Our Visit to Puccini Sites June 28 2015
We recently visited Giacomo Puccini's birth house in Lucca, Italy! Located just a few kilometers wesst from Florence, Italy, the town of Lucca is a tourist attraction by itself. Surrounded by well-preserved medieval walls, Lucca still has all the flavor of an historic, small town, and it is not hard to imagine how it was during Puccini's childhood and young adult years.
Right in a small square within the medieval walled-town, lies a large bronze statue of the great composer. Behind it, there is an old building where, on the second floor, Puccini was born in 1858. The place is now a museum showing some of the original furniture, one of his personal coats, and of his pianos, and other memorabilia. Not a lot to see inside, but still a very gratifying experience for any Puccini fan.
Just a few more kilometers to the west, in the town of Torre del Lago and by the lake Massaciuccoli lake, lies the museum Villa Puccini. This was the house where he lived for over 20 years, until just 3 years before his death in 1924, and where he composed most of his operas. The lake provided a perfect, calm environment where he could write his music and spend time hunting and enjoying nature. Unfortunately, pollution in the lake forced him to move just north, to Viareggio.
This is an even more fulfilling experience since you can see his desk and his piano, a room full of his gun collection and stuffed animals, one of his fedoras, the places where he used to relax and socialize, and lots of memorabilia including autographs to him by Verdi and many important singers of his time.
The graves of Puccini, his wife Elvira, and Antonio, their only son, are all in the small chapel built right at the center of the house. If you ever get the chance to stay in Florence for a few days, don't hesitate to pay a visit to this museum full of memories and interesting artifacts.