LivingTravelExplore 8 Villas & Gardens near Lucca Toscana

Explore 8 Villas & Gardens near Lucca Toscana

The walled city of Lucca is one of the best places to visit in Tuscany. In the countryside, outside the walls of Lucca, there are vineyards, olive groves and various villas. These stately mansions were built or remodeled by wealthy families in the 16th to 17th centuries.

The villas and their surrounding gardens can be easily visited by car or bicycle (they can be rented at various locations within the city walls) as day trips from Lucca. Most of the gardens charge entrance and the villas can be visited in guided tours for an additional charge, arranged at the entrance. If a tour is not available in English, you will generally be given information in English so that you can follow during the visit. Please note that opening hours often change, so use them as a rough guide.

Villa Grabau

You enter Villa Grabau, 7 kilometers north of the city of San Pancrazio, through a door with mosaics made with fragments of terracotta. Believed to have been originally built in 1412, the villa was remodeled in the Gothic style and finally in the Renaissance style in the late 16th century. The main living room has a trompe l’oeil decoration and the villa is furnished with period pieces. It can be visited on a guided tour organized at the ticket office. The surrounding park is open every day (Sundays in winter only) and has a number of rare species and a hedge theater. On the grounds of Villa Grabau there are three properties that are rented for vacations throughout the year.

Villa Oliva

Villa Oliva, also in San Pancrazio, was built in the 15th century as the country house of a Renaissance architect. The gardens surrounding the villa have not changed much from their original design. An alley of cypress trees leads to the gardens that have fountains, waterfalls, a pergola, terraces, a panoramic viewpoint, and a display of rare plant species. Right next to the villa are the stables. The park and stables are open from approximately March to November, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Musical events are sometimes held in August. The villa’s outbuilding, a large house with a private pool and tennis court, can be rented for holidays.

Villa Reale Park

Villa Reale Park in Marlia is a large park with restored Baroque gardens, streams, a lake, and fountains. Behind the villa there is a 16th century water theater. The park is open from March to October, from 10:00 to 6:00 (last entry at 5:30) and by appointment in other months. The villa itself was owned by Napoleon’s sister, who created the estate by restoring a 16th century villa and adding adjacent properties to make up the large garden area.

Villa Mansi

Villa Mansi is in Segromigno en Monte , a few kilometers east of Villa Reale. It was built in the 16th century but remodeled to its current form in 1634-1635. The main floor of the villa is decorated with many frescoes and paintings, mostly from the 18th century. In the park there are ponds, waterfalls, statues of woodland creatures and an English-style garden. Open from April to October from 10.00 to 1.00 and from 3:00 to 6:00. From November to March, closing times are from 12:00 to 5:00. Closed on Mondays. Ask at the entrance for the visiting hours of the villa for the day.

Villa Torrigiani

Villa Torrigiani, near Villa Mansi in Camigliano S. Gemma, is probably the most dramatic villa to visit and one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Tuscany. In the 16th century, the villa was remodeled by the Marquis Nicolao Santini, ambassador of the Republic to the court of Louis XIV, using the Palace of Versailles as inspiration. Allegorical statues decorate the multi-colored façade. Inside, trompe l’oeil frescoes and silk tapestries decorate the walls. The garden design dates back to 1650 and includes a long row of cypress trees, fountains, statues, and a secret garden. Next to the main gate there is a small village originally for the servants. The villa can be visited on a tour, check schedules at the entrance. Open from the first Saturday in March to the first Sunday in November, from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 3:00 to 5:00, plus hours in summer. Closed on Tuesdays.


If you have a car and want to continue in this direction, you can visit the Garzoni Gardens and the Pinocchio Park in the village of Collodi, where you will also find some restaurants.

Villa Bernardini

Villa Bernardini, 4 kilometers south of Lucca in Vicopelago , is one of the best-preserved villas in this area. Built in 1615, the villa is surrounded by a park with more than 350 species of plants, a fountain, statues and a secret garden designed for the ladies. Behind the villa there is a small open air theater. Inside there are original furniture, a collection of ceramics, portraits and other works of art. One of the more unusual pieces is a working water clock. Open 9-12 and 3-6 on weekends and holidays by reservation. Closed at Christmas and Easter and from January 1 to 6. You will need a car to get to Villa Bernardini.

Medici villas and gardens

A group of villas and gardens in Tuscany created by the Medici, a powerful and wealthy Florentine family of the Renaissance period, are part of the UNESCO world heritage. The Medici villas and gardens date back to the 14th-17th centuries. Most are near Florence, but the Palazzo at Serravezza is a short distance north of Lucca.

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