The monumental complex of the villa Reale of Marlia is of extreme interest because it has in itself stratified the testaments of two important periods of architectural construction in the Lucchese villas.
In an area of the park the original layout from the 1600s has been conserved i.e. its geometrically lined evergreens and the verdure theatre which was established in 1652, the hedges of which having now reached a noteworthy height. The "water theatre" (Teatro d'acqua), situated behind the palace, also belongs to this period. According to Isa Belli Barsali, this work belongs to the same architect who projected the fishing pond and the exedra in the background. The latter is noteworthy for the plan's dynamism and the architectonic lines, as well as for the wise use of building materials. The effect achieved from the use of rough material such as tufo, alongside smooth materials, creates a sort of fusion between the brickwork architecture and the natural one of the hedges. While the evergreen hedges simulate the walls, man's brickwork simulates the rocks.
The palace in its present neoclassic form dates back to the Napoleonic princedom of the Baciocchi. It presents itself as an impressive, sober, three-floored construction. The main entrance on the downhill-facing façade, is realised with three arches surmounted by a baluster with little columns. There is a portico on the rear façade. The interior decoration is of special interest and is particularly well looked after, according to the dictates of the Napoleonic school and architects Fontaine and Percier, which stipulates that the coherence between architectural structure and decoration is of the utmost importance.
The great fresco "le Danze delle Ore" by the Lucchese painter Stefano Tofanelli decorating the ceilings in the dance hall, must be remembered. The structure belonging to the Villa del Vescovo which is found inside the garden, can also be visited.
Villa Reale in Marlia
Address: 55014 Marlia Lucca district:
The park of the villa can be visited between 1st March and 30th November. The visits are always by guided tour and start at 10.00,11.00,12.00,15.00,16.00,17.00 and 18.00. Closed on Mondays and national holidays. During the other months of the year, the park can be visited by appointment.
Ticket Price: 6 Euro, groups 5 Euro, free entry for children under the age of 12.
How to get there:
By car: from Lucca, take the SS12 towards Abetone, turn at the junction for Pizzorne-Matraia-Villa Reale, follow signs for Villa Reale. Parking facilities available in the grounds of the villa.
Public transport: from Lucca take the Clap bus route for Matraia.
Contacts: Romano Serafini
Telephone: 0583 30108
Fax: 0583 30009