The Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago is one of those events in Tuscany that anyone in love with the Opera cannot miss. Every summer, in July and August the Puccini Festival takes place in the open-air theater along the bank of peaceful Massaciuccoli Lake.

Puccini Festival Torre del Lago Puccini Viareggio Tuscany

The Program of the Festival Puccini 2024

This summer 2024 the Puccini Festival will be sensational and unique. It marks the 70th edition and the 100th anniversary of the Master’s lifetime. Here is the program of the Festival which includes the staging of the main six operas:

Le Willis – Edgar Dittico

  • Friday, July 12,
  • Friday, July 19.

Manon Lescaut

  • Saturday, July 13,
  • Friday, August 2.

La Bohème

  • Saturday, July 20,
  • Saturday, July 27,
  • Thursday, August 8,
  • Thursday, Aug. 22.


  • Friday, July 26,
  • Friday, August 9,
  • Sunday, August 18,
  • Saturday, August 24.


  • Saturday, August 3,
  • Saturday, August 10,
  • Saturday, Aug. 17,
  • Friday, Aug. 23.

Madama Butterfly

  • Saturday, Aug. 31
  • Saturday, Sept. 7
Puccini Festival park with two artworks by Mitoraj
The open-air theatre with Mitoraj sculptures

Torre del Lago Puccini and the Master

The little town of Torre del Lago lays down the shores of the Massaciuccoli Lake in Versilia, just a few miles away from the beaches of Viareggio, became famous thanks to the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. Giacomo Puccini, renowned all over the world for his masterpieces of classical music, was born in the close town of Lucca. He fell in love with this place thanks to its beauty and peaceful atmosphere, and he chose to spend the most important years of his life along the lake, composing music, relaxing, hunting, and enjoying life. Once he died in 1928, the village was renamed Torre del Lago Puccini in honor of the master with the pride of its inhabitants. His body was buried together with his wife and his son in the chapel inside his villa.

View of Massaciuccoli Lake in Torre del Lago Puccini
Old picture in black and white of Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Puccini had a really deep connection with this town. Once, talking about Torre del Lago he said: “I love hunting, I love cars: and for these things, in the isolation of Torre del Lago, I keep the faith.” Indeed, he used to take the boat from the wooden pier in front of his house to go hunting along the marsh. Moreover, it’s here that he bought his first car in 1901, so he could quickly reach the close towns of Viareggio, Forte Dei Marmi, and Lucca. In Torre del Lago, the Maestro Puccini composed some of his main operas, such as Tosca in 1900, Madama Butterfly in 1904, La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West) in 1910, La Rondine (The Swallow) in 1917 and Il Trittico on 1918.

The Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago

A big open-air theater hosts the Puccini Festival, the unique in the world to be dedicated exclusively to the Master. The first edition dates back to 1930 and year by year the Puccini Festival increased its importance attracting thousands of lovers and tourists from all over the world. In the park that surrounds the theater, you can wait for the concert admiring the artworks of contemporary artists such as Kan Yasuda, Jean-Michel Folon, and Igor Mitoraj. Instead, right inside the theater, you can see many stage costumes used for the show.

Puccini Festival Torre del Lago
A picture of the famous classical music singer Luciano Pavarotti

At the Festival Puccini, you have the chance to admire important stars such as the contemporary singers Angela Gheorghiu and Rudy Park under the direction of esteemed directors such as Vivien Hewitt or the dear departed Ettore Scola. In the last years, past glories as Luciano PavarottiFranco Corelli, and Andrea Bocelli performed here, on extraordinary and suggestive stages with the lake as background.

The Operas at Puccini Festival

Puccini worked exclusively on classical music for theater intending to understand and satisfy the taste of his spectators. The public loved him and his operas, while the critics often looked at him in a suspicious and hostile way. He composed a limited number of operas, only 12, considering that he desired to create the perfect opera, that kind of opera that could be performed permanently in the major theaters of the world. Interest, variety, rapidity, synthesis, depth, and many scenic tricks are the basic ingredients of his theater.

Puccini Festival Open Theatre
The little port and the Open-air Theatre on the back

Women are the absolute protagonists of his operas, the essential element, the ‘motor’ and soul of many of his works. He loves them all deeply. Puccini considers his women as an eternal symbol of those absolute values, which are the foundation of any society at any time. Here is a short synopsis of the main Operas that usually are performed at the Festival.


poster-tosca giacomo puccini

It is considered the most dramatic opera of Puccini. Plenty of coups de théâtre and expedients leave the public in constant tension. It narrates the story with a tragic ending of a love triangle between Scarpia, Tosca, and Cavaradossi.

La Bohème

The Opera in four acts talks about the story of four young Bohemians living in Paris in an old garret, and two ladies, Mimi and Musetta. The poet Rodolfo fell in a passionate love with his neighbor Mimi. The painter Marcello met Musetta, an old flame and they discover that the reciprocal passion has never deadened. Unfortunately, Mimi dies of tuberculosis, and Marcello, who has never stopped loving her, can’t stop crying and invoking her name.

la boheme poster puccini Festival


Turandot Puccini Festival

This opera was unfinished and was completed by Franco Alfano after Puccini’s death. The opera is set in a legendary time in Beijing, where the daughter of the Emperor, Turandot is a woman with a heart of stone, scared of men and love. Only the Prince will guess the three riddles will become her husband and many princes died trying to do it. Calaf is the young prince of Tartary who falls in love with Princess Turandot, and he is willing to face death to marry her. Liù, the slave girl of Calaf’s father, is secretly in love with the Prince and will sacrifice her life to save Calaf from death.

Madama Butterfly

This is the tragic and sad story of the marriage of convenience between the US Navy officer Pinkerton and the Japanese young girl Butterfly, Ciò Ciò San in Japanese. He marries her only for the period he stays in Japan with the right to divorce once he finds an American wife. Butterfly is happy to marry an American man, she is in love with him. Once the American soldier goes back to the US she can’t wait for his return, even because she is pregnant. Unfortunately, the officer comes back to Japan together with his new wife only to take the baby with him, breaking the heart of the poor Butterfly who decides to commit suicide.

Madama Butterfly Poster Puccini Festival

Manon Lescaut

Manon Lescaut opera by Puccini Festival

Manon Lescaut is the title of an opera in four acts. It tells about the love story between the knight Des Grieux and his lover Manon. The opera is based on the novel Histoire du Chevalier Des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the French author Abbé Prevost. Des Grieux is a naive, insensitive young person who falls in love with Manon, a lady with a great love for money, luxury, and pleasures of life, and destined for a future in a cloister against her will. They will live their unfaithful crazy love between Paris, Le Havre, and New Orleans.

Il Trittico

Il Trittico is the title of a collection of three one-act operas. The first act is Il Tabarro takes place in 1910 in Paris on a barge along the Seine River. It is a dark and violent story. Suor Angelica is the favorite of Puccini for its score. It takes place in the late 17th century in a convent near Siena. The story talks about religious redemption. Gianni Schicchi is the most popular of the three. This story of greed and connivance takes place in Florence in 1299.

poster tabarro giacomo puccini

To get more info and buy tickets, visit the official website of the Puccini Festival.

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(Updated on 26 June 2024)

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