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Villa Bottini in Lucca

Lucca, Villa Bottini
Lucca, Villa Bottini

In the tightly–woven network of urban Lucca, shady gardens are like pauses between the tall palazzos. One can intuit their presence behind the walls, from the waving tree tops and flashes of sky, but it is rare that one can actually enter one of them. When one can, as is the case with the Villa Bottini, one enters a precious city space of lush greenery and gravel–lined paths, in extraordinary counterpoint to the medieval construction that characterizes the city.

The Villa – also known as the Villa Buonvisi al Giardino – was built by Bernardino Buonvisi in the second half of the sixteenth century and is characterized by an exceptionally balanced rectangular architectural plan articulated in a basement level, a raised floor and an upper floor, with a belvedere loggia at the top of the building. The back façade, facing the garden, is characterized by a large portico that gives access onto the salon of the raised level. The front façade, which is more simple, is marked by large rectangular windows on two floors. The interior of the ground floor and the portico were frescoed with mythological and allegorical scenes by Ventura Salimbeni at the end of the sixteenth century.
The villa was purchased by Felice Baciocchi on 7 December 1811 from Nicolao Montecatini for five thousand francs. During the period of Élisa’s reign, the palazzo’s outbuildings, including the horse stalls, were located near the monastery of San Micheletto. This whole area of the city, with the Via Elisa and the palazzos of the high officials of the principality, were engaged in an overall project of urban reorganization.

After years of relative abandonment, the villa became public property and was restored and reopened to the public. It is presently the property of the Municipality of Lucca, which made it the seat of the Culture Office and a convention centre.

Villa Bottini
via Elisa, 9

The garden is open to visitors every day 9 AM to 6 PM
Entrance free of charge

Tel +39 0583 4422