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ENRICO CARUSO IN LASTRA A SIGNA
The 17th century Villa Bellosguardo stands on the wonderful hill of Monte delle Selve, with a stirring view of vineyards and olive groves typical of the Tuscan landscape. In the early 1900s the Villa was bought by the great tenor Enrico Caruso and became his only Italian home.
In this villa, Caruso "added greatness of deeds to the harmony of singing", as quoted in an inscription. In fact, when around the year 1913 the straw handicraft workshops experienced a severe crisis, the local authorities went up to Bellosguardo to ask for work for the laborers who had been left unemployed. Caruso answered the plea with astounding generosity ordering the construction of a wide gallery joining the two parts of the Villa and of a structure that completely enclosed the vast and magnificent park, rich in statues and wonderful plants.
Caruso remained at the Villa for fourteen years, interrupted only when he traveled abroad to perform in major theaters and earn worldwide acclaim. He often invited celebrities, spent relaxing days with his family and always showed an interest in the simple life of his fellow townsfolk and of the local population. But above all he sang letting his unique voice roll down the surrounding hills, a memory that the inhabitants of the area will never forget.
In honor of a great guest and incomparable artist, every year the local association 'Amici della musica' ('Friends of Music') organizes advanced courses for opera singers and awards the "Caruso Prize" to world-famous singers.
The ceremony takes place in the garden of the Villa every year on the third Sunday in July. During the summer, the garden also hosts exhibitions, concerts, and a wide range of artistic and cultural events.
|Bed and Breakfast Villa al Piano
50055 Lastra a Signa - Via del Piano, 23 - Florence
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