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People and places

Parma-Piacenza

Verdi sites:

Busseto and its surroundings are the keys that all the music lovers must open in order to know more about Giuseppe Verdi, the towering musical genius of his time. Travel from Roncole to Casa Barezzi, to the Theatre and Piazza Verdi, through the porches of the town to Villa S.Agata and breathe the same atmosphere, the same sounds and smells and colours which dominate the Po valley and which were such a source of inspiration to the Maestro.

° BIRTH PLACE In this simple building, also used as a stable by the travelers, situated at a crossroads at the heart of the village, his father ran a tavern and a grocery store; his mother was a spinner. He did not forget their origins, he wrote in 1863 “I was, I am and I will always be a peasant from Le Roncole”. In 1913, the centenary of the birth, a bronze bust created by the sculptor Giuseppe Cantù was placed in the garden in front of the house.

° VERDI THEATRE The theatre is located inside the Rocca ( Pallavicino’s Castle), a 13th century building widely rehashed; today it has the same aspect that was given in the second half of the 19th century. The Municipality bought the fortress, in 1856. The building of the theatre took place in the years between 1856 and 1868, despite the opinion of the Master. He was in contrast with the Busseto people for their intrusiveness in his private sphere and because he believed the theatre was too expensive,an unnecessary expense for the future.

° BAREZZI’S HOUSE Antonio Barezzi, wealthy trader and music lover, early realized on the attitude of Giuseppe Verdi to the music and invited him into his home as a teacher for his daughter Margherita. On the façade of the house there is a marble and bronze plaque in memory of Antonio Barezzi with words dictated by Arrigo Boito in 1913.

° VILLA VERDI Three kilometers far from Busseto, just beyond the river Ongina, there is Villa Verdi. This is the house where Verdi lived the age of maturity. A wide romantic park surrounds the Villa. This garden is also full of exotic trees. In the house still live the heirs Carrara-Verdi but it’s possible to visit some rooms with originals furniture in “Luigi Filippo” style and the oldest furnishings purchased by Verdi.

° GIUSEPPE VERDI NATIONAL MUSEUM The beautiful Villa Pallavicino is located near the building of Santa Maria degli Angeli and is surrounded by a water moat. In front of the museum you see a 17th entrance hall divided into three parts created by the architect Domenico Valmagini.

Villa Pallavicino is also called formerly “Boffalora” and popularly “Palazzo dei Marchesi”. The 27 operas by the “Cigno di Busseto”are represented along an historic route with reproductions of Casa Ricordi’s original scenes and reconstructions of 19th century environments with Hayez’s paintings. Costumes of Verdi heroines, Verdi’s living room, the music room and the Messa da Requiem room in honor of Rossini and Manzoni complete the path.

GUARESCHI SITES

Giovannino Guareschi, a true product of the “Bassa”, lovingly narrated his “Small World” through his characters and the places he saw and visited throughout his life. If you want to get under the skin of this extraordinary author, there are three fundamental places to visit, all of which are on the cycling routes that wind their way through the villages and along the Po river embankments: Fontanelle, his birthplace, with a new museum dedicated to the author; Roncole Verdi, where he lived and where his children have mounted a permanent exhibition and a study centre; and the “Centro del Boscaccio” in Diolo which houses numerous mementoes and relics.

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