In his career as tenor, Caruso spent a lot of time working in America, earning a fair fortune. This allowed him to invest huge sums of money in Tuscan property, the land that continued to call to him even across the ocean. In 1904 he bought the Villa I Pini on the via delle Panche, in the area of Sesto Fiorentino, where he had a large Italian-style garden built before moving there with his American wife Dorothy Benjamin.
But that was not his only investment in Florentine soil. He also bought a villa in Lastra a Signa, surrounded by fields and gardens and designed by the very architect who worked for the Medici family. The villa, which he named Bellosguardo, is today home to a Caruso Museum, which contains antiques, period photographs, personal effects and stage costumes donated by the centre of Caruso studies. It also has a collection of vinyl discs signed by Caruso, and an interactive exhibition where you can hear the tenor’s voice in person.