The Puccini festival in Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany in the summer season is a glorious sight, and opera in the hometown of Giacomo Puccini, is enough to take any opera lover’s breath away.

Forty thousand people come from far and wide to the annual Puccini festival which lights up Torre del Lago. You will be captivated by the open air Teatro dei Quattromila, with performances by some of the world’s finest singers, all set within a charming Tuscan countryside atmosphere.

Pucinni’s repertoire, Madam Butterfly, Tosca, et al, has never sounded finer than with the backdrop of the streets the composer himself walked throughout his life.

The festival attracts famous names, such as Plácido Domingo, drawn by the warmth of the crowd, as much as the gorgeous weather in July.

While you’re there, you won’t be content to stay in Torre del Lago itself. You will also want to visit nearby towns and villages. A must-see is nearby Lucca, a city of cobbled streets and pretty piazzas located between the Apuan Alps and the majestic Tyrrhenian coastline, with the Lake Massacinocoli not far away. It’s a perfect place to visit by car or bike, so you can take in the ever-changing landscape as you go.

On the Puccini trail, you can visit his home, and the house where he was born in 1858; and also the home of Galileo Chini, the first set designer of Puccini’s last opera, Turandot, which is in the city of Viareggio.

And if you need reviving after all the sight-seeing, do pop in to the art nouveu café Gran Caffè Margherita of Viareggio. It is the place that Pucinni went after a hard day’s work on his music and a place he relaxed with friends. You might be inspired yourself…

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