Amedeo Bassi Museum

The life and dazzling success of a true opera superstar of the early 20th century is on display here: through photographs, antique objects and films, visitors can rediscover not only the artistic figure of Amedeo Bassi, but also and above all the grand tradition of Italian opera.

Montespertoli, Amedeo Bassi Museum

The museum

Montespertoli is a green island in a sea of vineyards. Arriving at the Amedeo Bassi Museum, which looks out on the enchanting Piazza Machiavelli in the heart of town, one cannot help but think of what is perhaps the most famous of all opera pieces.
The Museum an homage to wine and opera, because opera is synonymous with Italy, as this space, which conserves the singer’s cultural heritage, is here to demonstrate.The tenor Amedeo Bassi was born in Montespertoli in a humble family. When he was a boy, he worked in a kiln; there he was heard singing. He was encouraged to study singing and he took lessons by the marquis Corrado Pavesi Negri.
In 1897 he made his debut in Castelfiorentino with Ruy Blas Opera. Here his brilliant career began, and he sang in the most famous international and Italian theatres. He was an exponent of Realism and had a wide repertoire, from Verdi to Puccini, Giordano, Leoncavallo, Mascagni, Wagner; he had a gentle and powerful voice, a very clear phrasing and an excellent recitation.
The museum is divided into three rooms, and it goes over Amedeo Bassi’ s life and glorious career. He was very famous in his time; he was a real star. The relics, videos and the museum equipment tell the visitors the story of the tenor and the great Italian music tradition.

Don't miss

Works by great masters, multimedia reconstructions with voices and stories from the territory and the communities it hosts, archaeological finds and historical arts and crafts: every museum in the area offers great little stories to discover.


Embroidered Kimono Jacket

Luciana Nervi Donation

Stage dress for the performance of Iris
(early twentieth century).

Iris is an opera by Pietro Mascagni with a libretto by Luigi Illica. A symbolist, rather than veristic, opera, it was premiered at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome in 1898 and in its second version on January 19, 1899, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Amedeo Bassi played the character of Osaka on May 19, 1904 at the Teatro Politeama in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“The tenor Bassi last night in the fullness of his splendid faculties sang exquisitely the part of Osaka which had in him an excellent interpreter”.
[From the newspaper ‘El Porteño’, Buenos Aires, May 20, 1904].


Diary of Amedeo Bassi's performances from 1904 to 1926

Unattributed donation

Compiled by Rina Ceppi with additions by Amedeo Bassi.

The diary is opened on the Premieres of La Fanciulla del West in London on May 29, 1911, Conductor Cleofonte Campanini, and in Rome on June 12, 1911, Conductor Arturo Toscanini.
In the Florentine musical environment or at the Florence Conservatory, Amedeo Bassi met the young pianist Rina Ceppi, Cavalier Giuseppe Ceppi’s daughter and a very good pianist, graduated in piano at the Regio Istituto Musicale in Florence.
On March 3, 1899, Amedeo and Rina performed together for the Civil Employees Association of Florence and were married a few days later: on March 11, 1899.
The bond with Rina Ceppi will strongly mark Bassi’s life both romantically and professionally. Rina, a sensitive musician from a wealthy family with many artistic connections, will strongly believe in Amedeo’s talent and accompany him as his long career unfolds.


Amedeo Bassi in life and art

Unattributed donation

Illustrated gusseted postcard depicting on the inside pages the tenor in theatrical attire and with family members, his sons Ugo and Mario.

Early twentieth century

Amedeo Bassi and Rina Ceppi will have three sons, Ugo born Jan. 1, 1900, Mario born 1901, and Walter born 1906.


Props for the performance of Verdi's Aida

Donations Luciana Nervi and others

Sword, bracelets and helmet metal and glass pastes (early twentieth century).

Amedeo Bassi played the character of Radames in Aida on December 19, 1906 at the Manhattan Opera House in New York, America.

“[…] the new tenor Amedeo Bassi and after the second act forced Mr. Campanini, and finally Mr. Hammerstein himself to come forward and bow”.
[From the newspaper ‘New York Tribune’, New York, December 20, 1906].

“Mr. Bassi as Radames demonstrated a powerful and ringing tenor voice of the highest quality and great merit. In the half-voice solo at the beginning of the second scene, the voice was both rich and soft, and the phrasing was exquisitely delicate, Bassi seemed the son of a real Egyptian Arab rather dazzled and flattered by the civilization that cheered him under the limelight”.
[From the newspaper ‘The Globe and Commercial Advertiser’, New York, 20 dicembre 1906].


Portrait of Amedeo Bassi as Dick Johnson in The Maiden of the West

Luciana Nervi Donation

Coloured chalk on paper (approximately 1920-1930).

In 1907 Giacomo Puccini saw David Belasco’s drama The Girl of the Golden West and was greatly impressed; in the summer of 1908 he devoted himself to musical composition, which he finished in July 1910.

The premiere performance of La Fanciulla del West took place at New York’s Metropolitan Theater on December 10, 1910, conducted by Arturo Toscanini and featuring tenor Enrico Caruso as Dick Johnson.
While tenor Amedeo Bassi was the first performer of Dick Johnson in the European premiere held on May 29, 1911, at London’s Covent Garden and in the Italian premiere held at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on June 12, 1911 with Elena Burzio (Minnie) and Pasquale Amato (Jack Rance) under Toscanini’s conduction, in the presence of the King and Queen of Italy.

The land

Montespertoli’s significant history is hardly surprising considering its geographic position, which made the town an important center of trade as early as the 11th century. Here, landscape and history come together to create a “composite of the Tuscan bel paese“.

A little more than 25 km from Florence, 50 km from Siena and 60 km from Pisa, a scenario of nature, history, museums and castles opens up, introducing us to a true and genuine environment, far from the usual tourist destinations. Here high-quality local products can be tasted. Montespertoli, a nearby village with ancient traditions, a territory not difficult to reach, capable of transporting you within a landscape of which you immediately feel part of.

The village’s medieval origins are still visible today in ruins scattered around the area, along with older vestiges of Roman and Etruscan settlements. Here, landscape and history come together to create a “composite of the Tuscan bel paese,” where human intervention has left room for native flora and fauna as well as numerous historical and archeological sites.

  • Archaeology
  • Art
  • Memories
  • Sciences & Technics


find your museum

Useful information


Amedeo Bassi Museum
Piazza Niccolò Machiavelli, 13
50025 – Montespertoli (FI)
tel. +39 0571 600255

Opening hours

summer season
(from April 1 to October 31)

every day
10 am – 1 pm and 5 pm – 7 pm

(from November 1 to March 31)

Tuesday to Thursday
10 am – 12 pm

Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays
10 am – 12 pm and 3 pm – 6 pm


Combined ticket
(including the Montespertoli Sacred Art Museum and the Vine and Wine Museum)

Regular: € 5,00
Reduced: € 3,00

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