Historic Puccini home threatened by flood

Dec. 31, 2009 at 9:38 AM

VIAREGGIO, Italy, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- The historic Tuscan villa of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, a pilgrimage site for opera buffs every year, was under a flood threat Thursday, officials said.

The maestro's turn-of-the-century home on the shores of Lake Massaciuccoli, where he lived and wrote such classics as "Tosca," "Turandot" and "La Boheme," faced possible flooding this weekend if the water level continues to rise, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Curators moved antiques, paintings and documents and a wall of sandbags was stacked in front of the villa after torrential Christmas weekend rains raised the lake level to the brink of flooding. However, a civil protection spokesman, Bernardo De Bernardinis, said that the risk of flooding had lessened.

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