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An itinerary of Lucca’s nineteenth and twentieth century poets and musicians

Giacomo Puccini, Giovanni Pascoli, Giosuè Carducci and Gabriele D’Annunzio

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Today, the places where these famed figures were born and the houses they lived in have become foundations or museums. They are important places to see on any visit to Lucca and its environs. Since the 18th century, Lucca and its territory have been a favourite destination and a source of inspiration for renowned foreign artists and travelers, like Shelley, Keats and Byron, who came to relax in the resorts located in Versilia and Garfagnana.

More recently, the Province of Lucca has welcomed great poets like Eugenio Montale and Salvatore Quasimodo. The Premio Viareggio, which counts among its winners some of the most prominent figures of Italian literature, has become very important on the national and international level.

First stage:
In Valdicastello, visit the birth home of Giosuè Carducci, called the "Casa Natale di Giosuè Carducci", which he left at the age of three, but came back to see later on in life. Shortly after his death, in 1907, the house was declared a national monument, and in 1912, it was bought by the town hall.
In neighboring Pietrasanta, the nineteenth century villa, known as the "Versiliana", is where Gabriele D´Annunzio spent some time at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is equally important from a historical and cultural point of view because it has been the location of an important cultural event since 1979.

Second stage:
Don’t miss the home of Giacomo Puccini, called the "Casa di Giacomo Puccini", in Torre del Lago. This where every year the famous "Festival Pucciniano", an international rendezvous for all lyric experts and fans, is staged. Visit the buildings of his childhood, like the "Casa Natale di Giacomo Puccini" in Lucca or the Museo Puccini in Pescaglia, a house that used to belong to his family and where the composer spent most of his younger years.

Third stage:
The last stop on this poetical and musical journey is the town of Barga, where together with the "Casa di Giovanni Pascoli", today a museum, you can see a very interesting and evocative theatre, called the "Teatro dei Differenti", which was opened in 1689 and rebuilt in 1793. This is where Pascoli pronounced his famous speech, entitled "La grande proletaria si è mossa" on the 26th of November 1911. It marked the beginning of a season of intense cultural activity for the theatre.

On the other hand, Bagni di Lucca is well known for its thermal baths that attracted famous Italian and foreign artists, like musicians Gioacchino Rossini, Franz Liszt, Johann Strauss, Niccolò Paganini, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni, and writers Lord Byron, Percy Bisshe Shelley, Henry James and Eugenio Montale.
When to go:
Spring-summer is the best time to visit, particularly during the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago.