New Naples Museum: Dedicated to Italian Tenor Enrico Caruso

Naples is home to the first national first national museum dedicated to Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso. Set to open this month  150 years after Caruso’s birth in the same city, the museum will be inside the Royal Palace of Naples in the Sala Dorica rooms.  

Enrico Caruso had a career that spanned continents. He came from humble beginnings and rose to fame singing at some of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. Caruso’s voice bellowed in London, New York, Milan, spots around South America and Canada to name a few. Caruso made over 240 recordings in his lifetime, leaving a lasting legacy and solidifying him as an international star. Multimedia displays, 3-D exhibitions, memorabilia and of course recordings of one of the world’s most famous opera singers will dazzle visitors to the museum. 

Meticulous in his choice of clothing, Caruso was impeccably dressed on and off stage. It is rumored he took two baths a day, loved eating good food, collecting postage stamps and valuable watches. Quite a colorful personality, Caruso’s life was not unmarked by scandal and society gossip. Nevertheless, when he died on August 2, 1921 at the age of 48, King Victor Emmanuel III allowed for the funeral to be held in the church of San Francesco di Paola in Naples’ famous Piazza Plebiscito where thousands attended in hopes of saluting the tenor in his glass sarcophagus. 

As a collector and admirer of Caruso, Luciano Pituello (of Associazione Museo Enrico Caruso, Centro Studi Carusiani di Milano) has dedicated his life to his collection and has kindly allowed for a majority of his beloved Caruso artifacts to be put on display at the new museum. Costumes, records, vintage gramophones and original scores with autographed annotations by the artist are set to show at the museum thanks to Pituello’s generosity. 

In 1901 during a performance in Naples, Caruso received negative reviews from critics and spectators, some claiming he sang as a baritone and not a tenor during a performance of L’elisir d’amore. After that, he vowed to never sing again in his hometown. Legend says Caruso once claimed “I will never again come to Naples to sing; it will only be to eat a plate of spaghetti.” Yes, to eat a plate of spaghetti or to be posthumously honored as a symbol of Neapolitan culture and pride worldwide. — Danielle Abbazia

Museo Enrico Caruso
Palazzo Reale di Napoli

Piazza del Plebiscito, 1
(39) 0814 00547
Open daily 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with last entrance at 7 p.m. Closed Wednesdays.
Tickets cost 10€ (11€ from June 15 – September 15). Free for visitors under 18 years of age.
Audio guides available for an additional 5€.