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The Park of the Villa Reale of Marlia in Capannori

Marlia (Lucca), parco della Villa Reale
Marlia (Lucca), parco della Villa Reale

At the Villa Reale of Marlia, acquired by Élisa in 1806 in order to make it into her country residence, the princess spared no efforts to create a garden equal in splendour to those of the other great European rulers. In order to do this, she expanded the property purchased from the Orsetti counts with adjacent possessions formerly belonging to the bishop of Lucca.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the rigid geometric compositions that had been in vogue in France up to that time were replaced by a new way of thinking about nature that characterized the new imperial parks and a perfect example of which was the garden of Napoleon’s private residence at Malmaison. The Baciocchi Princes acted as spokesmen for this new sensibility in Lucca and in order to transform the seventeenth–century garden at Marlia they sent for the English garden designer Murray in Paris. In the years from 1807 to 1812, a perspectival expansion of the space in front of the palazzo was implemented, obtained through the expansion of the garden and the redistribution of the partitions. The grassy spaces were increased, the green thickets were arranged in an irregular way and new plants were introduced. Thus was the original plan of the garden – with its rock theatre, of water and of statues, its lemon garden with a peach grove and statues of the Arno and Serchio and its greenery theatre – modified, a change also achieved through the addition of land organized according to the canons of the English garden. The woods around the lakes were populated with animals and many rare plant species were introduced.

In 1814, it became the property of Marie Louise of Bourbon, who commissioned Lorenzo Nottolini to build an astronomy observatory – La Specola – on the grounds. Since 1923, the Villa and the grounds have been the property of the Pecci Blunt counts.

Park of the Villa Reale
viale Europa
Locale: Marlia
Capannori (LU)

The park may be visited from 1 March to 30 November 10 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 6 PM; Closed Mondays; not holidays
During the winter months, visits are by appointment only; guided visits begin at the following times: 10 AM 11AM 12 PM 3 PM 4 PM 5 PM 6 PM

Admission ticket: 7 euros; groups (min. 20 people) 6 euros


Tel +39 0583 30108