Villa Martinelli oggi Caprotti
location_cityArchitecture

Villa Martinelli (today Caprotti) in Lucca

The building is one of the greatest examples of suburban villa

Lucca

It is developed over four floors and has a façade built in accordance with the principles of traditional Florentine 19th century architecture. Both the main and the lateral façades on the first floor feature thick rusticated ashlar work which increases in size on the sides and is crowned by a double string course. The façades are marked over two floors by windows with two types of tympanums and half windows on the last floor.
The main door which is opened facing the road , is surmounted by a terrace with a baluster featuring ionic marble columns supported by corbels in the shape of female figures. There are bulky fasces in the corners made from ashlar in plastic relief which frame the plastered façades surmounted by cornices and eaves decorated in caisson wood.
Behind the palace there is a structure made from facing brick which is three storeys high and inspired by the classic style. It features round arches and terracotta columns which open into a loggiato on the ground floor. The above floors are marked by pilaster strip capitals and are lightened due to the arched windows. This structure is completed with a large terrace where two small extensions were built during the 1940s.
The proportions of the garden surrounding the villa were drastically changed due to the construction of Via Paganini. However there is still a good proportion of ground and opens on to Viale Puccini by way of two gates which are held up by pilasters and stone columns, the latter being surmounted by large busts made from Carrara marble featuring King Vittorio Emanuele II, Queen Margherita , Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci. A smaller third gate, positioned between the other two, is held up with cast iron columns surmounted by eagles in flight and a tympanum bearing the initials of the owner, Lorenzo Martinelli.
Two goblet shaped fountains made from Carrara marble sit in front on the palace and frame the main door.
In addition to the rural constructions and agricultural annexes, the garden hosts the gardener’s house and the coach house. Above this there was a belvedere covered by a pergola and was reached from the garden by way of a cast iron spiral staircase which has disappeared.
Surrounding the palace there is a layout of pathways with hedges and that continues along the walls of the property which was one hectare in size. Above the pathways there is a pergola supported by facing brick columns. The base of the building is quite regular and is square shaped and divided by an atrium which crosses the entire edifice from north to south and features the main stairs. The inside of the building holds very few tempered and decorative elements in stucco. The most significant decoration is found on the ceiling of the library on the ground floor depicting Apollo and the Muses.
The building is a private property and cannot be visited inside.
Source: Lucca and its lands / www.luccapro.sns.it

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