Music and singing narrate about the land of Bassa Romagna. This land gave birth to the genius talent of Arcangelo Corelli, welcomed prestigious masters such as Gioachino Rossini and Pietro Mascagni and with the luthier Custode Marcucci, skilled craftsman.
The itinerary leads to the discovery of museums, rare documents, historical findings and theatres where the notes of extraordinary melodies still resound in the air. Throughout Bassa Romagna, music is still alive in “listening places” such as auditoriums and theatres, but also in unusual places such as natural arenas, old railway stations, and ancient wash-houses that throughout the year become an evocative setting for shows and important musical events.
You can travel by bike or by car following the directions on the map available at this link.
- Interests: Art & culture
- Duration: 48 h
- Lenght: 50,7 km
- Target: Friends, Couples, Groups
- When: All year round
FIRST STOP, LUGO – Fusignano (10,7 km)
Gioachino Rossini, Francesco Balilla Pratella
Gioachino Rossini (Pesaro, 1792 – Passy, 1868), one of the greatest composers of the nineteenth century, started to dedicate himself to music since he was a child, receiving singing, spinet and horn lessons, first from his father, then from Giuseppe Malerbi, entering his school in 1802, the year in which the Rossini family moved to Lugo, where he lived from 1802 to 1804. Lugo is therefore the town where his great passion for music originated.
Not to be missed is the visit to Rossini’s Museum-House: in his father’s house, where he never lived but to which he was very attached, it’s possible to visit the five rooms whose main theme is music, of course, and which tell about the passions and the life of the Master and… play his symphonies! Not far away, you can get excited in front of the Callido organ on which Gioachino began to practice, preserved in perfect condition in the Church of the Carmine.
Another important musician from Lugo is Francesco Balilla Pratella (Lugo, 1880 – Ravenna, 1955) who, together with Luigi Russolo, was a father of Futurist music and therefore a very important player in the European musical avant-garde. He became a friend of Marinetti and in 1910 he wrote the “Manifesto tecnico della musica futurista” (Technical Manifesto of Futurist Music) and subsequent manifestos, becoming the point of reference for Futurist music.
At the Biblioteca Trisi (Trisi Library), it is possible to visit the Sala della Musica, a music room that pays homage to Lugo’s musicians and houses the piano and the desk of Maestro Pratella, the music collection of Maestro Luigi Penazzi, the Rossini section consisting mainly of publications donated by the Rossini Foundation of Pesaro and by the architect Gian Luigi Gambi, and other exhibits such as those of the Malerbi brothers, who were at the time teachers of Rossini at the music school.
SECOND STOP, FUSIGNANO – Sant’Agata sul Santerno (13 km)
The town of Fusignano was the birthplace of the musician Arcangelo Corelli (Fusignano, 1653 – Rome, 1713), perhaps the greatest representative of Italian instrumental Baroque. He began his studies in Fusignano, in Faenza and finally in Bologna, where he joined the Philharmonic Academy of the city in 1670. Later he moved to Rome, where he studied composition and began his public activity as a violinist in the church of S. Luigi dei Francesi and worked at the service of illustrious local personalities. He lived in Rome until his death on 8th January 1713; his body rests in the Pantheon next to the great Raphael. On the façade of the church of Pio Suffragio there is a bust of Arcangelo Corelli by Raoul Vistoli.
In the town centre you can visit the Museo Civico San Rocco; on the first floor there is a recently made portrait of Corelli, as well as a very interesting collection of devotional plaques and works which tell the history of the town.
THIRD STOP, SANT’AGATA SUL SANTERNO – Bagnara di Romagna(9 km)
Good music requires good instruments and in Sant’Agata sul Santerno the luthier Custode Marcucci (Lugo, 1864 – S. Agata, 1951) proved this. As a young luthier, he soon specialised in the construction of cellos and double basses, setting up the “Premiata fabbrica di istrumenti ad arco – S. Agata sul Santerno” and reaching very high levels of quality, completely self-taught. He was a humble man, a bit shy and timid, he spoke in a low voice and for this reason he was nicknamed Urlon, “shouter” in Romagna, a nickname that, however, well describes his instruments, characterized by their acoustic power.
Inside the Town Hall there is a memorial plaque that remembers him as a “luthier of clear fame, a man of profound humility” and one of his violins is also kept here. In 2017, the city paid tribute to Marcucci with a series of murals created in Via Mazzini by street artist Riccardo Buonafede, who depicts the luthier with a stroke inspired by artists such as Andy Wahrol, Salvador Dalì and Caravaggio.
FOURTH STOP, BAGNARA DI ROMAGNA – Bagnacavallo (18 km)
Another musician who brought his notes to Romagna is Pietro Mascagni, originally from Livorno. As a young man he began, but did not finish, his musical studies at the Conservatory of Milan, and later found himself travelling around Italy with operetta companies as a conductor. In 1890 he won the competition, announced by publisher Sonzogno for an opera in one act, with “Cavalleria Rusticana” which, in May of the same year, made its debut at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, achieving a resounding success that was soon renewed in many Italian and foreign theatres. From this moment Mascagni was engaged in frequent tours.
His great love was Anna Lolli, a native of Bagnara di Romagna, who was sentimentally attached to the musician and thanks to whom the Pietro Mascagni Historical Museum was created. The Museum tells the story the two artists’life, thanks to almost five thousand letters exchanged between them. The museum displays several personal items belonging to the composer, plenty of dedicated photographs, a piano, a gravestone of his face, music scores, publications and newspaper cuttings.
Teatro Carlo Goldoni – Bagnacavallo
If it is true that good music needs good instruments, it is also true that a good stage can fascinate with the magical atmosphere of the shows. The Teatro Carlo Goldoni in Bagnacavallo, which was opened in 1845 according to a project by the Bolognese architect Filippo Antolini, has ceramic medallions on the façade which tell us about great composers even before we cross the threshold. Next to the central portrait of Carlo Goldoni, there are portraits of Niccolò Paganini, Alfredo Catalani, Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Preciously decorated inside by the Ferrara workshop of Francesco Migliari, it is also called “la piccola Scala”. The interior looks like a small casket of frescoes and stuccoes, which shows the Risorgimento spirit of the construction period. Particularly interesting for its acoustics, it is also loved by great contemporary musicians such as Lucio Dalla!
Evocative stages for musical performances in this sweet land.
- Giardino della Biblioteca Comunale “P. Orioli” and the Museo della battaglia del Senio, Alfonsine
A welcoming green area located between the “P. Orioli” Municipal Library and the Museum of the Battle of the Senio river.
When listening to music: in the summer, the “Pensiero narrazione e voce” festival with music, words and poems takes place.
- Carlo Goldoni theatre, Bagnacavallo
Carlo Goldoni theatre was built between 1839 and 1845 and inaugurated on September 27th 1845 based on the project of the Bolognese architect Filippo Antolini. It’s decorated by Francesco Migliari from Ferrara and it’s also called “la piccola Scala” of Bagnacavallo.
When listening to music: in autumn, Bagnacavallo Classica “Libera la musica” festival is held by Accademia Bizantina, an international baroque music orchestra.
- Rocca Sforzesca, Bagnara di Romagna
The defensive system of Bagnara, put in place by Barnabò Visconti in the 14th century, is nowadays an enchanting Fortress which, besides hosting the Museo della Rocca (fortress museum), is also a venue for various kinds of events.
When listening to music: in July there is the “Muse” festival with evenings of music and singing in the courtyard of the fortress.
- Teatro Municipale, Conselice
The Municipal Theatre, which dates back to 1935, consists of a large hall with an atrium and side foyer, and hosts theatre and film shows.
When listening to music: as well as the theatrical review, various musical events are held here throughout the year.
- Arena delle balle di paglia, Cotignola
In the countryside around Cotignola, where the Senio river meets the Emiliano Romagnolo Canal, the Primola association organises the “Arena delle balle di paglia”, the only straw amphitheatre in Romagna. The natural setting is a wide river floodplain where a grove of acacias forms the backdrop to the stage.
When listening to music: in July, the “Nell’arena delle balle di paglia” festival is held, with concerts, theatre, storytelling, land art, explorations and poetic encounters, all of which are born on the edge of straw and imagination.
- Teatro Binario, Cotignola
Built inside a railway station in Cotignola, the Binario Theatre hosts shows and concerts.
When listening to music: from autumn to spring “Radici” takes place, with experiments between sound and visual identities.
- Auditorium Corelli, Fusignano
The Arcangelo Corelli Auditorium, dedicated to the composer, is a space of excellence for listening to music.
When listening to music: the “Certe Notti” and “Un paese che suona” festivals take place in winter/spring with scores as a tribute to Corelli, alongside more contemporary genres such as jazz and rock. “Il Suono Antico” is the prestigious Baroque music festival to celebrate the artist from Fusignano.
- Teatro Rossini, Lugo
Gioachino Rossini Theatre, built between 1757 and 1761 by the architect Francesco Petrocchi, is considered the prototype of the “Italian theatre”. It was dedicated to the great composer in 1859.
When listening to music: it hosts concert seasons and musical concerts.
- Ortolani Villa and Stables, Voltana di Lugo
The Ortolani Villa and Stables complex consists of two buildings: the villa, the farm, the summer residence of the Ortolani family and the stables.
When to listen to music: hosts the summer festival “Concerti in Villa”
- Antico Lavatoio, Massa Lombarda
The ancient wash-house in Massa Lombarda is a large tub of water, covered by a roof supported by sixteen pillars. It is fed by the Canale dei Mulini (Mill Canal) and is a symbol of the hard work of the washerwomen, bearing witness to the social life of past generations.
When listening to music: in the summer the Lavatoio hosts the “Piccolo festival della narrazione”, with evenings of music, readings and poetry.
- Auditorium Sala del Carmine, Massa Lombarda
The Sala del Carmine, formerly a church dedicated to the Madonna Annunziata, was rebuilt in Baroque style in 1640, on the ruins of an older church destroyed by an earthquake. Today it houses the municipal Auditorium.
When listening to music: it hosts numerous concerts and theatrical plays, such as the “Stagione al Carmine” in spring and the “Rassegna Corale Città di Massa Lombarda” in autumn/winter.
TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICES
Tourist information office – Cotignola
Tourist information office – Sant’Agata sul Santerno
Piazza Garibaldi, 5
48020 S. Agata sul Santerno (Ra)
Tel. 0545 919907