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Andrea Bocelli's Favorite Street

Lorenzo Pesce

Photos by Lorenzo Pesce

From left: Cantina Bocelli; La Chiesa di San Leonardo; A pasta dish at Lajatico è Da Nello.

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli is the king of “crossover classical.” Think pop-y versions of Puccini as well as adult contemporary ballads such as “Time to Say Goodbye,” which appeared on his 20 million-selling 1997 album, Romanza. In short, the guy knows how to move the masses, and we predict sales in the billions for his new album, Passione, out this month (hey, it could happen). And he’s not just passionate about music. Bocelli waxes poetic when asked about the area of Tuscany where he grew up: “It’s the kind of place where the farther I am from it, the greater my need to return,” says the singer, who was raised near the town of Lajatico, some 30 miles southeast of Pisa. Today, visiting home means checking on his family’s burgeoning winery—located on the Bocelli compound—and stopping in Lajatico for church and live theater.

“The area where I grew up is one of priceless beauty, where peacefulness and nature reign and the scent of hay is overwhelming. In spring, the meadows are full of clover. It is a postcard landscape.”

On Bocelli Family Wines, the Bocellis’ line of five small-batch varietals: “We have 16 acres dedicated to wine production—just the right size for us to feel confident of a high-quality product.”

La Pieve di San Leonardo is the spiritual center of Lajatico. The church was built in the 13th century and was completely restored in the mid-1800s. It was here that I learned to pray.”

On Teatro del Silenzio, an amphitheater where Bocelli hosts an annual concert: “Some of the greatest artists of the world have performed here: Plácido Domingo, Lang Lang, Sarah Brightman and David Foster.”

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