Blog Travel Emilia romagna

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A short break in the Land of Verdi

Nicholas Montemaggi April 15, 2011

During this short break we will discover well-known and obscure places in Emilia linked to this great composer’s life through two fundamental and closely intertwined cultural and historical events of the 1800s: the melodrama and the Italian Risorgimento.

The trip starts in Villanova sull’Arda (Piacenza) in Villa Sant’Agata bought by the composer in 1848 and enlarged and improved over the years. Giuseppe Verdi lived there with his second wife Giuseppina Strepponi. The house is intimately tied to the places associated with Verdi at Busseto and is surrounded by a large and luxurious park in a romantic style which was designed by the composer himself. The interior is intact in its furnishings and is rich in curios. Second stop is Busseto (Parma), in Villa Barezzi, where numerous Verdi curios can be found including the Viennese Tomaschek piano on which the Maestro composed “I Due Foscari” and which he played during the last moments of Barezzi’s life (1869), an oil painting of Barezzi, the first portrait of the young Verdi in charcoal, signed letters and the patriotic appeal of 1859. The record collection of Antony Rocco Schipper-Suppa containing over 3,000 disks and 500 works is also housed there.

Third stop the house at Roncole di Busseto (Parma), in which Giuseppe Verdi was born on 10 October 1813. In the building, which was also used for the collection and distribution of the post, his father ran a tavern and general store. His mother was a spinner. Verdi’s family was one of small property owners but not illiterate. Very often, in fact, the innkeepers, would read letters to those who were not able to do so themselves. Then, a quick stop in Fidenza (Parma), at the “Girolamo Magnani” Theatre built in the first half of the 19th century.

Fifth stop is in Parma at the house where the great conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) was born. It represents one of the symbolic places in memory of the Maestro even though he lived there for just a few months. Last stop in Emilia is the Civic Risorgimento Museum of Bologna, where a symbolic document regarding the relationship between Verdi and the Italian Risorgimento can be found. The trip ends in Ravenna at the Classense Library, where letters and documents of the Maestro can be found.

Thanks for the trip and for the pics to:
@dadda_g – @piacenzaturismi – @mastino70 – @skolem – @sciura_pina – @Museo Barezzi – @degra – @Comune di Fidenza – @franfiorini – @lucrezia_grandi – @Istituzione Biblioteca Classense

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