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The Puccini Opera Festival

Lucca 5 nights Price from £2,298 per person
Departs: 05 Aug 2020
Departs: 05 Aug 2020

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Giacomo Puccini was born into a musical family in Lucca on 22 December 1858. As a boy Puccini sang in the choir of the Cathedral of San Martino and later received his musical education at the conservatory in Milan. His first opera, Le Villi, was performed in 1884. For the next forty years, until his death in 1924, Puccini composed operas which today are still the most performed works on the stages of the world’s opera houses. From mid-July to mid-August each year the Puccini Festival is held in Torre del Lago near Lucca on the peaceful shores of Lake Massaciuccoli.

 

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Five nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Four dinners
  • First category tickets for three performances as described
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and gratuities
  • The services of the Kirker Tour Leader and local guide
  • Return flights

Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Albergo Celide

    We fly to Pisa airport and transfer to Lucca where we stay for five nights at the 3* Albergo Celide, located just outside the city walls.
  • Day 2 - Viareggio

    We drive to the popular seaside resort of Viareggio, twenty miles from Lucca. Puccini came to live in Viareggio from 1919 when pollution drove him out of his beloved villa at Torre del Lago. He lived in a small villa facing the sea not far from the splendid Gran Caffe Margherita. There will time to explore Viareggio’s famous seaside promenade with its restaurants and shops before we leave for the village of Pescaglia in the Appenines. Here we find the Teatrino di Vetriano, the world’s smallest theatre. Seating just 80 people on two levels, it is a perfect example of a 19th-century Italian theatre. 
  • Day 3 - Walking tour of Lucca

    Today we begin with a walking tour of Lucca. Highlights include the Duomo where four generations of Puccini's forebears were organists, and the Church of San Michele in Foro where Puccini was a chorister, another fine example of Pisan Romanesque architecture. We also go to the Piazza Anfiteatro and the Basilica of San Frediano. This afternoon we make a special visit to the villa at Torre del Lago where Puccini lived and worked. Afterwards dinner is included before the opera.
  • Day 4 - Tuscan Gardens

    Today we visit two great Tuscan gardens – the Villa Reale at Marlia and the Villa Garzoni with its dazzling water cascades.
  • Day 5 - Pistoia

    This morning we drive to Pistoia, a lovely small town whose fortunes were eclipsed by its more powerful and wealthier neighbours, Lucca and Florence. We will explore the compact historic centre and visit the cathedral of San Zeno Duomo, the Baptistery with its typical Tuscan Gothic green and white striped marble. There will be time to enjoy a coffee in the historic Café Valiani – Puccini often stopped by for a macchiato.
  • Day 6 - Departure Day

    We are collected from the hotel and transferred to Pisa airport for our return flight.

Flight Details

Flights with British Airways:

Depart Heathrow at 08.35 arrive Pisa at 11.45
Depart Pisa at 16.55 arrive Heathrow at 18.15

Departure Dates and Prices

05 Aug 2020

Status Available

Price from£2298

Single Supp.£397

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Andrew Biggs

Andrew Biggs

Tour leader

More Info

Music Programme

The tour includes three operas at Torre del Lago as described and a performance of Italian opera arias in the Church of San Giovanni in Lucca.

Manon Lescaut (7 August) The tale of the flighty and ambitious Manon Lescaut, a girl destined for a convent but, after mixing with the wrong crowd in Paris, finds herself on the road to ruin. She dreams of a romantic idyll with a young poet, Des Grieux, only to find that true love doesn’t often mix with money so she deserts her lover for an elderly roué who dresses her in mink and jewels.

Turandot (8 August) The icy Princess Turandot despises all men. When the Persian prince Calaf arrives to claim her hand in marriage she asks him three riddles. Many men before him have failed to answer them and lost their lives as a result. Calaf gets all the right answers and his prize is Turandot. Horrified, she does all she can not to keep her side of the bargain but Calaf persists and wins her heart.

La bohème (9 August) This is the world’s most popular and best loved opera. The poet Rodolfo is visited by his neighbour, the seamstress Mimi. They fall in love and embark on a bitter-sweet doomed love affair. Unbeknown to Rodolfo, Mimi is terminally ill. In the most heart-wrenching scene in all opera, Mimi expires on her bed. The music tells us that she has died with a series of searing chords as Rodolfo sobs uncontrollably, all hope of love extinguished.

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