From Caccini to Puccini, Tuscany and Rome

Giacomo Puccini

Highlights of the tour:
Rome: Coliseum and Rome Forum
Uffizi Gallery in Florence
Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence
Puccini’s birthplace in Lucca
Magnificent lakeside villa of Puccini in Torre del Lago
Pisa’s Leaning Tower
Siena and San Gimignano
Wine tasting in Montepulciano
Visit of medieval Orvieto
Vatican by night

Performances:
Church of San Michele in a medieval town of Lucca
Tettuccio Spa concert in Montecatini Terme
Singing at a mass in Basilica San Pietro in Vatican

This new tour of 2015 combines singing in the most prestigious venues in Tuscany and Rome with a rich cultural program. The beauty of Tuscany is incomparable, providing a truly striking and inspirational place for you to visit and perform. This region offers a variety of venues suitable for bands, orchestras and choirs, such as the Chiesa di San Michele in medieval Lucca and spectacular Tettuccio Spa in Montecatini. You will have the opportunity to explore the city of Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and Pisa, to see its famous leaning tower. Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, “the most fly-in-amber little town in the world”. We shall visit the lakeside village of Torre del Lago, where Puccini composed inter alia Madama Butterfly, La bohème and Tosca and the place of world famous Puccini’s Festival in August and admire a wonderful collection of Puccini’s Museum. We shall see the small Tuscan treasure of Montepulciano and finish our tour with a magnetic singing in San Pietro Basilica in Vatican!

DAY 1: Arrival – Rome: Coliseum, Roman Forum
Arrival to Rome. Our assistant meets a group in the airport. Transfer to hotel in Rome. Checking in and taking the rooms, quick freshening up and departure for an afternoon tour of sightseeing in Rome center with our professional guide. We start from Oppian Hill – one of the famous Seven Hills of Rome — to enjoy panoramic views of the Coliseum and then visit (skipping the line with priority entrance tickets) the Coliseum. Learn all about the gladiators and the emperors who decided their fates. A short walk from the Coliseum brings us to the Roman Forum
for an up-close look at some of Ancient Rome’s most evocative ruins. See sites like the Temple of Julius Caesar and the intriguing House of the Vestal Virgins, before strolling up Palatine Hill to admire the views of the ruins below.
Free dinner in a suggested restaurant in Rome. Overnight in hotel in Rome.

Roma

DAY 2: Full day in Florence
After breakfast in hotel, at 08 30 we leave Rome and head for Florence. We arrive approximately at 12 00 in Florence and have a free time for quick lunch. After that we head for Uffizi Gallery with outr skip-the-line ticket. You will admire early Renaissance treasures by Giotto, and then stroll through halls dedicated to Michelangelo, da Vinci, Caravaggio and Raphael. The highlights of this visit are da Vinci’s Annunciation and Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo and the great collection of Caravaggio’s works.
After Uffizi, we go to Duomo, topped by the distinctive Brunelleschi’s Dome, visit Giotto’s Bell Tower and see Florence Baptistery. We pass Piazza della Signoria – Florence’s central square – and go to Palazzo Vecchio, the city hall, and continue past the New Market (Mercato Nuovo) to see Il Porcellino, the city’s much-loved bronze piglet statue. Stop to rub the statue’s nose for luck, and then wander back toward the river, cross the magnificent Ponte Vecchio, and finish your tour by Pitti Palace. While walking around Florence, we learn about the operas and work of great Italian composer Caccini in Florence.
Transfer to Montecatini Terme, a nice spa resort near Florence, dinner and overnight in hotel in Montecatini.

Firenze

DAY 3: Pisa, Lucca, Torre del Lago, Puccini house and concert
After breakfast in hotel, we head for Pisa. The iconic symbol of Italy, Pisa’s bell-tower would be a beautiful and architecturally significant building even without its famous lean. Rising eight storeys above the aptly named Campo dei Miracoli – the field of miracles – the tower was used by Galileo in his experiments on gravity.
Then we depart for the town of Lucca to visit the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini. Our guide leads you to the discovery of the sites in Lucca linked to the well-known composer Giacomo Puccini to understand the strong link between Puccini and his homeplace.
You will visit his birthplace, the churches where he played the organ and the places he used to hang out.
The guided tour starts from the house where the great artist was born in 1858, in the nearby Piazza della Cittadella stands a bronze statue dedicated to him. The guide will take you to the sites linked to his artistic training: the Church of San Paolino where Puccini started his career as a musician playing the organ and the Music Institute “Boccherini” where he learned to play the piano and the organ. You will also visit the church of San Pietro Somaldi, which contains a most valuable organ signed by Puccini, and to the Duomo of San Martino, in which all his ancestors have practiced as organists, composers and performers. The visit will end in Piazza del Giglio, dominated by the main theater of the city where all the Puccini operas have been performed with triumphant success.
After Lucca, we are heading for Villa Puccini located close to Lucca in Torre del Lago. The renovated villa – museum was opened in 2012, after a long and generous restaurant works. This picturesque place (elegant villa on the shores of the lake Massaciuccoli) was a real inspiration for Puccini. Here he composed some of his most renowned operas. Giacomo Puccini’s remains rest today in the chapel annexed to his beloved villa.
Evening performance at 17 00 in Church San Michele in the center of Lucca.
Dinner and overnight in hotel in Montecatini Terme.

Lucca San Michele in Foro

DAY 4: Siena, San Gimignano and concert
After breakfast in hotel, we depart for Siena. Our tour starts from the Basilica of San Domenico, with the sacred relic of St. Catherine, and then we see the ancient and aristocratic palaces such as the Tolomei and the Chigi ones and the historic headquarters of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the oldest bank in the world. We shall not miss a splendid Cathedral of the Assumption, rich in masterpieces by Bernini, Michelangelo, Giovanni Pisano and Pinturicchio. The tour ends at the top of Tower del Mangia, after you make a hundred steps to climb it, to get a magnificent view all over Siena’s center.
We have a nice lunch in a typical restaurant in a center of Siena and head for San Gimignano to see its perfectly preserved Medieval streets, squares, churches and world renowned towers. A real dive into the Middle Age! After getting to the Rocca di Montestaffoli and a breathtaking view over the surrounding Tuscan hills, we will end the tour with a visit to the Church of Sant’Agostino: a real museum of painting and sculpture with several masterpieces by Benozzo Gozzoli, Vincenzo Tamagni, Bartolo di Fredi, Tino di Camaino.
We return to Montecatini to sing in a concert in a famous Tettuccio Spa. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Montecatini.

Montecatini and San Gimignano

DAY 5: Montepulciano, Orvieto, singing Mass in St. Peter, Vatican
After breakfast in hotel, we leave Montecatini to reach Montepulciano. Montepulciano is still an undiscovered Tuscany gem. Standing imperiously on a tufa hill, it is one of the most intact and architecturally beautiful towns in Italy. We shall stroll around its medieval streets and stop by in a nice winery shop for tasting its world famous red wines and buying some good local wines. After lunch, we leave to reach Orvieto, a stronghold of Etruscan times.
Upon reaching Rome, we make a quick checking in hotel and leave for participation in a Mass in Basilica San Pietro in Vatican. It is the holiest place to sing in Italy! After performance, we have time to enjoy walking in Vatican up to Castel Sant’Angelo in the evening to enjoy a fantastic illumination of the riverside and Vatican city.
Free dinner in Rome. Overnight in hotel in Rome.

Vatican St. Peter

DAY 6: Departure
After breakfast in hotel, we have free time in Rome (depending on the time of departure from Rome) and a transfer to the airport of Rome.

 

get-a-quote

 

 

 

 

Festival package includes:

Accommodation:
02 nights in hotel 3 stars in Rome;
03 nights in hotel 3 stars in Montecatini Terme near Florence;
On double basis;
5 breakfasts (in all hotel of the tour) and 3 dinners (hotel in Montecatini);
in treatment bed and breakfast (breakfast buffet) in Rome and half board (breakfast and dinner) in Montecatini;
All transfers as indicated in the program:

Professional English speaking guides in:
Coliseum and Roman Forum in Rome;
Uffizi Gallery in Florence and walking tour around Florence;
Leaning Tower in Pisa;
walking tour in Lucca;
visit of Puccini’s villa in Torre del Lago;
walking tour of Siena and San Gimignano;

Tasting wines and cheese in Montepulciano.

Performances in:
Church of San Michele in a medieval town of Lucca
Tettuccio Spa concert in Montecatini Terme
Singing at a mass in Basilica San Pietro in Vatican

 

Extras:

Single room supplement on request;
Insurance;
Entrance fees to places of interest, museums, sites, etc (State run museums free to over 65s);
Lunches, dinners and tastings during the tour;
Audio headphones during the excursions;
City taxes if applicable to be paid directly in hotels (euro 1,00 per person in Montecatini Terme and euro 4,00 per person per day);
Drinks for dinner in hotel in Montecatini to be paid directly in hotel.