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Italy Seizes Giuseppe Verdi’s Historic Villa to Transform into Composer Museum

Plans Announced to Preserve Verdi's Cultural Heritage with New Museum in Piacenza

Italy’s culture ministry has announced the seizure of Giuseppe Verdi’s villa near Piacenza, with plans to convert the historic property into a museum dedicated to the famed Italian composer. The 19th-century villa, where Verdi composed notable operas such as “La Traviata” and “La Forza del Destino,” was initially slated for auction, but the sale did not take place.

Located between the villages of Busseto and Roncole, the villa contains numerous original scores, some of Verdi’s personal clothing, and a rare first edition of Alessandro Manzoni’s “The Betrothed.” The government aims to preserve these invaluable artifacts by establishing a museum, managed by a foundation with representatives from the Emilia-Romagna region and local town councils.

The property’s current owners, descendants of Verdi’s cousin Maria Filomena Verdi, will receive compensation between €8 million and €9 million, significantly less than the €20 million they had anticipated. The owners have a 60-day window to contest the seizure in a regional court.

Giancarlo Tagliaferri, a regional councillor, praised the move on social media, highlighting the government’s commitment to preserving Verdi’s cultural legacy. “The Meloni government has kept its promises and is working for the good of Piacenza and its excellence,” Tagliaferri stated.

Verdi purchased the villa in 1848 and lived there with his second wife, Giuseppina Strepponi, from 1851 until his death, tending to the surrounding gardens, vineyards, and stables. The villa, which was partially converted into a museum by Angiolo Carrara Verdi in 2010, closed in 2021 due to financial difficulties.

The culture ministry’s decision, announced on December 21, 2023, emphasized the villa’s historical importance and the necessity of protecting it from degradation. “This asset cannot remain exposed to neglect but must form the core of a museum itinerary visitable by the entire world,” stated culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano.

The new museum will be part of an itinerary that includes Verdian landmarks like the Teatro Verdi opera house in Busseto and Verdi’s birthplace in Roncole. This initiative aims to enhance Verdi’s cultural heritage and make it accessible to a global audience.