Puccini, Rossini & Florence

August 2 - 13, 2017

Turandot and La Rondine at the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago; Le siège de Corinthe, La pietra del paragone and Torvaldo e Dorliska at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro; plus Florence.

florence_tuscanyThe summer festivals devoted to Italy’s two lyric masters are largely outdoor affairs, on opposite coasts, each offering distinctive experiences in lovely settings. Torre del Lago (Puccini Festival) is located in western Tuscany, little more than a mile from the Tyrrhenian Sea. For this part of the tour, we stay just outside Lucca, one of the most charming cities in Italy, with some of the finest cuisine in all of Tuscany.

Pesaro is a Roman town on the Adriatic Coast, the birth-place of Gioachino Rossini, and home to the Rossini Festival.

Between festivals we stay in Florence, spending just enough time in this magnificent city to sample the very best it has to offer.

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Wednesday, August 2

Departures from North America.

Thursday, August 3

Upon arrival in either Florence or Pisa, you are met and transferred to the 18th century Albergo Villa Marta, located in the hills just 5 km from the city centre of Lucca. Tonight we dine at Buca di Sant’Antonio.

Friday, August 4

After breakfast (included each day), we enjoy an informative tour of Lucca, including Puccini’s first home and San Paolino, where Puccini played the organ. Tonight we dine at the Chalet del Lago before a performance of Puccini’s Turandot at the open-air opera theatre in Torre del Lago.

Saturday, August 5

This morning we gather in the lobby and depart early for a guided tour of the Villa Puccini in Torre del Lago. On to Pisa for lunch at leisure and then a tour (Leaning Tower, Romanesque Cathedral, Baptistry). Dinner is included before La Rondine in Torre del Lago, on the 100th anniversary of its first performance.

Sunday, August 6

We check out and depart through the Tuscan hills to Florence, where we check in at the charming Hotel L’Orologio. After settling into deluxe rooms, we meet our guide for a visit to the Accademia, solely to view Michelangelo’s awe-inspiring David. This evening, we gather for a special dinner.

Monday, August 7

We tour Florence (Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Duomo, Church of Santa Croce, highlights tour of the Uffizi), then enjoy the evening at leisure.

Tuesday, August 8

Today we offer a tour of the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. This evening we dine at one of our favourite restaurants in Florence and enjoy a concert (TBA).

Wednesday, August 9

This morning we check out and depart for Pesaro, stopping in Bologna for lunch and a guided tour of Piazza Maggiore. We then depart for Pesaro where we check in at the central Hotel Vittoria. The evening is at leisure in Pesaro.

Thursday, August 10

We tour Pesaro (Palazzo, Basilica, Rocca Costanza, and the birthplace of Rossini). Tonight we dine at the hotel before a performance of Rossini’s Le siège de Corinthe at the Adriatic Arena. Roberto Abbado conducts a production that includes Luca Pisaroni, Nino Machaidze and Carlo Cigni.

Friday, August 11

Today we embark on an historical tour to Urbino, one of Italy’s finest hill towns. Lunch is included in Urbino. This evening we hear Rossini’s La pietra del paragone at the Adriatic Arena. Daniele Rustioni conducts; cast includes Aya Wakizono, Luca Pisaroni, Marina Monzó and Davide Luciano.

Saturday, August 12

Enjoy the final day at leisure in Pesaro and a Farewell Dinner before Rossini’s rarely-staged Torvaldo e Dorliska. Francesco Lanzelotta conducts; cast includes Marko Mimica, Salome Jicia and Carlo Lepore.

Sunday, August 13

Departures to Bologna or Ancona Airport are included.