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A Roncole villager (English version under construction)

Giuseppe Verdi: a Roncole villager

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Departure: the Emilian side

From any desired location starting by coach to Polesine Parmense (Parma), located on the 'Big River' Emilia Romagna shore. «Go to Po» they say in these parts, to emphasize that the river is a place before a water course, a place full of stories, myths, legends and characters...




During the transfer, the participants will attend the screening of some sequences taken from the famous television script «Verdi», directed by Renato Castellani (RAI production, 1982) and starring Ronald Pickup and Carla Fracci. The movie shows the infancy of the young Giuseppe Verdi and His birthplace in Roncole di Busseto (Parma), outlining, through anecdotes and faithful historical reconstruction, the early years of the young man who enchants the world with His compositions.



The Verdi's lands

The Emilia and, in particular, the Bassa parmigiana and piacentina areas, are inextricably linked to Verdi and His music. In these lands where every human action has an ancient reason to be, lands of owners and peasants, geroi and scariolanti (sandblasters in local dialect and laborers), fishermen and poachers, lands where the passions inflamed with the sultry heat of the fields, future land of fascists and communists, partisans and even of anarchists, here, in short, on the right bank of the Po, the participants will reach Polesine Parmense (Parma). Description of the surrounding context and subsequent short transfer direct to the birthplace of the famous composer.



October 10, 1813

Giuseppe Francesco Fortunino Verdi was born October 10, 1813 in a modest house in Le Roncole, Busseto (Parma), by his father Carlo, innkeeper and grocery retailer and mother Luigia Uttini, spinner. Visit the birthplace and places where the musical genius of Verdi began to take shape.



The Emilia Romagna hospitality

Lunch in the name of true Emilian hospitality in a restaurant in the Bassa parmigiana countryside.



«Hopefully won't have foolishness»

Verdi was a lover of good food and good wine. Bacon, salami (prosciutto di Parma, coppa and Culatello), capons, and then Bordeaux, Champagne and the famous St. Secondo's spalla cotta (cooked pork shoulder), which often sent as a gift to illustrious friends like the Milanese publishers family Ricordi. He wrote, commending the friend who would have found him a cook: «Hopefully the man you propose will be a really discreet cook, and won't have foolishness in the head». Like to think that Maestro would have liked the menu reserved for participants...



In presence of the Genius

After lunch, short transfer to Sant'Agata. In this isolated hamlet of Villanova sull'Arda (Piacenza), in 1848, the composer bought the estate of the same name and lived with His future second wife, the soprano Giuseppina Strepponi. Here where: «This deep calm is always more beloved to me [...] It is impossible for me to find where to live with greater freedom» – said Verdi – we will visit the lush gardens, the villa and the room with the desk where he created unforgettable operas like «Rigoletto», «Il trovatore» and «La traviata».



A modest farmer

Giuseppe Verdi: musician who enchanted the world whose operas are staged in every corner of the globe, a man of great culture with an international profile and composer recognized among the best of all time. But there is also a more intimate Giuseppe Verdi that emerges visiting His lands, a Verdi who wrote, perhaps with some ironic quirk, «I have been, I am and I will always be a villager of Roncole», «... A modest farmer with the breath of onion». Visiting the places of this genius villager, travelers will discover in him a skilled farmer, a carpenter, a magut (mason in local dialect), an architect, a «porter if necessary», an enlightened entrepreneur careful counts of his estate and severe or better, scrupulous landowner.



Between the levee and the Tombone

Short transfer direct to a charming nineteenth-century farmhouse, a rare example of floodplain court that insists on that strip of land between the levee and the Tombone (Po river floodplain embankment). Here, where the floods of the river shake the peasant habits, participants can enjoy that agricultural atmosphere so expressed by Verdi in a letter to His friend Vigna: «From morning to evening I am always among the fields, through woods, surrounded by villagers and animals... The best however, the quadrupeds».



«You feel the spade in His music»

During the transfer, vision of a further sequence taken from the Castellani's script, where the bond of Verdi with these lands of Bassa lapped by the river is well appreciated.



«The heart throbs»

Immersed in the Verdi's lands, evocative listening of the most celebrated opera arias of the Cigno di Busseto. Among old farmhouses, fields and rows of poplars to act as a scenery, sounds and emotions accompany travelers in Verdi's operas, in this theater offered by the natural landscape where Verdi wrote: «When I am to myself struggling with my notes, then the heart beats, tears rain down from the eyes and the emotion and the pleasures are unspeakable».



«Va, pensiero»

The listening ends with the most famous aria by Verdi: the chorus of «Va, pensiero». Taken from «Nabucco», it tells the story of the Jewish people prisoner in the land of Babylon, on the banks of the Euphrates river, lamenting the lost homeland. Participants will appreciate as in Verdi these countrysides, these lands and the Po itself inspired to compose the sublime notes of His music. And with that same inspiration the «Va, pensiero» will take viewers from the Po shore right on the Euphrates banks, there where «sull'ali dorate»...



The end

The time travel of «I Navigli di ieri nel mondo di oggi»® ends in the evening with return to the starting point.

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