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Caruso – his birthplace in Naples, the villa in Tuscany, the memorabilia in New York
In addition to the soon to be opened National Museum in the Sala Dorica of the Royal Palace of Naples, other museums are dedicated to the "tenor of two worlds"
Enrico Caruso (Naples 1873 - 1921), not only a great tenor, but also among the first to become a 'celebrities' global, will soon be honored by the opening of the National Museum dedicated to him Royal Palace of Naples, as announced in recent days by the Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano.

While waiting for the new institution, wanting to follow in the footsteps of the 'tenor of two worlds', here is an overview of the other museums that commemorate him:

Naples • Enrico Caruso House Museum

The path can only begin Naples, in Via Santi Giovanni e Paolo 7, in the popular district of 'dell'Arenaccia', or San Carlo all'Arena; going up to the first floor you come across a modest 45 square meter apartment: And here that Enrico Caruso was born – exactly 150 years ago, on February 25, 1873 – and here he lived his early childhood years.

August 2nd 2021, on the centenary of the disappearance of the legendary tenor, thanks to a 'lay miracle' as defined by the creators of the enterprise, the Enrico Caruso House Museum. The initiative, entirely private, is the result of the commitment of three Neapolitan enthusiasts: Royal Raphael, president ofEnrico Caruso House Museum Association APS and owner of the small apartment, which he acquired expressly for the purpose of creating the museum; Armando Jossa, artistic director, e Gaetano Bonelli, director of the Museum, who have always been committed to promoting the tenor. A synergy that made use of the fundamental contribution of Caruso familyof the historian Guido D'Onofrio and the New York collector Aldo Mancusi, which has donated various relics to the House Museum.

It is thus possible to visit the place where the extraordinary parable of the star of both worlds, admiring the over one hundred relics and testimonials exhibited, including photos, letters, portraits and celebrate them caricatures, the original records, posters, programmes is newspaper articles, but also the walking stick favorite of Caruso and the linen linen bearing the elegant embroidery of his initials. To welcome visitors, his immortal voice emanating from a gramophone from the early 1900s.

Enrico Caruso House Museum – APS • Via Santi Giovanni e Paolo, 7, Naples • Info and reservations: +39.3404844132

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In Naples, where Caruso died as is known in a room of the Grand Hotel Vesuvio, his is also found tomb, inside the private chapel in the cemetery of Santa Maria del Pianto, a few meters from that of Totò.

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Lastra a Signa (FI) • Villa Caruso Bellosguardo and Enrico Caruso Museum

We move into Tuscany, to Lastra a Signa (not far from Florence), where the favorite residence of the tenor is located, the magnificent Villa Caruso of Bellosguardo.

The villa, dating back to the end of the sixteenth century, is situated in a spectacular hillside position. It was purchased in 1906 by the tenor now consecrated to global fame after his debut at the Met in New York three years earlier. According to the story of his biographers, Caruso met Villa Bellosguardo during a walk with his partner Ada Giachetti, being struck by its magnificent panorama and scenic park to the point of deciding to buy it.

Acquired in 1540 from the noble family Pucci, the property experienced the first significant intervention in 1585, when the cultured and refined Abbot Alessandro Pucci he decided to create a buen retiro for himself and his guests. Collector and patron of young artists, he commissioned the Florentine architect and antique dealer Giovanni Antonio Dosio to transform the manor house and its annexed farms into a refined park of natural and artificial delights.

The villa remained the property of the Pucci family until 1858 when it was sold to Giuseppe Campi, and subsequently to Caruso. The tenor, captivated by the beauty and peace of his new residence, had it restored in the classic style of Tuscan villas, with structural interventions that gave it its current appearance.

Caruso made use of the architect Rodolfo Sabatini, who made the bodies of the two pre-existing buildings symmetrical, and employed the inhabitants of Lastra for the work, who gave the tenor the stone column still visible today, as a sign of thanks for having thus contributed to reviving the local economy.

Conceived as a place of rest and dedicated to family affections, the villa was sumptuously furnished and enriched with sumptuous furniture, precious objects, works of art commissioned from major artists, collections of antique clocks, paintings and precious fabrics; the garden was dismantled and rearranged in the guise of a theatrical setting.

In 1921, on Caruso's death, the property passed to his son Rodolfo and his brother Giovanni, then to others, it was sold to the Gucci family in 1990 and finally repurchased by the Municipality of Lastra a Signa in 1995. The management is currently entrusted to theVilla Caruso Association, which promotes its valorisation by organizing concerts, shows, exhibitions is visits.

Unfortunately, only memory remains of the splendor and splendor created by Caruso. However, the charm of the place is intact, so full of suggestions, further enhanced by the Museum dedicated to the great tenor.

Open to the public since February 2012, the Enrico Caruso Museum – managed by the Villa Caruso Association on behalf of the Municipality of Lastra a Signa - it welcomes memorabilia and everyday objects that belonged to the singer. The museum project is based on the idea of making the visitor experience a direct encounter with the artist: Caruso is evoked by numerous and different elements: the objects that belonged to him, the collected works, i drawings he made, the numerous awards, the Images that represent him in the world and his own voice delivered to us in the historic vinyl.

Enrico Caruso Villa and Museum – Via Bellosguardo, 54 50055 Lastra a Signa FI +390558721783 – info@museoenricocaruso.it – info@villacaruso.it

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New York • Enrico Caruso Museum of America

There is also another private initiative museum founded by the great enthusiast and collector Aldo Mancusi in the city where Caruso consecrated his fame, New York.

Indeed, it is in the Big Apple that theEnrico Caruso Museum of America, a very rich collection of «memorabilia» – family photo of the tenor, books, records, letters, Personal objects, the funeral mask and about sixty original caricatures signed by Caruso.

Starting from the collection of about 70 Caruso records and other memorabilia collected by his father, Aldo Mancusi expanded the collection and in 1982 opened the small museum of about 300 square meters on the upper floor of his home in Brooklyn. Officially registered as a non-profit organization in March 1994, over the next thirty years the Enrico Caruso Museum of America was further enriched with purchases and donations (in particular the collection of Michael Sisca). Visited by thousands of enthusiasts, the museum has also been the set for the scenes of various films and has organized numerous traveling exhibitions both in the United States and in Italy. Some objects in the collection were sent to the Enrico Caruso House Museum in Naples, where they are now exhibited.

Creator and soul of the museum, Aldo Mancusi passed away in 2022 at the age of 92; at the moment the fate of the collection is uncertain, which in all probability will be conserved and entrusted to a larger institution.

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Still in the USA, another memoir dedicated to the 'tenor of two worlds' shines, the star with the name Enrico Caruso set along the famous Walk of Fame of Hollywood, one of the few Italians to have received this coveted recognition: an extraordinary testimony of affection and admiration for an artist who made America fall in love with him.

Finally, scanning the sky, with a little imagination we could see theasteroid 37573 dedicated precisely to Enrico Caruso, testifying to a truly "sidereal" glory.

(In the photo below, Villa Caruso di Bellosguardo in Lastra a Signa)

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