Trasimeno Music Festival

Experience Puccini’s Tosca at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, before delighting in the prestigious Trasimeno Music Festival with Mary Jo Capps.

Established by world-renowned pianist Angela Hewitt in 2005, the Trasimeno Music Festival brings together international artists in the natural beauty and history of the hill town of Perugia. In settings such as the Castle of the Knights of Malta, the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter and the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, enjoy performances of the works of Bach, Couperin, Mozart, Beethoven Rossini and more, in atmospheric evening concerts.

Depart Australia or New Zealand in the evening on suggested Qatar Airways flights to Rome via Doha. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.

Arrive at Rome Airport in the afternoon on suggested flights and make your own way to the hotel.

In the early evening, join Mary Jo Capps and your fellow travellers for a pre-theatre welcome dinner at a local restaurant before attending a performance of Puccini’s Tosca at the Teatro Dell’Opera di Roma. Puccini’s famous arias are brought to the spotlight by Italian soprano Monica Zanettin.


Continuing the theme of Tosca, walk the streets of Rome as Puccini would have, taking inspiration from the various histories that unravel around each corner. Visit the baroque church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle where Caveradossi was painting when Angelotti sought refuge. Now the French Embassy, the Palazzo Farnese is considered one of the best pieces of Renaissance architecture in Rome, and where Tosca fervently negotiated for her lover’s life. The final act, set at the Castel Sant’Angelo was once a mausoleum for Roman emperor Hadrian, before becoming a papal fortress and eventually a prison.

Explore Rome at your own pace for the remainder of the afternoon before dinner at a local restaurant.


Take a behind the scenes view of the Teatro Dell’Opera di Roma with the opportunity to see the original scenographies created by illustrator Adolf Hohnestein for Tosca’s premier in 1900, when Puccini sat in the audience as his work played to great acclaim.

The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.


Check out of the hotel in the morning and travel north to Perugia. Perugia, is Umbria’s capital surrounded by historic Etruscan walls dating back to the Middle Ages.

Enjoy lunch at a local regional restaurant in Perugia and check in to the hotel in the late afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure.


Enjoy a morning talk by Mary Jo on the coming days’ performances, and then discover historic Perugia on a morning orientation tour. Begin with a stroll along the Corso Vannucci, the main pedestrian street lined with elegant shops, bars and restaurants. See the Fontana Maggiore, a medieval fountain constructed by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano of pink and cream marble and decorated with intricately carved panels. Finish with a visit to the Palazzo dei Priori, with its beautiful 13th century frescoes and wooden furniture.

After lunch at a local restaurant, the afternoon is at leisure to continue your exploration of Perugia at your own pace.

This evening, travel to the Basilica di San Francesco in nearby Assisi for the opening performance of the Trasimeno Music Festival commencing at 9pm. Enjoy Giachino Rossini’s final major work in Petite Messe Solennelle composed in 1863, 34 years after his last opera. The small solemn mass was described by Rossini as the “last of my péchés de vieillesse” (sins of old age) in reverence to God.

The Basilica di San Francesco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has immense value due to its significance as the burial place of Saint Francis as well as its artistic importance seen in the architectural structures, beautiful frescoes and interior decorations.

G. Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle

Performed by:
Il Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi

Angela Hewitt and Gloria Campaner, pianists


Begin the day with a private guided tour of the National Gallery of Umbria, which houses one of the richest collections of medieval and early Renaissance art in Italy with works of international renown. Enjoy some free time before returning to the hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

In the evening, attend a piano recital by Angela Hewitt at the Basilica di San Pietro, a Benedictine abbey founded in the 10th century. The main court is dominated by the polygonal clock-tower and frescoes dating from the 14th century, as well as paintings by Perugino.

Enjoy works including J.S Bach’s Four Toccatas, Mozart’s Sonata in C Minor and Beethoven’s Sonata in C Minor.

J.S. Bach: Four Toccatas
– C minor BWV 911
– G Major BWV 916
– F sharp minor BWV 910
E minor BWV 914

W.A. Mozart: Sonata in C minor, K.457

L. van Beethoven: Sonata in C minor, Op. 111

Performed by:
Angela Hewitt, piano

Following the recital, indulge in some local cuisine at a gala dinner in the Chiostro di San Pietro.

Then, enjoy a series of three vocal pieces portraying classical French Baroque music. Composed by François Couperin, the music symbolises the lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet deploring the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

Couperin: Leçon de Ténèbres pour le Mercredi Saint

Performed by:
Anu and Piia Komsi, sopranos
Angela Hewitt, organ
Rodney Prada, viola da gamba


Following a talk by Mary Jo, marvel at Assisi’s Basilica di San Francesco and explore this historic centre of art and architecture at your own pace.

After lunch at a local restaurant in Assisi, return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

In the evening, attend a chamber music concert featuring works of Martinu, Saint-Saëns and Dvořák at the Castle of the Knights of Malta in Magione.

B. Martinu: La revue de cuisine, sextet for clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, violin, cello and piano

C. Saint-Saëns: Septet for piano, trumpet and strings, Op. 65

A. Dvorák: String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 77

Performed by:
Camerata RCO (members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam)

Angela Hewitt, piano


Begin the day with a walking tour of Gubbio, the oldest town in Umbria. A masterpiece of a medieval town, Gubbio is rich in history and artistic heritage dating back to Roman times. Enjoy some free time for lunch before returning to the hotel in the afternoon.

In the evening, continue your experience of the Trasimeno Music Festival at Teatro Signorelli in Cortona built to neo-classical designs by Carlo Gattesschi in 1854. The performance will be a homage to Barbara Strozzi, one of the leading female composers of the early Baroque era. The Venetian singer and composer was probably the most talented, famous and successful woman of her time in the field of music.

Barbara Strozzi 400th Anniversary Programme

Performed by:
Il pomo d’oro, ensemble

Emöke Baráth, soprano

Francesco Corti, harpsichord and conducting


This morning travel to the village of San Savino Di Magione, located directly on the shores of eastern Lake Trasimeno. Explore the traditional Italian town at your own pace before visiting Isola Maggiore by ferry, the second largest island on Lake Trasimeno where St Francis of Assisi lived for forty days during Lent. After lunch, enjoy time at leisure to explore life on the island, including the Church of St Michael the Archangel to see the beautiful artworks and frescoes, many of them dating from the 13th century. Return to the hotel by ferry and coach.

Enjoy some time at leisure before tonight’s performance featuring beautiful selections of Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin and Schubert at the Castle of Knights of Malta in Magione.

L. van Beethoven:
Mit einem gemalten Band, Op. 83 No. 3
T´intendo, sì, Op. 82 No. 2
L´amante impaziente, Op. 82 No. 3
– Sehnsucht
– Neue Liebe, neues Leben
, Op. 75 No. 2

J. Brahms: Sonata in E-flat major for clarinet and piano, Op. 120 No. 2

F. Chopin / P. Viardot:
– L´oiselet
– Coquette
– Berceuse
– La jeune fille

F. Chopin: A selection of solo piano works

F. Schubert: The Shepherd on the Rock (Der Hirt auf dem Felsen), D. 965

Performed by:
Anu Komsi, soprano

Mark Simpson, clarinet

Angela Hewitt, piano


Begin the morning with a talk by Mary Jo about tonight’s performance. Then, travel to Cortona, a charming village in southern Tuscany which boasts Etruscan history and beautiful landscapes.

Enjoy a guided walking tour followed by lunch at a local restaurant. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

In the evening, attend a performance of 20th and 21st century music at the National Gallery of Umbria in Perugia.

Mark Simpson: Barkham Fantasy (for piano)

Kaija Saariaho: From the Grammar of Dreams (for two sopranos)

Jovanka Trbojevic: Sky Shopping – Homage to Brahms (Piia Komsi, soprano and cello)

Mark Simpson: Darkness Moves (for clarinet, played by the composer)

Matthew Whittall: Excerpts from Leaves of Grass (Preludes for piano)

Samuel Barber: Adagio mesto and Fuga from the Piano Sonata, Op. 26

Performed by:
Anu Komsi, soprano

Piia Komsi, soprano

Mark Simpson, clarinet

Angela Hewitt, piano


After a morning at leisure, enjoy a special farewell lunch with Mary Jo and fellow travellers, followed by some free time during the afternoon.

Then, attend a final performance in the Castle of the Knights of Malta in Magione, with music including J.S. Bach’s Three Toccatas and his Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, followed by Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 18 in D Major (The Hunt) and Ravel’s piano suite Le Tombeau de Couperin, a homage to his great Baroque predecessor and other composers of the age.

J.S. Bach: Three Toccatas
D minor BWV 913
G minor BWV 915
D major BWV 912

Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue BWV 903

W.A. Mozart: Sonata in D major, K. 576

M. Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin

Performed by:
Angela Hewitt, piano


In the morning, check out of the hotel and transfer to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport (transfer included in tour price).

Arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport in time for suggested flights to Australia or New Zealand on Qatar Airways via Doha departing from 16:00 onwards. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including any additional nights’ accommodation, either before or after the tour.


Per person, twin-share

AUD 11,500

Single supplement*

AUD 1,500

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 1,500

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Final payment due

25 April 2019

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline

Qatar Airways
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.


Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit Italy.

Tour price includes

  • Accommodation in centrally-located 4- and 5-star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
  • Premium category tickets to all included performances
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine
  • Lectures and talks throughout with your tour leader, Mary Jo Capps
  • Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Transfer from Perugia to Rome Fiumicino Airport on day of departure
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • Airport/hotel transfer on arrival in Rome
  • Transfer from Perugia to Rome airport if not travelling with group transfer
  • Airport porterage
  • Items of a personal nature including telephone, laundry, taxis, minibar, room service etc.
  • Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)


Your hotels
Rome – Hotel Ponte Sisto ****+
Perugia – SINA Brufani Hotel *****

N.B. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted.


Founded by pianist Angela Hewitt in 2005 – after she had just completed her 11-year project of recording all the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach – the Trasimeno Music Festival has already established itself as one of the musical highlights of the European summer. Hewitt herself remains one of the stars of the Festival, regularly performing both solo and with other visiting artists. The 2019 Festival program brings together Finnish sopranos Anu and Piia Komsi, British clarinettist Mark Simpson, Hungarian soprano Emőke Baráth, Costa Rican viola da gamba player Rodney Prada and the Camerata of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra to perform works by J.S. Bach, Couperin, Mozart, Beethoven and Rossini.

Angela Hewitt © Keith Saunders