Luigi Illica

Luigi Illica

Playwright and librettist

Illica, who was born in Castell'Arquato, left his native town prompted by his lively disposition. He lived an adventurous and varied life: He was a journalist, became an exponent of Milan's Scapigliatura and also worked as a playwright and librettist. He collaborated with plenty of famous musicians, and after he met Giuseppe Giacosa he wrote important librettos for Giacomo Puccini, such as Bohème, Tosca and Madame Butterfly, as well as Andrea Chènier for Umberto Giordano.

After a bad fall from a horse, he moved back to Colombarone, a small countryside village near Castell'Arquato, where he died. A small yet modern museum cherishes precious scores, manuscripts, costumes, letters and objects, and gives guests the possibility to gain precious insights into his friends and enemies, political views and professional choices.




  • Castell'Arquato, May 9, 1857 - Castell'Arquato, December 16, 1919
  • in 1882 he published his first collection of poems and prose
  • From 1892 he devoted himself to opera librettos
  • in 1961 is founded the international award Luigi Illica in his honor
  • 36 opera librettos represented
  • 62 years the age of his early death in Colombarone

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