Chiatri – Massaciuccoli Villa Puccini, Chiatri Villa Puccini, Chiatri This villa was the first house owned by Puccini (without considering his Birth Home in Lucca): In December 1898, after the success of Manon Lescaut and La bohème, he was able to buy the old Samminiati Villa, situated in a stunning location, and he had it restored completely. Chiatri at that time – according to the story of Dante Del Fiorentino, one of the first Puccini biographers – had not more than a dozen families, 200 sheep, 10 cows, a few chickens and a solitary church. Puccini invested energy and money for the construction of this residence, an undertaking made even more challenging by the absence of any road suitable for vehicles, so all the building materials had to be unloaded at Farneta and taken with draft animals for about 4 km of track. Starting in 1898 Puccini began to put pressure on the City of Lucca to build a suitable road. In 1906 it seemed that all obstacles had been removed, after Puccini had even declared his willingness to bear most of the costs. For unknown reasons, however, the project fell through at the last moment and Puccini attributed the responsibility to the mayor Massimo Del Carlo, his brother-in-law. The road was to be completed after the composer’s death. Built to a project by ingegnere Giuseppe Puccinelli, the villa has a regular plan and is of distinctly Tuscan style, defined by “visible” brick facing and characterized by stylistic elements in neo-Romanesque mullioned windows with polychrome decoration that characterize the first floor of the main prospect. The main façade, featuring a symmetrical design, is introduced by a small flight of marble steps. The interior of the villa, qualified by a large study hall and living rooms for conversation, was decorated with light lacquered furniture, made by the company Berardi e Tedeschi, renowned Florentine furniture makers, in Art Nouveau style. The building, surrounded by a large garden, could have been a place of peace and rest for Puccini, ideal for his hunting, but also for his work. In reality Puccini always spent few days there, except for a few weeks of Summer, in 1908, during which he composed most of Act I of La fanciulla del West. The villa was sold by Antonio Puccini in 1943. Villa Ginori-Lisci, Massaciuccoli Villa Ginori-Lisci, Massaciuccoli The extremely close relationship between Giacomo Puccini and Lake Massaciuccoli began precisely at Massaciuccoli, probably during an outing with friends. His subsequent settlement in Torre del Lago and his unquenched passion for hunting on the lake had to do with the Marquis Carlo Benedetto Ginori-Lisci, owner since 1887 of the lake and surrounding lands. The Villa Ginori-Lisci at “La Piaggetta”, renovated in the late 19th century, connotes a picturesque landscape with red facing and with the poly-lobed profiles of the openings in that “Tuscan neo-Gothic” style which was so pleasing to Puccini that he chose it for the villas of Chiatri and then Viareggio. The dock of the villa was of course an ideal landing place when Puccini crossed the lake, and once, after a frightening car accident, it was rather the starting point for a boat that brought the composer back to Torre del Lago. The villa was much frequented by the composer even further on, especially for the affection that bound him to Bianca Maria, daughter of Carlo Benedetto, whom he had seen as a little girl and thought a fine connoisseur of music (he often asked for her views on his new works and never failed to procure her tickets for various theatres).