A walk among the romantic fountains and the enchanting Lemon house of Villa Grabau, Lucca: a unique villa dating back to 1500.
The historical complex of Villa Grabau is located in the hills not far from Lucca, on the slopes of Mount Pizzorne. Facing the city and the plain around it, the view from here is amazing. The main villa, with the original renaissance style structure, is built on three floors and dates back to 1412, when it was built by the Diodati family on an existing building. During the centuries the villa has been bought by the Orsetti family and the Cittadella family, before becoming property of the German banker Schwartze. His wife Grabau gave the name to the mansion; she was famous for taking care of the fascinating gardens, in collaboration with Lucca Botanical Garden.
The XVI century signs are still visible: the alignment between the main salon and the “loggia”, the hipped roof, and the decorations in the interior walls. The neo-classical style however, added with subsequent interventions, can be recognized from the windows, from the tents and the painted wall frescoes of nymphs and geometric images.
The great Italian style garden strikes the eye and completes the panorama of the villa. It is decorated with marble and bronze artifacts, ornamental fountains and a winter garden inside a greenhouse. The place is particularly popular for photo shoots, ceremonies and parties; a very special location is the Lemonhouse, a romantic and majestic greenhouse dating back to 1600, surrounded by the spectacular botanical park with old trees and floral ornaments rarities. The Theatre of Verzura is also popular for summer music events, along with three residences, Casa Annadora, Stalletta and Casa Orazio, that turns out to be an intimate gathering in the majestic gardens where guests can relax on holiday.
What to see near Villa Grabau
A city: Lucca
Without any doubt from Villa Grabau you can’t lose sight of the great walls that enclose the city of Lucca. They have a total length of 4 km, suitable for a nice walk in the open air. Inside the city center you can visit St. Martin cathedral, from the second half of the 1500, with its Romanesque details; Palazzo Ducale, former house of the Duchess Elisa Baciocchi and now office of the Province; the Amphitheater Square, built on the remains of a Roman amphitheater of the II century AD.
A hamlet: Castiglione di Garfagnana
The village hidden in the Apennines is the site of traditions and legends. With a still intact castle from the Roman times, the hamlet revives the ancient splendor during the medieval festival in August. It is a cultural yet naturalistic destination, with sport routes all around the neighborhood.
The sea: Marina di Pietrasanta
An upscale travel destinations for the summer, Marina di Pietrasanta is famous for its wide beach and clear blue sea; the coast is enriched with villas, including one that was home to the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio. Moreover, the place offers a wide choice of hotels and seaside resorts with luxury services. All in the frame of the green Versilia Park.
What to eat in Lucca
Lucca’s type of cuisine is very simple and genuine. Starters are based on spelled soups and beans, with the traditional garmugia containing beans, onion, asparagus and bacon; alternatively, the farinata is a pie made of chickpeas. The main courses offer rovelline of beef and gravy, baccalà with chickpeas and rabbit. For dessert, a must are the castagnaccio, made with chestnut flour and stuffed with walnuts and pine nuts, and the buccellato with anise and raisins, the latter considered typical of Lucca.