthplace of the great maestro. Inside we find Puccini’s former home lovingly restored to include much of the family’s original furniture, as well as engaging exhibits of letters, scores and sketches.

Later we come together for our evening meal.

Day 5

For our final morning we stay in Lucca, enjoying its piazzas and palaces at our own relaxing pace.

From here we transfer to Pisa airport, and make our way back home.

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We catch an outbound flight to Pisa from London. Upon arrival, we are treated to a delicious lunch where Italian cuisine is showcased. We then transfer to Lucca, a charming Tuscan town with cobbled streets and lovely piazzas. In the evening, we accept an invitation to a reception with a  member of the Puccini Foundation. Established in 1972 by the council of Lucca and officially recognised in 1976, this foundation works on projects associated with the maestro, that have included the fantastic Puccini Museum itself. Dinner will be a little later at a local restaurant and then we can return to our hotel for the remainder of the night, so that we can rest up ahead of tomorrow’s explorations. 

Day 2

Our morning gets off to an historic start with a visit to Puccini’s birthplace and museum. Located at Corte San Lorenzo, Number 9, his birthplace is now considered a hotspot for music lovers and we get the chance to tour it as it has since become a public museum. His life and legacy are both displayed and celebrated here, through original documents, personal artefacts, original furnishings and paintings. Afterwards, we are treated to a private tour of the Teatro del Giglio, a remarkable institution with roots stretching back over 300 years, formerly frequented by Puccini himself. This historic theatre was rebuilt after a fire and has since been recognised as a “Theatre of Tradition”, adding to its prestige. We stop for lunch and then we drive to the town of Torre del Lago, where we visit the museum and Puccini’s adored summer villa, offering an intimate look into the composer’s tumultuous private life. We explore both sites and then enjoy a special boat trip on the lake, during which we have a scenic evening meal. Once back on dry land, a rousing Puccini performance awaits and then it’s back to our hotel for the night.

Day 3

Today 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. We will also enjoy a recital here before sitting down to lunch at the great Puccini restaurant, where delicious regional fare is served. Following our meal, we return to Lucca for an afternoon of leisure time. We can use this opportunity to sip coffee at a local café, take a stroll around its gorgeous streets or perhaps just do some shopping before our return home tomorrow. Later in the evening, we have a group dinner together and then we are treated to the second opera performance of this whirlwind Italian escape.

Day 4

The time has finally come to depart this wonderful country and we make our way back to Pisa airport this morning. Once we have checked in for our return flight home, there will be time for an independent lunch before we board. We are due to arrive back into London mid-afternoon, where we can say our goodbyes to the tour group and leave with vibrant memories of this magical experience.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Hotels
  7. Flights
  8. Opera Tickets - Entry to all performances in the programme. We request the seats in the centre stalls as these offer the best view although seats in boxes are usually more expensive. There is no guarantee that we will get the seats requested as availability is often limited. Where it is possible to avoid boxes as an alternative we will, but in some cases it may be the only option.

Travel Information

The Puccini Festival takes place in an open air theatre built on the shores of the Lake Massaciuccoli. Performances start at 21:15 and finish around midnight. We will be getting back to our hotel at around 1 am. Smart/casual wear is advised. Although temperatures in mid July are likely to be very warm during the day, the evenings may be cooler so you may wish to take something suitable for that.

Lucca is a small medieval city contained within city walls, the only ones in Italy which are intact. It is possible to walk along the top of the wall. There are no steep slopes as the city is built on flat ground.Shops, monuments and museums are all within walking distance of the hotel. We will, however, be transferring to Torre del Lago for performances which is about 30 mins drive away. On day 3 there will be a boat trip on the Lake Massaciuccoli and lunch will be on the boat itself.

Temperatures in July can sometimes reach well over 30 degrees. There is always a possibility of annoying mosquitoes so you may wish to take some repellent with you.

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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2019 Tour Details

Thu 25th July - Sun 28th July

Available

£1,895

inc.

sgl supp: £215

ZOP19A

Led By: Malcolm Miller

Guide Lecturer

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