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Turandot’s Carillon

From London to Longoio (and Lucca and beyond) Part One

Proceeding from Ponte a Serraglio to Bagni di Lucca Villa the road is lined on the right –hand side, just past the art-deco styled Carabinieri headquarters (the “Casa del Fascio” under a previous regime), with a mysterious, somewhat dilapidated-looking and orange-stuccoed villa displaying signs of former architectural splendour in its ionic columns and details.  This elegant building happens also to be of the greatest significance for Puccini opera lovers for reasons which will become clear…

I stopped there the other day to take the following pictures which show that what we see of the villa is just its back-end: the façade faces a beautifully extensive garden sloping down to the Lima River, now still in full flood after the recent heavy rains. Not only does the villa always seem shuttered but even its present ownership is a mystery although I gathered from my barber that it may be now in…

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