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May 30, 2011

Villa Torrigiani

Filed under: Uncategorized — Darren Hackett @ 8:08 am

In and around the Lucca region, and in particular, off the main road between Pescia and Lucca; there are many elaborate, decorative villas.  We recently visited the Villa Torrigiani, a quite exquisite house originally built in the 1500’s.  I am still astounded by the fact that in the times of Henry the VIII and Elizabeth the 1st in England they were building a style of house that would only be seen there more than 200 years later.  The influence of Palladian geometry is strongly in evidence too.

The house was first owned by the Bounvisi family from Lucca.  He was an ambassador for the court of the Republic of Lucca to the Palace of Versailles, and the additional decor of the front of the house also owes much to the French style.

We especially loved the gardens here.  On a lovely spring day there are both formal and sunken gardens.  Interesting features such as a hidden grotto behind an ornate wall, where lovers could tryst.  A delicious pesceteria, a fish ‘pond’, that looks like a fabulous swimming pool.  Magnificent trees on well tended lawns.  Lots of heavily scented lemon trees and jasmine.  If you visit the house there is a very enthusiastic lady who was our guide for the 45 minute tour.  She herself was entertaining and highly informative.

After the tour we sat in the quiet avenue of trees that grandly approaches the house and ate a delicious picnic in the bright warm sunshine.  A passer by cheerfully suggested we all looked like a we were in a painting by Monet, under the dappled light of the trees.  I don’t know about that but it was heavenly.  This villa was actually recommended to us by one of our recent visitors, and we are very grateful to them.  There are many villas in the area that are open to the public and you can see them on the website http://www.welcometuscany.it/tuscany/lucca/lucca_villas.htm.

ps. take a picnic with you

3 Comments »

  1. Thank you for a reminder of a lovely day out, Malcolm, I would never have got round to visiting if you and Darren hadn’t suggested it and I would have missed something delightful. The picnic rounded it off perfectly. Love, Liz

    Comment by Liz — May 30, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

  2. Yes wasn’t it all delightful. Can I tell them about your more detailed description on your blog – at http://www.anewlifeintuscany.com. ?
    Malcolm

    Comment by Malcolm Coward — June 14, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  3. Thank you both for a lovely 5 days at Casa Verde. We thoroughly enjoyed sitting and reading while looking out at the beautiful green mountains and little villages perched (precariously it seemed to me !) on the sides of them. Also being within easy reach for visiting Lucca, Pisa and Florence meant we could have the best of both “tourist” ideals. The meal you cooked for us was delicious and we were pleased to be experimented on ! Sadly Darren your method for producing perfect poached eggs has proven beyond me and I have produced only unmitigated disasters. Many thanks again.
    Dan & Joan.

    Comment by Dan & Joan Lehain — May 22, 2012 @ 11:56 am

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