Italy pledges to restore Verdi’s last home

The Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano has announced fund-raising plans to restore the house near Piacenza where Giuseppe Verdi lived and worked in the last years of his life.

“Giuseppe Verdi was a key figure in national Risorgimento, a figure of significance together with Garibaldi, Mazzini and Cavour,” said the Minister in presenting the Viva Verdi programme. “It is a duty of the Republic to honour his memory”.

Villa Verdi is at Sant’Agata di Villanova sull’Arda, not far from the composer’s long-time home at Busseto and his birthplace in the tiny village of Le Roncole. Following a disagreement between the heirs, the villa is currently up for auction, and the Minister announced that the Italian State will exercise its right of pre-emption as it is entitled to for assets of significant historical or artistic interest. The Ministry has already earmarked a fund for the purchase of the Villa in the 2023 budget; however, it is an unprecedented sign of participation that all Italian opera foundations are joining together to contribute to the purchase but also to the communication of the historical importance of the mansion where Verdi wrote many of his operas.

Photo by Francesco Maria Colombo

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