Gioachino Rossini (Pesaro 1792 – Paris 1868) lived in Lugo from 1802 to 1804, a brief but intense period that coincided with his adolescence and early musical training. An itinerary taking in Rossini’s haunts in Lugo can only begin at his family home, or better yet homes.
The house that belonged to Rossini’s grandfather is located at Via Giacomo Rocca 14. In fact, the composer never actually lived here, because the house had been rented out to relatives at the time. The building, which has been renovated and fitted with a plaque, houses photographs and documents testifying to Rossini’s emotional links to the city. It currently hosts exhibitions and other cultural activities. The house in which Rossini lived as a youth together with his mother Anna Guidarini, a singer, and his father Giuseppe Antonio, the town crier, is located in Via Manfredi 25 and is also fitted with a plaque.
Another of Rossini’s haunts is the Chiesa del Carmine, which still houses the organ Gioachino used for practice, under the tutelage of the canon priests, the brothers Giuseppe and Luigi Malerbi. The Chiesa del Carmine, built in the mid-18th century and designed by Francesco Petrocchi, is dedicated to Saint Hilary, the town’s patron saint. The organ, which is still in excellent conditions and used during concerts, was built in 1797 by Gaetano Callido.
The town hall at the Este fortress houses a number of documents and paintings in its so-called Rossini hall; these include three oil portraits of Anna Guidarini, Giuseppe Antonio Rossini, and Gioachino Rossini himself. The portraits of Rossini’s parents were donated to the municipality by the composer’s second wife, Olympe Pélissier. The portrait of Rossini, painted in Paris by Hortense Handebourt Lescot in 1828, was donated to the city in 1894 by Marietta Alboni, a famous contralto and performer of Rossini’s works “in keeping with his wishes”. The town hall also houses an autographed letter from 1844 in which Rossini expresses his gratitude for having been appointed to the municipal council.
The itinerary would be incomplete without two other sites: the town theatre, which of course is named after the composer, and the Trisi Municipal Library, which holds some of Rossini’s manuscripts