Carnival of Viareggio, magic and fantasy on the Tuscan coast

Carnival of Viareggio, magic and fantasy on the Tuscan coast

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

—Have you ever been to Viareggio carnival? Is it worth it?
—It’s a little decadent … It makes me sad.”
—Interesting, you just convinced me, I’ll go!

Although not as popular as the Venetian, the Carnival of Viareggio is one of the most important and acclaimed in Italy. I am from Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, where the carnival is the most outstanding festivity. It is the first big celebration of the year. It involves a massive exhibition of colour, enthusiasm, and frenzy, and that is why, probably, it drives me to discover other facets and versions of the same event. It is said that “diversity is equal to cultural richness.”

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Villa Puccini in Torre del Lago: where Giacomo Puccini still feels alive

Villa Puccini in Torre del Lago: where Giacomo Puccini still feels alive

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Torre del Lago (Viareggio, province of Lucca) is known for being the gay mecca in the Tuscan coast, but most especially for Giacomo Puccini ́s villa. Attracted by its peaceful surroundings, such as the Lake di Massaciuccoli nearby, the composer bought it in 1898 and lived there until his death in 1924. The simplicity of the two-storey building is offset by inner eclecticism, with highlights as his piano room and the chapel where the master, his wife, son and daughter-in-law are buried. It is great to know that tragic characters such as Floria Tosca, Mimì or Madama Butterfly were given birth within these walls. The house-museum was inaugurated in 2012 and is managed by her granddaughter Simonetta Puccini. Since 1930, the Puccini Festival is celebrated near the lake in summer, with works of the composer represented in an outdoor stage.
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