The Villa Reale estate was created by Elisa Baciocchi, Napoleon's sister and sovereign of Lucca (and later all of Tuscany) by uniting the historic Villa Orsetti with the surrounding territories which included a palace which had served as the summer residence for the Bishop of Lucca.
Elisa Baciocchi insisted on modernising the buildings, but the splended 17th century gardens, with their outdoor theatre and the Camelia Boulevard were left more or less untouched and can still be visited today. After the fall of Napoleon the villa passed first into the hands of the Dukes of Parma and then into the Grandukes of Tuscany. After the unification of Italy the property went to King Vittorio Emanuele II who ceded it to Prince Carlo, the brother of the last King of the Two Sicilies.
After Prince Carlo's death in 1918 the villa was purchased by its present-day owners, the Pecci-Blunt counts. They commissioned a restoration of the gardens by the French architect Jacques Greber, who created woods and a lake which make a Romantic complement to the Italian style gardens.