Church of Ss Paolino e Donato
This was the family‘s parish church. It was actually in this church that Giacomo Puccini could be said to have received his baptism as a composer. On July 1880 here took place Giacomo’s performance of the “Messa a 4 voci a piena orchestra“. The messa is the first Maestro’s first masterpiece and it remained stamped on the composer’s memory since he drew upon it more than once even for his most important theatrical works.
Piazza Napoleone and view to Palazzo Ducale where all Giacomo Puccini’s ancestors worked as Maestri di Cappella, entitled by the Republic of Lucca. This is the palace where Napoleon’s sister Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi used to live between 1805 and 1814.
Teatro del Giglio (external view).
The city’s principal theatre offers an extraordinary and rare example of a public theatre which was operated more or less continuouly for more than three centuries since 1675. From August 1819, under the title Teatro del Giglio, it entered its most glorious phase and offered the city productions of outstanding quality. Here Puccini had the chance to appear as piano accompaniest and later as a composer. All his operas where performed here during his life time and this is where the Opera season takes place nowadays.
Cattedrale di San Martino
In this splendid Cathedral all Giacomo Puccini‘s forbears had carried a considerable part of their activity as an organist, composer and musical director from 1740 until 1864. It was above all the festivals of the Santa Croce held on 13 and 14 September of each year that the Puccinis gave their contribute composing the great concerts.
Caffè di Simo
This famous coffee place dates back to 1846 and nowadays it has kept a great part of its original furnishings. Here was founded a real “concert of friendships “ as is recorded on a memorial that has been placed there in 1958. Host and patron of the concert of Harmoby was Alfredo Caselli, a figure out of the ordinary, cultivated friend of great artists, included Giacomo Puccini.
If you want to organize a small concert with pianist and soprano, please contact: www.caffedisimo.it
San Pietro Somaldi
Puccini’s early biographers tell us how in his youth, before moving to Milan to complete his studies, he used to play the organ in various churches in Lucca, such as San Pietro Somaldi, San Paolitno etc. The organ in this church is a most valuable seventeenth century instrument, constructed by a famous organ builder of Lucca, Domenico Cacioli. Puccini carved his signature on the wind chest affixed after the restoration of the instrument.
Exhibit: Puccini and Lucca 'Quando sentirò la dolce nostalgia della mia terra nativa' in Palazzo Guinigi (entrance fee).