Chinese and Russian buyers eye Verdi's palace

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Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi's Palazzo Orlandi is up for sale. Photo: Hera International
15:00 CEST+02:00
An elegant palace where the legendary Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi once created his finest work may be sold to a foreigner, with buyers from China and Russia showing particular interest.

Palazzo Orlando is located in the small town of Busseto, 40kms from the northern city of Parma.

It was bought by the 19th century composer after his opera Nabucco became an international sensation in the opera houses of Vienna and Lisbon following its premier in Milan in 1842.

Verdi purchased the ornately decorated palace in 1845 and caused a sensational scandal at the time when he invited his girlfriend, the soprano Giuseppina Strepponi, to share his life there.

Formerly known as Palazzo Cavalli, after its original architect and designer Giuseppe Cavalli, the palace is one of the finest features of the small town.

Verdi is understood to have composed Rigoletto and Stiffelio here before transferring to a country home, Villa Agata, outside the town in 1851.

The sale of the palace is being handled by Hera International, a Milan real estate firm.

A company spokesman told The Local on Thursday the potential sale had already attracted strong interest from abroad, particularly from Russia and China, but declined to reveal the reserve or any other details about the buyers.

Gaia Maschi Verdi, the great niece of Verdi, and other family members unsuccessfully sought government funding to restore the palace and keep it open to the public.

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In November 2012 the Italian parliament approved €6.5 million in funds to restore the home where Verdi was born and Villa Agata.


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