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CHIATRI

Land of PucciniPuccini acquired a large old villa in this village above Massarosa in 1898, because he had such fond memories of visiting a childhood friend there. With its splendid views, Chiatri provided an alternative haven for the composer, and he set about having the villa restructured in a neo-gothic style. Its difficult access meant that all the building materials had to be carried by oxen and mule along a 4 km track. Puccini came to love the house he created, even having 100 postcards printed to use as personal stationery. It is thought that part of Tosca and Act I of La Fanciulla del West were composed at Chiatri, and certainly Puccini hosted many friends at the villa during the few times he was there himself. However, his family did not share his love for the place, and in 1908, the villa was sold. Today it is privately owned and not open to the public, however, a drive from Massarosa to Chiatri can provide interesting insights into the life of the composer who craved peace and quiet. Apart from taking in the magnificent views of Puccini's beloved Lake Massaciuccoli and its flat surroundings which spread towards the ocean, the vista affords also a view of the Alpi Apuane and lends some perspective to the prospect of travel in Puccini's day.  Take state road 12 from Viareggio to Lucca , pass through Massarosa until you reach Bozzano. Take the road to the left also marked Bozzano, and continue for about 5 km under the freeway until you reach a crossroad. An immediate right turn will take you a few meters to the church parking lot, where you can park and admire the old church with its picturesque burial place next door. Land of PucciniTo get to Puccini's house, walk towards the coast and down the hill to the large red brick villa (now private property). To find the restaurant and enjoy the views, continue straight through the crossroad until you see the restaurant about 1 km on your right. These roads are not suitable for tour buses. Chiatri is also accessible from Lucca travelling towards Viareggio , there are two options clearly signposted approximately 10 km from Lucca.