At the doors of Lucca, in a hilly position, historic villa belonged in the past to Paolina Bonaparte. The property (over 4,700 sqm in total) includes, right beside the manorial villa, several outbuildings for a total of up to 26 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms. The villa is in good condition, while the outbuildings need to be restored. The property is surrounded by an 11.0-ha well manicured park with an impressive 43 × 4 m swimming pool.
Services are all available nearby (500 m) and are easily reached on foot. From Lucca one can then reach several of the most beautiful art cities of Tuscany in less than two hours by car (Pisa, Volterra, Florence, San Gimignano, Lucca…). The sea of Versilia is just thirty minutes away by car.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDINGS
The manorial villa (1,148 sqm – 12,352 sqft, 8 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms) is laid over three floors, accessed via lateral doors on the sides of the building or via the monumental staircases on the two main façades.
- Basement: cellar and storage room;
- Ground floor: entrance with portico, two kitchens, ample living room, dining room, five sitting rooms, several closets and three bathrooms;
- Mezzanine floor: bedroom with en-suite bathroom;
- First floor: four reception halls, five sitting rooms (potentially convertible into bedrooms), two bathrooms and two bedrooms with en-suite bathroom;
- Second floor: lofts.
Not far from the villa is the old lemon house (430 sqm – 4,627 sqft, 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms) laid over two floors:
- Basement: wardrobe, ironing room, laundry, pantry and bathroom;
- Ground floor: ample living room, hall, kitchen, dining room, closet, bedroom with enò-suite bathroom, bedroom and two bathrooms.
Right next to the lemon house is a greenhouse (108 sqm – 1,162 sqft) made out of concrete and glass, ideal to shelter the plants during winter.
The old farmer’s house (440 sqm – 4,734 sqft, up to 13 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms) is laid over two floors as follows:
- Ground floor: entrance room, laundry, cellar and garage;
- Mezzanine floor: independent apartment made up of living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom;
- First floor: eleven rooms and a bathroom (ideal to create many bedrooms for the guests).
Right next to the house is a ruined building (420 sqm – 4,519 sqft, once used as a stable for the animals and barn.
The keeper’s house (134 sqm – 1,442 sqft, 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom) is laid over two floors:
- Ground floor: entrance room, kitchen and living room;
- First floor: three bedrooms and a bathroom.
The property is then completed by a tool shed (60 sqm – 646 sqft) and many greenhouses (2,034 sqm – 21,886 sqft), in precarious structural condition, that could be rebuilt in their current shape or used as volumes for new buildings inside the property.
HISTORY, STATE AND FINISHES
The villa was already listed in the 17th century as a possession of the Buonvisi family (their coat of arms still dominated the entrance). Passing through the hands of many noble families of Lucca, it was finally bought in 1822 by Paolina Bonaparte who took care of restoring the building and had many of the current decorations added. In the following years, the villa was bought and/or inherited by the Boccella and Ruggero families, the counts Aubrey William Tealdi and ultimately by the current owners.
Nowadays the villa still looks exactly how it did in the early 19th century.
The stunning 11.0-hectare garden dates back to when Paolina owned the villa. She hired a famous English landscape architect who, positioning various elements in a carefully planned way, created the illusion that the park is much bigger than it really is. A huge cistern, still existent, was used in the past to irrigate the gardens.
The main gate opens onto a walkway flanking the villa: however, in drawings from the Napoleonic period the walkway reached the front of the villa and it is safe to assume that it was later changed into its current form.
The two Italian gardens were created at later date, when new owners took possession of the villa, and are located respectively next to the villa and the lemon house. The huge basin behind the villa, nowadays converted into a stunning 43 × 4 m swimming pool, is also a later addition to the property.