A few minutes from Pinocchio Park in Collodi, immersed in the countryside of Lucchesia, you will find the magnificent Nobility Villas that were the summer residences of the Nobles and also representative places.
Proceeding from Collodi towards Lucca, the first you will encounter is Villa Torrigiani, a luminous example of Baroque architecture, and it’s possible to visit the inside which is finely furnished and has an ample park.
Then you come across Villa Mansi which was the residence of a very important family of Lucca, ascent to the honours in the field of silk commerce. The building, built in 1500, was reconstructed the following century then the Mansi entrusted the architect Filippo Juvarra to transform the garden which was divided as seen today, into four side by side sections.
Villa Oliva and Villa Grabau are both found in San Pancrazio. Villa Oliva, was constructed by the Buonvisi family in 1500, in the course of the centuries it has changed owners many times, and once a Consistory to the presence of Pope Alessandro VII, stayed there. Today the residence has been restored and about 5 hectares of park that surround it, is characterised by the presence of really appreciable rare essences, waterfalls and fountains.
Not far away is Villa Grabau, again from 1500, born on a ravine of an ancient medieval village, thanks to the work of the Diodat family. After many transformations, the actual aspect can be attributed to a German banker married to Carolina Grabau. Immersed is a spectacular Park, characterised by an English garden, an Italian garden and the lovely Teatro di Verzura, where today summer performances take place.
The Villa Reale di Marlia was once residence in 1805 to the sister of Bonaparte. In the following centuries to the Grand Duke of Tuscany and then the King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, who gave it to Prince Carlo. Fallen from grace for many contracted debts from the nephew of Carlo, in 1918 started the indiscriminating sale of furniture, furnishings and the Villa. So the family of Conti Pecci-Blunt entered on the scene, who bought the property saving the park from disaster, restructuring and conserving it with passion and even today maintaining the splendour intact like the example of the Viale delle Camelie or the marvellous Teatro di Verdura.
You will find Villa Bernardini in Vicopelago. The construction was finished in 1615, and since then has conserved unchanged and enriched the furnishings and park of the ancient property.
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“A frog in the well does not know the sea.” – Japanese Proverb