Small picture of Donizetti




Casa Natale di Gaetano Donizetti

(The birthplace of Gaetano Donizetti)


In a letter to his teacher Mayr, Donizetti described his early life as "I was born underground in Borgo Canale.  You went down cellar steps, where no glimmer of light ever penetrated"1.  Today, the house is a museum but the rooms in the basement where he was born and where his family lived are still there and, notwithstanding the spotless renovations and bright lights, one can still get a sense of how chilling and depressing they must have been for a young boy and marvel at how someone could rise from that to the top of his profession and a name known throughout the operatic world.




Recently a new set of rooms was opened in the upper part of the house (occupied by others in Donizetti's day) to accommodate extra facilities including a timeline of his life.

Maestro Francesco Bellotto, Professor Paolo Fabbri and Claudia Sartirani, l'Assessore alla Cultura e Spettacolo del Comune di Bergamo at the opening of the new rooms, December 17, 2011.


 Professor Paolo Fabbri explaining the timeline


A detailed description of the house, its address, contact numbers and opening times, as well as more photographs can be found at  . Borgo Canale lies in the old town very close to the funicular up to San Virgilio.  More information on Bergamo and other Donizetti landmarks can be found on the Bergamo page. 



1 William Ashbrook, Donizetti and his Operas .  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982, p.3.






© Donizetti Society and contributors, 2004-2010