Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Discover the magic of Puccini in Italy with David Mellor – join our opera critic in Lucca for a celebration of the composer’s work
The Puccini Opera Festival is held every summer in the delightful Tuscan town of Lucca, where the great Italian composer was born. The stunning lakeside theatre at Torre del Lago is among the world’s best settings for opera, and on this exclusive five-day tour you will be joined by the perfect person to bring Puccini alive: The Mail on Sunday’s inimitable classical music critic David Mellor.
During your holiday, you will walk in Puccini’s footsteps and discover many of the places that inspired the composer, including his beloved summer villa and ancestral home.
You will have Category 1 tickets to see rousing performances of two of Puccini’s greatest operas – Tosca and Madame Butterfly – in Torre del Lago and also enjoy three very special meals, one at the Michelin-starred Romano in Viareggio, a superb 50-year-old restaurant that is an Italian institution.
Tuscan delight: The wonderful walled Italian town of Lucca, which was home to Puccini
The Puccini Opera Festival is held every summer in the delightful Tuscan town of Lucca
OUR SPECIAL GUEST
You will be joined by David Mellor
After being in politics as the MP for Putney from 1979 to 1997, including a spell as Culture Secretary, David has settled into a career in classical music. He spent seven years with Radio 3 and has been broadcasting with Classic FM for 15 years, hosting a popular Sunday show. He has been The Mail on Sunday’s classical music critic for almost two decades.
‘Giacomo Puccini is rightly seen as one of the real opera greats,’ says David. ‘A genius of straightforward tastes, he wrote sparingly, producing an opera every four years or so. As a consequence, all are beautifully wrought, pack an emotional punch and do not outstay their welcome.
‘The chance to hear Puccini in what was his home is too good to miss. Unlike most great composers, he actually lived in that place for almost his entire adult life.
‘I have always enjoyed my visits to Torre del Lago and I can’t wait for the opportunity to help you discover its magic.’
REASONS TO BOOK
Explore the cobbled streets and atmospheric piazzas of the delightful Tuscan town where Puccini was born.
Opera by the lake
Experience stunning opera performances in the unforgettable setting of Torre del Lago. You’ll have the best seats in the house for two classics: Tosca and Madame Butterfly. Early booking is recommended.
Meet David Mellor
The Mail on Sunday critic and Classic FM presenter will join readers in Lucca. A great admirer of Puccini, David will share his expert insights in two private talks introducing the two performances.
Enjoy privileged, behind-the-scenes experiences not normally open to the public, including a private lecture and tour of the Puccini Foundation by its director, and a special opening of the Puccini Villa at Viareggio.
The story of Giacomo Puccini
Immerse yourself in the story of Puccini with stops at the acclaimed Villa Puccini Museum, Puccini’s birthplace, as well as Celle dei Puccini and its fascinating museum.
You’ll enjoy memorable meals during your tour, including a scenic boat trip with dinner on the lake at Torre del Lago and lunch at the excellent Puccini restaurant. You will also join David Mellor at the acclaimed and Michelin-starred Romano in Viareggio.
- Scheduled return flights from London to Pisa (other regional UK airports are available on request, some at extra cost).
- Four nights’ bed-and- breakfast at the four-star Hotel Palazzo Alexander.
- Lunches and dinners as detailed in the itinerary online, including a meal at Michelin-starred Ristorante Romano.
- Two tours and talk with the director of the Puccini Foundation.
- Two exclusive talks and special events with David Mellor.
- All other visits as outlined in itinerary.
- Comfortable coach transfers.
- Expert Guide Lecturer.
- Category 1 tickets to Tosca and Madame Butterfly.
- Opera programme.
HOW TO BOOK
THE DATES: August 20-24, 2020. THE PRICE: From £2,595pp*.
Call 01722 622 362 quoting ref MOS PUCCINI. To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/puccinifestival.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: *The price is based on two sharing. Subject to availability. Single supplement: £250. This tour is exclusive to Mail Travel and selected other media partners. Our travel partner, Andante Travels, is ABTA-bonded and this trip is ATOL-protected. For full terms and conditions, go to mailtravel.co.uk/puccinifestival.