If you are a fan of Andrea Bocelli, chances are you have heard of his annual homecoming concert in Tuscany.
Bocelli is the honorary president of the Teatro del Silenzio, an ampitheatre just outside his hometown of Lajatico in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, and every summer since it opened in 2006 he has performed a special concert there that you won't see anywhere else.
Each year people travel from all over the world to see the tenor perform here.
Here is our complete guide to the event, with lots of useful information to help you plan your trip.
The Teatro del Silenzio is an open-air venue surrounded by beautiful Tuscan hillside panoramas. It seats around 12,000 people. Its name (the 'Theatre of Silence') comes from the fact that for the rest of the year it stands empty, the only person to perform there is Bocelli.
There are 6 categories of tickets for the concert:
Where to stay
Lajatico itself is a very small village and there isn't much in the way of accommodation there. There are plenty of other options though, including nearby Volterra and San Gimignano which are both within one hour's drive of the venue. Both are great locations to base yourself during your stay in Tuscany, Volterra is a picturesque medieval town, and the historic centre of San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Some people travel from further afield but it is always worth taking into consideration the transfer time to the venue, and the extra traffic on the day of the show, which brings us neatly onto:
How to get there
As the concert is in the middle of the countryside, it can make it a challenge to get to. The first thing to be aware of is the amount of walking involved.
Those with category 1 Executive tickets can use the Executive car park which is located around 300m from the Executive entrance, behind the stage area. There is a slight uphill gravel slope from the car park to the entrance, but it is just a few minutes' walk.
All other ticket holders will have to use the main entrance and the main car parks located around 800-1,000m from the entrance. You will have to walk around around 15-20 minutes uphill just to get to the entrance, so anyone with mobility problems should take this into consideration when booking.
There is usually a lot of traffic around the venue before and after the concert, so if you are making your own way there make sure you allow enough time when you set off. Everyone except executive ticket holders will go through the tiny village of Lajatico (where Bocelli was born), where there is just one narrow road to the venue.
If you book one of our packages (which always include concert transfers by bus, minivan or private car) you will set off in plenty of time to reach the venue.
Wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility have a dedicated seating area located between the cat 5 'Poltroncina' and cat 6 'tribuna A' non-numbered areas. If you require this seating please ask us for availability prior to booking, if you have somebody accompanying you (one person) their ticket is free. In order to purchase tickets in the disabled seating area you need to provide a certificate or some form of proof that you are entitled to disabled access.
People with disabled tickets can use the executive car park, a parking space there is included in the price of the ticket if you are making your own way to the concert, otherwise we can organise you a private transfer to drop off and pick up there. From this point there is a shuttle service to the disabled seating area.
Sunset over the Teatro del Silenzio
The theme of the concert is decided on by Maestro Bocelli himself. It is usually a collection of his favourite operatic arias, with perhaps a few of his own songs mixed in. Don't expect a performance of his greatest hits as this concert is completely unique. On some years he decides to perform a full opera where he plays a role, so always check to see what the concert will be before booking.
The 2020 concert will be the 15th at the Teatro del Silenzio, and the theme will be 'the mystery of beauty' - a reflection on beauty and nature.
The show itself is always spectacular, with lights, choreography and special guests (who are usually announced a few weeks before the concert).
Some things to be aware of:
Start time is almost always delayed by up to an hour, but don't count on this and set off late, make sure you get to the venue on time regardless.
Food and drink is available to buy inside at various kiosks, but you cannot bring any inside with you - some people do, but be aware it could be confiscated at the entrance.
Dress code is fairly casual, not black tie, but don't wear t-shirt and shorts either. Wear comfortable shoes as you will have to walk some way from/to the car park before and after the show. Take a light jacket and use insect repellent if you are prone to mosquito bites.
What happens if it rains?
As it is an open-air venue, there is a risk that bad weather could cause the concert to be postponed (as happened in 2019). In this case your ticket will be valid for the new date so make sure your plans include the 'rain date' as it is known. This could be one or two nights after the original date so always check to see when the concert will take place if it is postponed before you make plans. If you are unable to attend the new date your tickets will not be refunded.
So there you have it, we hope these tips help you to plan your trip to see Andrea Bocelli live at the Teatro del Silenzio. If you are interested, check out our 2 and 3 night packages staying in Volterra and around, including accommodation, tickets and concert transfers. If you need more advice just drop us a line!
Have you been to see Bocelli at the Teatro del Silenzio? Any tips or advice? Let us know in the comments below.