Piazza della Vittoria, 1, 51014 Collodi PT, Italy
The imposing, majestic façade of Villa Garzoni stands out on the slope of the hill above Collodi. Visitors to the town are forced to pass under the villa's arch to arrive in Collodi. The massive structure of the villa is accentuated by architectural details like the flights of stairs and is claimed by the Garzoni family through the family's coat-of-arms with flag trophies placed above the door. The sense of grandeur is underlined by posts for two guardsmen alongside the central entrance.
The solemnity of the villa contrasts with the nearby "Summer Palazzina" - the little summer palace- which was built by Juvarra in a baroque aesthetic with bright chromatic effects, red plaster, mosaics, and pebbled wall work.
The Garzoni Garden, one of the most beautiful in Italy, represents a happy synthesis between Renaissance geometrics and the spectacular character of the Baroque. The garden can be considered a rare example of equilibrium in art, where the green, the terraces and fountains all converge to form a united whole.
Designed in the 18th century by Lucca architect Ottaviano Diodati, the garden opens as if a splendid theatre complete with fountains and large baths.
The original garden was created in the 17th century along with the villa built by the powerful Garzoni family, Ghibellines originally from Pescia. The first concrete mention of the villa dates back to 1633. The marquis Romano di Alessandro Garzoni was likely the first architect of the garden in the 1650s. The light and airy atmosphere reaches its apex in the “Bagnetti” area where dames and knights could splash and play amongst mirrors and green labyrinths.
Lose yourself in the unforgettable marvels of this fantasy land—grottos, theatres carved out in hedges, statues of mythological creatures, satyrs, female figures, bamboo forests and greenhouses with peacocks. Upon entering the garden we find flower beds, statues and two large circular baths before coming to two majestic staircases characterized by a complex hydraulic system that feeds into the fountains. The staircase is flanked by two statues of females that represent two eternal rivals, Lucca and Florence