The birthplace of the great composer in the city’s historic center
The home that Giacomo Puccini was born in in Lucca, now a museum, is the central element in the Puccini Museum, an exhibition route that explores the traces left behind by the great composer, discovering the personality, the genius and the passion of the creator of extraordinary operas known throughout the world.
The house museum is located in the historic center of Lucca, in corte San Lorenzo, n. 8: this is where the composer was born on December 22, 1958 and spent his early years training in music before moving to Milan. Puccini lived in many houses throughout his life, but he always had a special place in his heart for the one in Lucca.
Inside the museum, the rooms were restored to their original appearance, complete with historic furniture. The apartment contains priceless objects that once belonged to the musician, including the Steinway & Sons piano used to compose the opera Turandot, signed scores of his early compositions (the first opera, Preludio a orchestra, rediscovered in 1999, and Messa a 4 voci from 1880), many letters from and to Giacomo Puccini (those from Giulio Ricordi are immensely important), paintings, photographs, sketches, mementos and precious documents like the working versions and drafts of the librettos Tosca and Fanciulla del West, a rare proof of the score for Fanciulla del West and an arrangement of La Rondine, filled with handwritten notes and musical outlines.
Among the donations, the costume for Turandot stands out, made based on a sketch by Umberto Brunelleschi and worn by Maria Jeritza for the premier of the opera at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in 1926.
I’m honoured to have played Puccini’s own Steinway Grand Piano at the Puccini museum yesterday, which is situated at his actual place of birth, in an ancient building in the heart of Lucca. Puccini composed ‘Turandot’ on this very piano, so it felt fitting to play an excerpt of ‘Nessun Dorma’, one of the operas most famous arias. By kind permission of the Puccini Museum, Lucca, Italy
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Many people born and bred in Tuscany consider Lucca an outlier—it’s not uncommon to hear Florentines mutter “that's not Tuscan”, probably when referring to the bread, which is salted in Lucca and strictly plain elsewhere in Tuscany; or to the Lucchese people's mode of speaking (unique, to say the least); or to the fact that Lucca is the region’s only city-state to have preserved its ...