Terre Verdiane

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Church of San Michele Arcangelo - It is here that Giuseppe Verdi was christened and, already in his infant years, under the instruction of his first master, Pietro Baistrocchi, he practised on the church organ built in 1797 by Francesco Bossi from Bergamo.

Madonna dei Prati - Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin - Giuseppe Verdi frequented this church, since it was in this little town that he came to visit his father's parents. The church is also linked with Verdi's name for another curious aspect: the memory of the terrible event which took place there on 14th September 1828, when a bolt of lightening hit the church and caused the death of six people, amongst whom one of Verdi's cousins and the priest, don Jacopo Masini. In Roncole some time earlier, this priest had sent Verdi, the altar boy, flying with a kick to the foot of the altar, since the boy had been spellbound by the melodies of the organ instead of occupying himself with serving the mass. The story goes that the boy, out of resentment, had muttered in dialect: "May you be struck by lightening!". Verdi himself was saved only because the storm had forced him to take refuge in a nearby house and was thus unable to reach the sanctuary in time to accompany Vespers with the harmonium. The calamity gave Verdi a sense of guilt and terror for the utterance of such curses which can be found reflected in many of his works.

Busseto - Casa Barezzi - Antonio Barezzi, a well-off grocer and great music lover, sensed Giuseppe Verdi's genius early on and called him to his house to teach his daughter, Margherita. The first public exhibition of the youth's talent was in February 1830 and had as its theatre the 'salone' - the living room - of the house (now "Salone Barezzi") which was once home to the Bussetana Philharmonic Society, founded by Barezzi himself and by the maestro Ferdinando Provesi in 1816. In the months preceding his trip to Milan (1832) for continuing his musical studies privately with the maestro Lavigna following his disappointment in not being admitted to the Conservatory, Verdi lived in the Barezzi family's house and here, little by little, he began to fall in love with Margherita. The cost of his studies in Milan, as well as being funded by his father Carlo and by the pawnbroker's of Busseto, was also sustained by Barezzi, to whom Giuseppe Verdi would always be eternally grateful, as demonstrated in his letters.