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Luxury Private Tour

GARDENS OF LUCCA

Villa Reale di Marlia, Villa Torrigiani, Lucca

Lucca, “the only city which survived to the rapacity of the Medici” (quote: Alessandro Biancalana, president of the Opera delle Mura), is an elegant and refined city, enclosed by a two-and half-mile perimeter of walls, built in 1544 and used nowadays as a pedestrian promenade.

Lucca is considered the land of music and the city of women: Luigi Boccherini and Giacomo Puccini were born here; it was ruled by Ilaria del Carretto, Elisa Bonaparte and Maria Luisa Borbone-Parma. Founded by the Ligurians and then colonised by the Romans around 180 BCE, it was the capital of the marquisate of Tuscia under the Langobards, and later between 1300 and 1400 it became a city-state and a “signoria”, under the rule of Castruccio Castracani and then Paolo Guinigi. 

Its fame is due to the fact it was never conquered by the Medici: Lucca guarded its indipendence until 1847! Its spirit of indipendence hangs in the air: the elegance of the palaces, the beauty of the architecture, and  the burgeoning artistic season of the Lucchesia villas. In 1600s, the silk merchants and the bankers vied with each other in order to erect the most patrician villa, deep in the gardens which were inspired directly by Versailles.

Our guided tour will take you to Villa Reale di Marlia, the splendid country residence of Elisa Bonaparte since 1805. The garden of Villa Reale di Marlia spreads over 16 hectares, where three buildings from varied ages lie: the Villa of the Bishop (1500), the Villa Buonvisi Orsetti (1600), and the Clock House (1700). The garden features a Baroque garden, an English style park, and an Arts and Crafts garden, following the fashion of 1920s. Take a stroll in the garden and discover the Camellia Walkway, a tradition of Lucca; the romantic lake edged by willlow trees and providing an unforgettable view of the villa; the Grotto of Pan by Bernardo Buontalenti; the famous Green Theatre where Niccolò Paganini played; the triumphant Lemon Garden; the Water Theatre and even a twentieth-century swimming pool where Salvador Dali bathed.  Finally, we will visit the Neoclassical villa with its delightfully painted vaults.

The guided tour will take you further to Villa Torrigiani. In the 1500s, it was the property of the Buonvisi family; then, it was purchased by Nicolao Santini, the ambassador at the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King. According to tradition, the Baroque garden was laid out by nothing less than André Le Nôtre, the most important landscape gardener of France, the author of Versailles gardens, Vaux-le-Vicômte, and Chantilly.

Last but not least, we will concluse our day in the bohemian ambiance of Lucca, where we will take a stroll in the center and you will introduced with the piazzas and the city top attractions: the Cathedral of Saint Martin, a masterpiece of Lucchese-Romanesque art with the Renaissance statue of Ilaria del Carretto carved by Jacopo della Quercia; the Guinigi Tower crowned by holm oaks since the Middle Ages; the beautiful Piazza Amphitheatre, a reminder of the Roman age; and the unmissable walls.

PLACES

Villa Reale di Marlia, Marlia, Lucca;
Villa Torrigiani, Camigliano, Capannori, Lucca;
Lucca

TICKETS

Villa Reale di Marlia (park + villa):
Adult € 14,00;
Reduced € 12,00 
FREE (children under 13).
Villa Torrigiani (park + villa):
Adult € 12,00;
Reduced € 9,00
FREE (children under 15)
Cathedral of San Martino, Lucca:
Adult € 3,00
FREE (children under 6; disabled people)

DISTANCE

80 Km / 50 miles
from Florence

DURATION

From 8.30 am
to 7.00 pm

KIDS-FRIENDLY

This guided tour is suitable for an adult public

ACCESSIBILITY

Villa Reale di Marlia and Villa Torrigiani are partially accessible to disabled.
Lucca is not on a hilltop village, so it is ideal for anyone with mobility issues.

Book your Luxury Private Tour
at Lucca Gardens

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