Help Us Save VILLA VERDI
Located in our beautiful Friendship City of Busseto, Italy
Fundraising Campaign runs from September 16 to November 16, 2020
VILLA VERDI — View this video on the areas that need restoration
About VILLA VERDI
In 1848, Maestro Giuseppe Verdi purchased a farm in the village of Sant’Agata di Villanova sull’Arda located within the municipality of Busseto. He built a home there for his parents to live in. After his mother died, his father returned to live in Busseto. The construction and additions to Villa Verdi began in 1851 when Maestro Verdi moved into the villa with his second wife, opera singer, Giuseppina Strepponi in 1851. They extended the villa creating two additional wings, and added a greenhouse, chapel and a garage for their coaches. Construction continued until 1880. The villa is surrounded by a beautiful six-acre English-style garden and a pond. Since his own children preceded him in death, the villa is owned today by descendants of Maestro Verdi’s younger cousin, Maria Filomena – hence the connection to the Carrara-Verdi family – who manage and maintain the villa to this day.
A section of the villa is dedicated to a museum. There are five rooms located on the ground floor of the south wing that were occupied by the Maestro and his wife that are open to the public. Rooms upstairs were used by servants and guests. As seen from the video, the rooms include Verdi’s bedroom, dressing area and nearby study where he worked and kept accounts of farm activity. The rooms including the Salotto Rosso contains memorabilia of historic importance like the Viennese grand piano that Verdi used from the time he composed Rigoletto in 1851 to Aida in 1871 and other musical compositions. Verdi’s phaeton and other coaches are on display in the garage, and visitors can tour the chapel, the icehouse and the surrounding park that contains over 100 varieties of tree including exotic tropical bananas.
Verdi’s wife, Giuseppina Strepponi’s bedroom contains the original canopy bed and a marble cast of her hand. She died there on November 14, 1897. The final room is a replica of the hotel room where Verdi died in Room 157 of the Hotel de Milan located in Milan and close to the famed La Scala opera house. Displayed in the room is the shirt that he wore on his deathbed, as well as his death mask. Verdi died on January 27, 1901.
As a symbolic gesture, the current Mayor of Busseto, Sindaco Giancarlo Contini signed the Friendship City Agreement with Sarasota on the 119th anniversary of Verdi’s death on January 27, 2020.
In his last will and testament, Maestro Verdi wrote, “Upon my death I request that the garden and my family house in Sant’Agata be kept in its current state.” Thanks to his heirs – the Carrara-Verdi family, this is still the case. The family plans to tackle the restoration in intervals and prioritize the most urgent projects one at a time. Each project has its own specific restoration cost.
SCAS BOARD OF DIRECTORS APPROVES PROJECT FUNDING
The Board of Directors of the Sister Cities Association of Sarasota (SCAS) has agreed to support the restoration efforts of the historic Villa Verdi – the home of world-renowned classical composer, Giuseppe Verdi, located in our newest Friendship City of Busseto, Italy.
The Villa Verdi – now a museum – needs serious restoration. Maestro Verdi’s descendants that manage the Villa are requesting the public’s help to save it.
Due to the loss of revenue from visitor entrance fees caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and lack of funding from the Italian government, the Verdi family has requested donations to support its restoration efforts. These funds will allow the museum to continue to showcase the beautiful legacy of Verdi’s life and classical works.
Without funding, Villa Verdi could be closed permanently to the public. The SCAS Board wishes to help prevent an essential cultural landmark from falling into grave disrepair.
WHERE YOUR DONATION WILL MAKE AN IMPACT
The following are some of the projects where your donation will make an impact:
• The Salotto Rosso (Red Salon) where Maestro Verdi hosted his guests. The room has sustained water damage from a roof leakage.
• The roof requires restoration.
• Various walls have sustained major cracks.
• A significant part of the structure requires plastering and painting.
The SCAS Board of Directors appreciates any donation you can make to help save this museum of high cultural importance to both Italy and the world at large.
In building this art & cultural bridge between Busseto and Sarasota you will also strengthen our artistic and operatic connections as Busseto proceeds to become an official Sarasota Sister City in the near future.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and support.
We Have the Power to Impact Our Global Exchanges in the Arts & Culture
VILLA VERDI — VIDEO AND PHOTOS OF THE DAMAGE
Please view the video tour (above) of the areas that need restoration. The following close-up shots depict the areas at Villa Verdi that need urgent attention to prevent further damage.
Opera Afficionados & Music Lovers – help us save Villa Verdi
Calling All Members & Friends to Give Today!
Click below on the DONATE button and select an amount to donate with your PayPal or any Credit Card.
Thank you for your generous donation!
If you would like to donate with a check, please make your check payable to SCAS, and mail to: Gloria Grenier, 6501 17th Avenue West, Apt I-401, Bradenton, FL, 34209
Travel virtually to our Friendship City of Busseto, Italy
A group of SCAS Members had planned to visit the home of Maestro Giuseppe Verdi in Busseto, Italy this fall. Unfortunately, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, travels to Europe are cancelled. As you may have seen or heard on the news, northern Italy was greatly impacted by COVID-19.
We hope that we can visit Busseto and Villa Verdi someday soon, and we hope that you will support the historical and cultural importance of the arts & culture of our future Sister City.