ADDRESS: Via della Chiesa X, loc. Mutigliano
TELEPHONE: +39 340 3232249
Mutigliano is a small village a few kilometers away from the historic center of Lucca, on the other side of the Serchio river, where the Val Freddana , called like the river that crosses it, begins.
Here is located the parish church of SS. Ippolito e Cassiano, built at the end of the 19th century (from 1877 to 1888, opened for worshippers in 1883) in the flat area of the town, surrounded by the rolling hills of the Piana di Lucca.
The church has a single nave with a semicircular apse and probably, even if there are no official documents, it is the extension of an older building, partly visible on the side of the bell tower.
The simple neoclassical façade is softened by four Ionic-style half-columns resting on a high base. The bell tower is much more recent, built with stone ashlars cut and treated in a particular way.
Inside, the large nave extends upwards in a suggestive barrel vault. The organ, realised by Michelangelo Crudeli, and the choir in the counter-façade, both dated 1784, testify that the church has a longer history than the official documents may reveal.
The Puccini itinerary
Giacomo Puccini as a boy often went to Mutigliano, because in the church of SS. Ippolito and Cassiano the parish priest Don Giacinto Cantoni had assigned him the laudable duties of playing the organ, giving lessons to the choir and conducting liturgical music.
The Maestro kept his ties with the village even after the conclusion of this experience at the end of the 1870s; the friendship with locals and in particular with two priests, Roderigo Biagini (cousin of Giacomo) and Dante Del Fiorentino (one of the first biographers and scholars of Puccini).
Giacomo always fondly remembered the good times he spent in Mutigliano; in 1897 in a letter sent from London to his friend Alfredo Caselli, he wrote: "I am a friend of Zola, Sardou, Daudet: who would ever have imagined that from an organist from Mutigliano?" and in 1908 in a letter to his sister Ramelde sent from Egypt, talking about the Nile: "It is nothing but the enlarged Freddana river".