#DISCOVERTHEITALIANSECRETS | Giacomo Puccini and Versilia, a land of art and love

#DISCOVERTHEITALIANSECRETS | Giacomo Puccini and Versilia, a land of art and love

Passion, scandals, art. Giacomo Puccini’s life is full and plenty, he’s one of the best lyrical composer and operista in the Italian history. His most famous lyrics, considered as repertoir for the best theathers all over the world, are: “La bohème” (1896), “Tosca” (1900), “Madama Butterfly” (1904) and “Turandot” (1926).
He’s the sixth child of nine children, his father was Michele Puccini, from whom he kept the passion for the musical composition, and Albina Magina, a mother with a strenght personality who was a reference model for the women he met in his life.

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Giacomo Puccini

However, first Giacomo’s love wasn’t for a woman, but for a land: it’s about Torre del Lago, to which, in second place, the name “Puccini” was added. He was born in Lucca, then he decided to move in a place nearby Viareggio, which was marshy few years before, and it’s situated beetween the shores of Tirreno Sea and Lake Massaciuccoli. Here he took inspiration for his best lyricals, thanks to the tranquility and to the empathy with the surrounding nature.

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Torre del Lago Puccini| Credits instagram @laesi.esi

In that relatively unknown place, he knew his second love Elvira Bonturi, an authoritarian woman, like his own mother. Elvira was a beautiful lady that had a wealthy life in Lucca, and she was married to a business traveler called Narciso Gemignani. He used to sing and play romances with a lot of passion. His wife wasn’t outdone: she was sensitive to poetry and to elegant events. So Narciso persuaded her to take piano and singing lessons; her teacher was the young Giacomo Puccini. Otherwise Gemignani’s job was bad: he was away through Europe for weeks or even for months. So Elvira always felt alone (but with two children Tosca and Edgar), and she felt in love with Giacomo’s eyes: not by chance, Edgar was the name of one of the heroes in Puccini’s dramas. It means that the relationship beetween Elvira and Giacomo was deep, but their escape of love happened only some years later.

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Giacomo Puccini and Elvira Bonturi

Their clandestine love grew as an ivy in the rooms of a majestic villa in Versilia, and it was powered by their passionate lessons. After two years in secret, the escape of love happened in order to lull their love and to stay away from the bad people in Tuscany. One day, Narciso came back home and didn’t find his wife who was escaped towards Milan with Puccini. Elvira was pregnant with the third child, who was Puccini’s son: they escaped because of the birth of the little Antonio, that happened in Monza. Once Narciso dead, the two lovers could come back to Versilia, so that Elvira and Giacomo could legally marry. However, Puccini wasn’t a perfect husband, and their relationship was always full of violent quarrels and passionate reconciliations. Puccini had a lot of extramarital relationships with some famous women, and this provoked Elvira’s furious jealousy. However, the feeling that bounded Puccini to Elvira was strong and sincere: in fact, all the female main characters in his lyrics were insipirated to Elvira, his one and only inspiring muse.
You can feel the magic of Saint Valentine absorbed in the beautiful Versilia too, thanks to the perfect combination among sea, mountains and nature. Discover the special offer of UNA Hotel Versilia, for a romantic escape of wellness.

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Torre del Lago | Credits instagram @salvatore.mallamace

Every year during July and August in Torre del Lago, Festival Puccini takes place in order to celebrate the glorious italian composer. It has reached the 64th edition. Thanks to that manifestation, you can live the feelings by listening his most famous compositions; it’s also an important occasion to visit all the places where Puccini’s lived, in order to understand the life of the cultural exponents in the 19th century.