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Villa Grabau ex Cittadella
location_cityHistorical Buildings

Villa Grabau (ex Cittadella) in Lucca

Despite 19th century interventions, the Villa Grabau, conserves harmony in its structure and a simplicity of form, which is very characteristic of renaissance architecture amongst the Lucchese Villas

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There are three floors to this square plan, the third being the attics. The light colours of the plaster unobtrusively show up the greyness of the stones which frame the windows and arches of the porticos on the façade facing downhill (which was converted into a hall in the 19 century).
The villa is built in the position that Sanminiati, the author of an essay on 16th century villas, and owner of a villa, described as ideal: being built on the confines between the plains and hills with the main façade facing downhill.
The layout of the garden facing uphill, an external architectural jewel, is realised by dividing the park’s area with terracing. The walls of the terracing, decorated in black and white mosaics, contrasts with the curved shape of the hedges of the Italian style garden. In the italian garden there are 100 centenarian citrus trees in terracotta vases with the coats of arms of the family.
An effect of gradual fusion of the artificial work of man in nature and the Lucchese hills in the background is realised in the garden. This characteristic in the relationship with surrounding nature is also emblematic of the Lucchese architecture of the period, that keeps always in mind the insertion of the buildings in the distant panorama.
The two bronze mascerons on the fountains fixed to the terracing wall are noteworthy as well as the grotesque fountain (at present moved to the wood), attributed to the school of the mannerist sculptor Pietro Tacca (1577-1640) from Belli Barsali.
The lemon house in the garden is one of the most noteworthy in the Lucchesia, with its 7 doors and oval windows framed by Matraia stone ashlars. In the big park of the villa, rich of rare essences, an interesting verdure theatre is also found.
Source: Lucca and its lands / www.luccapro.sns.it

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