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Villas and gardens tour near Lucca

  • Villas and gardens tour near Lucca

    Consider a rural outing to the villa-studded countryside around Lucca. This Lucchesi villas drive could be combined with a visit to one of the noble wine and olive oil estates. Alternatively, begin the villa tour with a visit to Lucca, complete with its pinky-gold palaces, pedestrian-friendly bastions and enchanting shops. See our Lucca city itinerary above. Lucca’s villa-studded countryside is a delightful diversion on a hot summer’s day. Most villas are still in appreciative private hands, but often the gardens can be visited, even if the house is not open to the public. Wandering through fragrant shrubbery and cool grottoes, past whimsi-cal statuary and fountains, is a reminder of just how wealthy Lucca remains. Two of the grandest are the patrician Villa Torrigiani and the Villa Reale at Marlia, both surrounded by beautiful parkland.

    After reaching Lucca, which is 38 km east of Forte dei Marmi, leave town on the SS12 north, in the direction of the Garfagnana. After passing through Marlia, turn off at Villa Reale. It was built in the 17th century by the noble Orsetti family but remodelled by Elisa Bacciocchi, Napoleon’s sister. There is a lush park with a lake, which surrounds the formal Italian gardens. Surrounded by clipped yew hedges, its Teatro Verde (outdoor theatre) is the setting for concerts during Lucca’s summer music festival. In Camigliano, near capannori, Villa Torrigiani is a fine example of a late Renaissance villa, owned by the Santini and Torrigiani dynasties since 1636. As Lucca’s ambassador to the French court of Louis XIV, Nicolao Santini remodelled the façade and transformed the gardens. Undertaken in around 1650, the resulting baroque gardens feature grottoes, grotesques, a woodland walk and water gardens. For more on attractions and dining, see our full guide to Lucca.


    Address: Villa Reale: Via Fraga Alta 2, Marlia, Capannori.
    Tel: +39 0583 30108 &  www.parcovillareale.it

    Villa Torrigiani, Via del Gomberaio, 3, 55012 Capannori LU.
    Tel: +39 0583 928041 & www.villeepalazzilucchesi.it

    Benvenuti | Associazione delle Ville e Palazzi Lucchesi
    www.villeepalazzilucchesi.it

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