By Joanne DiBona

USA TODAY 10Best

Discover Andrea Bocelli's backyard in the Tuscan countryside

When I tuned into Andrea Bocelli’s inspirational "Music For Hope – Live From Duomo di Milano" on April 12, 2020, it transported me back in time to just eight months before.

Image by Joanne DiBona

That was when my husband and I had the unique opportunity to visit Bocelli's vineyard and family restaurant. Here's a look at what this once-in-a-lifetime experience was like.

Accompanied by Giovanni, our affable and knowledgeable driver and guide, we made our way through the iconic Tuscan countryside.

Image by Tony DiBona

We made a quick stop to admire the Bocelli family estate, nestled in the verdant hills in the small village of La Sterza, where the maestro spent his childhood.

Image by Joanne DiBona

We meandered along rustic roads until we reached the quaint town of Valdera and a modest family home perched high above the verdant Tuscan countryside.

Image by Joanne DiBona

It was there that the magic began. We entered the studio of Pierpaolo Guerrini, where the recordings of Italy’s most popular living tenor are produced. We were embraced, as if we were famiglia.

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Now it was time to put our communal vocal talents into action. Part of this experience included an invitation to have Pierpaolo record our own song.

Image by Tony DiBona

Our next adventure brought us to the Bocelli Restaurant and Museum, located a short drive away in the town of Lajatico.

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A classic and elegant, yet unpretentious, decor creates a warm ambiance throughout several dining areas of the restaurant. In addition to more formal dining rooms, there is also a food court and cafe.

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The gracious and attentive Alcide, who is not only the restaurant's sommelier but also Bocelli's niece, officiates over this superb wine tasting and dining experience.

Image by Tony DiBona

The second floor of the restaurant is devoted to the Bocelli Museum, which showcases the lifetime achievements of the maestro and features a wide array of the artist's memorabilia.

Image by Joanne DiBona

Our final stop in our tour of Maestro Bocelli's Tuscan hometown was the awe-inspiring Teatro del Silenzio, where he regularly conducts performances underneath the brilliant Tuscan stars.

We were met by a magnificent field of sunflowers in full summer bloom on our drive back. It was the perfect opportunity to stroll through the fields and take photographs to remember this magical trip.

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