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location_cityHistorical Buildings

Villa Bottini in Lucca

Also known as Villa Buonvisi "al giardino", it's one of the most beautiful villas in the Lucchesia

Map for 43.84392,10.510171

Many villas were modelled on its composition plans and, in addition, it would seem that it was the model of the "ideal villa", outlined in Sanminiati treatise on the subject.
The plan for the villa is rectangular and comprises a basement, a raised floor, a floor above of a substantially lower height, and a central elevation with a loggia. At the back of the building on the raised floor there is a portico which gives access to the hall.
Wide openings, the play on symmetry and proportion among the architectural elements, give the villa a pleasant and harmonious lightness which is rarely found in other Lucchese villas. The vaults in the hall and those of the portico were frescoed by Ventura Salimbeni. The influence of Raffaello della Farnesina is visible in their realisation. These frescoes are the only remaining evidence of 16th century internal decoration among the Lucchese villas. Neoclassic decoration was added to the villa in the 1800´s under the ownership of Princess Baciocchi. The entrance doors to the garden are noteworthy, in a bulky style decisively different from that of the building.
The entrance door to the nymphaeum, the first example of serliana in the Lucchese villas, has an ingenious and original composition. The columns are made alternating between rough and smooth material and have two statues of rivers on top, which, in their disposition, simulate the shape of a divided tympanum.

A bastion-protected medieval city and a blast of comics, culture and colors
Many people born and bred in Tuscany consider Lucca an outlier—it’s not uncommon to hear Florentines mutter “that's not Tuscan”, probably when referring to the bread, which is salted in Lucca and strictly plain elsewhere in Tuscany; or to the Lucchese people's mode of speaking (unique, to say the least); or to the fact that Lucca is the region’s only city-state to have preserved its ...