we can admire a lot of historicals villas on Lucca surrounding, more specifically in the territory of Capannori. They were built between the XV and the XIX century by rich merchants of Lucca, devoted to commercial and banking activities.
These villas, fine examples of architecture, constitute a real system of landscapes, based upon the palace in itself and also enriched by the gorgeous parks with rare trees, amazing fountains and pools, little lakes, statues, fish-ponds and arboreous constructions.
During the centuries (‘500, ‘600, ‘700), passing from a family to another, these summer estate were often enlarged and modified according to the style of every different age; these villas were located in areas of special beauty, surrounded by deep groves and peaks or marvellous gardens in italian style, and they faced the valley down below.
Today some of these splendid buildings, perfectly preserved and wisely restored, are the setting for meetings, cultural events and weddings.
The first references that involve this villa are dated 1517, when the Buonvisi family bought it from the Avvocati family. In 1651 it passed to Oliviero and Lelio Orsetti, who restored the garden and built the Palace of the Clock.
The monumental structure of Villa Reale is extremely interesting because it contains stratified evidences of two important architectural periods. An area of the park, in fact, still preserves the original style of the eighteenth century, with its geometrically arranged evergreens and the greenery theatre dated 1652. Of the same period is the theatre of water, located behind the palace.
The villa is a neoclassical building that dates back to the period of the napoleonic principality of Elisa Baciocchi. It is an imposing and sober construction on three levels. The main entrance is characterized by three arches surmounted by a balustrade with columns. The back façade has a porch.
The inner parts are marked by a strict coherence between architecture and decorations. It is to mention the famous fresco of Stefano Tofanelli, ‘The Dance of the Hours’, on the ceiling of the dancing hall. Villa Reale was the estate of noble families and important patrons of art.
Photos Claudio Minghi
thantks to Capannori’s tourist portal