Forget pizza, Renaissance masters and ancient architecture – for fans of classical music, Italy has one particularly important claim to fame as the birthplace of opera. Coming from the term opera di musica (literally, ‘work in music’) the form was born in Italy in around the sixteenth century. Not only was it the home of opera, it also gave life to some of its most famous sons; Puccini, Rossini, Verdi, to name but a few.
With such a rich history in the musical tradition it is no surprise that thousands of visitors come to Italy each year to follow in the footsteps of its famous composers. On anescorted tourit is possible to hear the work of these great masters performed in the original venues and towns in which they were originally written and put in front of an audience for the first time.
Celebrate With a Summer of Festivals
Take an escorted tourof Italy during the summer and you will be lucky enough to see some of today’s great singers take on the famous roles of some of the Italian composers’ best loved works. With opera festivals at their height during the summer months this is a great time to visit.
Find an escorted tour which will encompass as many of these festivals as you can fit in during your time in Italy. The musically important cities of Bologna, Lucca and Verona are all within travelling distance of one another and offer a programme of events over the summer which could see you taking in productions by all the major composers across a seven day itinerary. Highlights are likely to include a production of one of Verdi’s leading works at the beautiful Verona amphitheatre.
Get Personal with Puccini in Lucca
If you would rather concentrate the focus of your trip on just one composer then I would recommend taking an escorted tourto Puccini’s beautiful Renaissance city of Lucca to coincide with the annual Puccini Opera Festival. Not only is the city itself beautiful and well worth exploring, but an opera tour of the area should also include a visit to Torre del Lago, the birthplace of Puccini and the site of a fascinating museum dedicated to him. Torre del Lago also boasts a beautiful open-air theatre on the banks of the lake, in which his operas are regularly performed.
Feel the Awe of Verdi in Parma
For many fans of Italian opera, Verdi is the pinnacle of what was possible in the art form. If you want to really connect with the work, the man and the country from which he came, Parma’s Verdi Festival is a must. Take an escorted touraround Parma to ensure you don’t miss any of the Festival highlights including live performances of his major works, a backstage tour of the Teatro Regio and a visit to the historic town of Cremona.
An escorted tourof Italy during the opera festival summer season will give you the opportunity to really understand the music you love. With the opportunity to find out more about the lives of its composers and get an insight into how they would have lived, an opera tour will give you the chance to walk in the footsteps of these great masters.
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays for or over 30 years. Recently his well-received escorted tour itineraries, which venture to the far corners of the globe, have been included in Prestige’s luxury holiday portfolio. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.