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Historical Background


History of villino

Between the late 19th century and early 20th century, Viareggio is a fashionable seaside resortpopular among the wealthy bourgeoisie, nobility, members of the House of Savoia, intellectuals and many artists of the time, such as Gabriele D’Annunzio, Eleonora Duse, Marta Abba, Luigi Pirandello and Galileo Chini.

The promenade of Viareggio, with its original buildings made of wood, home to bathing establishments, elegant shops, dance halls and chantant cafés, is the centre of high society. The area between the pine forest and the seashore is filled with small and large villas and important hotels such as Hotel Principe di Piemonte and the Hotel Excelsior, all featuring Liberty and eclectic styles. It is in this historical-cultural setting that Maestro Giacomo Puccini decides to transfer his residence.

In the late 18th century, the Maestro lived in the nearby Torre del Lago, on the banks of Lake Massaciuccoli, first in a rented house, later, from 1900, in a building he owned and renovated to fit his needs.

In the early 20th century, part of Lake Massaciuccoli was purchased by the company Ilva Torbiere d’Italia which built a large turf extraction plant. This led Puccini to move into a new home in Viareggio.

1915 - 1920
1915 - 1920
“For the garden among the pines You know what I desire”


Puccini himself preferred a site close to the pine forest: the land was purchased in 1915, but the outbreak of World War I significantly lengthened the construction time of his new home. A first design project was entrusted to the engineer Ulderico Orzali, who designed a large but very costly villa. The Puccini family deemed the expense too high, and the project was abandoned. Puccini casually became acquainted with the architect Vincenzo Pilotti, a young lecturer at the University of Pisa, at the Gran Caffe Margherita, and decided to entrust him the work of designing his new home in Viareggio. The young man interpreted and, most of all, tolerated the punctilious directions of the Maestro concerning the construction and architectural details of the house. The works were completed in 1921 as indicated in the cornerstone in the main façade, after considerable difficulties due to the increase in post war prices.
1921 - 1924
1921 - 1924
“All are drawn, to the west, to the house where Turandot was composed”


𝗠𝗮𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼 𝗣𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗶 lived in this building from December 1921 to 1924, when he became very ill. He travelled to Brussels for treatment, but never returned. The Villa was popular among the Maestro’s artists and musicians. One of these, the painter Lorenzo Viani, has left us this personal account: “All are attracted, westwards, by the home in which Turandot was composed. The people stop outside the gates; they look at the windows, the portico, one of those small statues of the Madonna you see at the crossroads at which a little light is always burning. Tough ivy embraces the pine trees, paths inlaid with red bricks lead to the entrance; on sunny days, artificial rain falls on the herbs and softens them. Giacomo Puccini was very fond of rainy days; I seem to hear the perpetual optimism inside it: - If it rains, I laugh and, if it doesn’t, I sing”.
“The house in Viareggio was totally devastated”


Following the death of the Maestro, the Villa remains the property of the Puccini family who continues to live in it. From a letter written by Antonio Puccini, we know that the building was seriously damaged during the World War II by bombings and even looted: “The house in Viareggio was totally devastated, the roof is missing almost all the windows and doors, the parquets, all the locks, cracked bathrooms, stolen bricks, etc, etc.” Following the war, the Villa is rented out until the mid-2000s, when Giacomo Puccini Foundation claims ownership of the property thanks to the finding of a legacy of the will of Rita Dell’Anna (Puccini’s daughter-in-law who had already donated the birth house).
2008 - 2014
2008 - 2014
``Keeping consecrated to Giacomo Puccini and home and forest”


In 2008, a ruling of the Court of Florence recognises the validity of the legacy and in April 2012, thanks to a settlement deed stipulated with the State property agency, the ownership of the Villa is definitively attributed to Fondazione Giacomo Puccini which becomes the owner in late July 2014. Fondazione Giacomo Puccini, having carried out the necessary surveys and static verifications and obtained the permits from the authorities, immediately undertakes an action to put the building and the garden into safety and begins a series of preparatory investigations before the restoration work begins.

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Adults: $25
Children & Students free

673 12 Constitution Lane Massillon
781-562-9355, 781-727-6090