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Italy, Busseto – Following the Traces of Verdi

Published: 23.5.2018
Setting out from the birthplace of the famous music composer Giuseppe Verdi - Le Roncole - we go to the town Busseto, mere kilometers away. It played an important role not only in the musical but also personal life of the famous composer.

At the beginning of the historic center of Busset there is a large car park, from where you can comfortably walk through the streets of this pleasant town, which is connected with the musical beginnings of Giuseppe Verdi. Here you will also find a spring of fresh water to refresh yourself before exploring the city

Verdi's statue in front of Rocca Pallavicino (Busseto)

From the parking lot we head straight to Piazza Giuseppe Verdi. Here, the master himself will welcome you sitting in an armchair (1913, Luigi Secchi).

Rocca Pallavicino (Busseto)

Behind it is the fortress Rocca Pallavicino (11th century), which was rebuilt in 1857 in the Neo-Gothic style. Unfortunately the romantic atmosphere around the draw bridge which linked the fortress and the square is no longer there. Only its original tower, which you can walk through and which divides the building into two parts, has been preserved. In one part there is the town hall. In the other there is a small theater for approximately 300 spectators. The theater, of course, bears the name of the most famous inhabitant of the city - Teatro Giuseppe Verdi. Although Verdi donated money to complete this theater, he did not agree with its construction.

Piazza G. Verdi (Busseto)

Behind the fortress you will not find the romance of old times, the gate will take you from the center to the everyday reality of the Busseto dwellers. That is why we are returning to the square. Opposite the statue of Verdi there is an orange building - CasaBarezzi. It features a plaque dedicated to Verdi's patron A. Berezzi. He lived here with his family. Today, this house is the headquarters of the Friends of Verdi association. Displayed there is a a permanent exhibition of articles and documents related to Verdi and his relationship to the Barezzi family. Verdi's first portrait hangs on the wall (picture of Antonio Barezzi) and you can also see the Viennese hammer piano. In the lounge on the first floor, the young Verdi had his first public appearance in 1830. Eventually Verdi moved into this house. It was not only the music what lured him there. One of Berezzi's daughters, Margherita, was taught by him to play piano and to sing.

Casa Barezzi (Busseto)

Verdi did not resist her charm and in 1836 sealed her love with her by a marriage in the nearby Church of St Bartholomew the Apostle.

St Bartholomew church (Busseto)

The church with terracotta facade, located in the neighborhood of Casa Barezzi, was built on the ruins of the former church of San Nicolo in 1437-1440. On one of the pillars on the front of the temple is a plaque commemorating the meeting of Emperor Charles V with Pope Paul III in 1543. There is a number of valuables in individual chapels, such as a silver reliquary in the shape of a blessing hand (reliquary of St Blase)

St Bartholomew church interior (Busseto)

Apostle Bartholomew is the patron of the city. To him also this church is dedicated. On the feast day of this saint (August 24), the Ségra ad San Bartlamé festival takes place in the city. During this festivity, you can hear country music in Bussette and also taste typical local delicacies (sticks, pisarei with beans and sausage).

Via Roma (Busseto)

From Piazza Giuseppe Verdi square runs Via Roma lined with houses with archway.  Here are various stores and places related to Verdi's life. Verdi won the daily bread for his family as conductor of the orchestra and director of the music school in Busset. Later he moved to Milan in 1839, but returned to Busset after the death of his wife.Via Roma (Busseto)

On Via Roma we find the arched arcade of the Neo-Classical Palazzo Orlandi. Verdi 

Chiesa di Santa Maria Annunziata (Busseto)

bought this house in 1845 and moved in with his mistress Giuseppina Strepponi. The Italian soprano singer meant also first successes for Verdi in his life. She sang the role of Abigail at the world premiere of Nabucco in La Scala (1842). This biblical opera with the Jewish choir made him the number one national composer, at the age of 34 he became really famous. Here Verdi composed the operas of Luisa Miller, Stiffelio or Rigoletto and spent the happy years of his life alongside his other wife until they moved to Villa Sant'Agata.

From store to store, from house to house... We move through the arcades an elegant orange palace. The Palazzo del Monte di Pietà (1681-1682) represents a significant example of Baroque architecture. And we spot another example of Baroque architecture St. Ignatius Church - Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio (1682) with its amazing facade.

When you return along Via Roma to the car park, you will discover another small neo-classicist church Chiesa di Santa Maria Annunziata (1804) featuring the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, whose author is a Renaissance artist from Cremona - Vincenzo Campi (1581). Also, this temple is related to Verdi's life. On 31 January 1805 his parents had their wedding there.
However, Busseto is not its city center only. Next week we'll peak into another parts of the city.

GPS: 44°58'52.9"N 10°02'30.6"E

 

Text and photos: Anna Nociarová

Edited by: Infoglobe



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