The Puccini Opera Festival Tour
Depart 8th August 2019
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.
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 – DISCOVERING FLORENCE Today we visit Florence, the city of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Giotto, Dante and their patrons, the Medici family. We have arranged timed entrances to the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace which has an impressive collection of art. Afterwards you are free to explore Florence at leisure.
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 – VILLA GRABAU The morning is free to explore Lucca independently. This afternoon we drive to Villa Grabau, located in the centre of a vast English style landscaped park. The villa is a fine example of 19th century Neo-Classical architecture and the park has many rare plants, a box-hedge theatre and an impressive limonaia.
DAY 6 – DEPARTURE DAY We are collected from the hotel and transferred to Pisa airport for our return flight.
Flight Details (British Airways)
Depart Heathrow at 08.35 arrive Pisa at 11.45
Depart Pisa at 12.40 arrive Heathrow at 14.05
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.
La boheme (10 August) The world’s favourite opera about the love between the poet Rodolfo and the seamstress, Mimi
Tosca (11 August) Jealousy, power, lust and murder. Set in Rome, all three principal characters are dead before the curtain falls
Madama Butterfly (12 August) The tragic story of Cio-Cio-San whose life is ended by Pinkerton, a cynical American naval lieutenant who returns to Japan to take away their son
What is included?
- Five nights’ accommodation with breakfast
- Four dinners
- Second category tickets for three performances as described
- All sightseeing, entrance fees and gratuities
- The services of the tour Leader
- Return flights
- ABTA & ATOL Protection for your financial security
- RB’s ‘VIP Experience’ service
£2,249 per person