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Arena de Verona and Torre del Lago Puccini Opera festival 

water_tower

opera

11 nights, 6 operas
Groups only!
August Departures

Day 1 
Arrival in Verona and transfer to hotel. Evening transfer to the Arena di Verona for a performance of AIDA.

Day 2. Day at leisure. Evening performance of TURANDOT

Day 3. Morning excursion to the beautiful lakeside town of Sirmione, rest of the day at leisure. Evening transfer to Arena di Verona for performance of CARMEN.

Day 4. Full day excursion to Venezia. Guided  tour of the city and visit to Ca’ Vendramin Carergi, the Villa on the Grand Canal that hosted Wagner between 1882 and his death in 1883.

Day 5. Excursion along the Valpolicella “wine route” with wine tasting and lunch.

Day 6. Day at leisure. Evening transfer to Arena di Verona for performance of NABUCCO.

Day 7 Travel south through “Verdi” country. Stop at Busseto to visit  Verdi’s house and then visit his villa at St. Agata.  Continue south over the Apennines towards Torre del Lago.

Day 8. Morning excursion to Lucca.  Visit the apartment where Puccini was borne (now a small museum) and the church where as a teenager he was organist (and from which he altered the harmony of the hymns so as not to discover that he had stolen some of the organ pipes and sold them in order to buy some cigars!!).

Evening transfer to Torre del Lago Puccini, the lazy village between sea and lake that Puccini loved so much and chose as his home from “Manon Lescaut” onwards. Life here is much the same as it was in Puccini’s live time. The main change being the “Piazza” constructed in front of his villa and the new area on which the open air theatre is constructed.  Most of the inhabitants of Torre are also direct descendants, mostly sons and some grandsons/daughters of friends and hunting partners of the great composer. One of the restaurants there (there are four) is still owned by the Manfredi family who originally purchased the place with the money received from Puccini in exchange for their retraction of accusal against his wife, Elvira, who was accused of “instigation for suicide” of Dora Manfredi, Pucinni’s maid (Elvira had accused her of having an affair with Puccini, she poisoned herself and the autopsy proved she was “innocent”). Dora, however will liver forever as she “became” Liù... the slave girl in TURANDOT that committed suicide for love.

Dinner in the restaurant beside the lake before performance of  MANON LESCAUT.

Day 9.

Late morning visit back to Torre del Lago to visit Piccini’s house. The living room furniture has been preserved as it was when he lived there.  The fire place, the settee and the famous upright piano on which he composed almost all his operas. Behind the piano (in what used to be a corridor) there is now a chapel in which Puccini, his wife and his son are buried in the wall. In the “gun room” one can see an array of rifles he used for hunting. And there is a display of photographs and other objects that he had collected during his lifetime. But most interesting of all is a small collection of the original notes the composer made for the completion of Turandot  just before he died of cancer  of the throat) in hospital in Brussels. Including his last words (written as he could not talk) “Elvira... povera...donna... finita...” Afternoon at leisure and evening transfer for performance of 
BOHÈME.

Day 10. 
Late morning excursion up in the hills overlooking the lake and sea to the tiny town of Bargecchia.  A beautiful panorama, olive trees a few houses and a church. But this is the church of which the bells inspired both the bells of “Tosca” and the first notes of Suor Angelica (they still chime).  Rumor has it that Puccini had a.... “special friend” ... who lived here, and during one of his nocturnal visits it seems that the chiming of the bells ... disturbed, and stuck on memory. However it really went, Puccini’s association to these bells saved them from being melted down to make ammunition during world War II !!.There is a simple but excellent restaurant nearby where lunch will be served.

Day 11. 

Full day excursion to Florence OR the famous Chianti wine growing area and Siena with guide.

Day 12.  Transfer to Pisa or Florence airport to depart to your home city or possible extensions.

Price per person on request

 Tour Includes:

  • 11 nights in  3/4 star hotels HALF BOARD, but with meals in restaurants as listed

  • Private coach with rep. throughout

  • Professional guide in Venice and Florence.

  • Entrance fee to Puccini’s house in Lucca and the Villa Puccini in Torre del Lago (other entrance fees NON included)

  • Tickets to the operas listed (the opera tickets are for numbered reserved seats in the “gradinata”. If more expensive seats are required extra charge may apply

 NB In order to secure opera tickets it is essential to book very early. Special deposit conditions apply.

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