fb track
Mappa di Lucca

Lucca: the circular road along the medieval walls

The suggested itinerary begins in the area of St. Anna, more specifically on Via Carlo Angeloni, a crossroad of Viale Lazzaro Papi

At civic number 61, you will find a little villa that dates back to the 1920s. It is noteworthy for the painted eaves fascia depicting a host of figures. Continuing along Viale Papi, the villa and garden at civic number 69, which sits on the corner of Via Angeloni, is characterized by the presence of a turret, and stylistic and decorative motifs similar to those of the first villa viewed, however this villa is of interest thanks to its the angular collocation. Next door (at civic number 59), there is another little villa that is important for its articulated base, which complies with the irregularity of the allotment. It is particularly interesting for its bow window/turret on the main front, and another turret on the back façade. The eaves are decorated with a very refined painted fascia, featuring leaf motifs.
Continuing south along the ring road towards the train station, passing Via Catalani (see St. Anna itinerary), in order to arrive at Viale Giosuè Carducci. The first stretch of it represents a unique and very significant example of this architectural period.

At the first stop, a group of four little terraced villas (corresponding to civic numbers 719, 715, 701 and 697) are noteworthy. They are very simple in both base and decoration, but are marked by the presence of a decorative polychrome fascia featuring storks on the corner of Via Pascoli (civic number 697). At this point, it is worth taking an internal detour, veering right at the crossing at Viale Carducci into Via Giovanni Pascoli, where the architectural activity at the beginning of the last century has left many interesting noteworthy examples. The most significant of these are the small villas at civic numbers 30 and 97, both in a neo-Renaissance style. There is example another at civic number 56 which shows characteristic traits from the 1920s. It is typical of modernist architecture, in both plan and decoration, as seen in its fascia of painted drawings that run along the eaves. The small Malerbi palace, today called Dinelli and located at civic number 94, is another particularly characteristic building.

Turning onto Via Idelfonso Nieri, two small palaces, at civic numbers 92 and 95 respectively, which are located in front of each other, are eclectic in taste and are important because they are ‘twins’ that face one another. Back on Viale Carducci, you will find two little villas at civic numbers 559 and 627, which are characterized by an articulated base with an open veranda structure looking onto the back garden and a terrace above. The decorative motifs on both of these little villas are traditional. In the first one, a high eaves fascia which also surround parts of the windows are painted with floral motifs in garlands of flowers, ribbons and knots; while in the second, the painted fascia focuses on the neo-1400s Florentine motifs such as cupids, cornucopias, vases with flowers and ribbons as well as squares reminiscent of Chini’s artwork. This second villa is the current seat of the Symphonic School of Music.

The small villa (at civic numbers 523-545) does not have any particular decoration but it is significant for the originality of its angular structure, where the Modernist designed curvilinear façade gently follows the path of the circular road along the medieval wall. Finally, the small villa (at civic number 521) should be seen for its eaves fascia, which is painted and decorated in monochrome and features motifs of plants and scrolls on a green background. Continuing east along the avenue, an interesting building is located at civic number 111, called Villa Sarti. It presently hosts the "Istituto Villa Goiosa". Civic number 67/79, should also be pointed out. It is a palace with a garden of eclectic taste and is presently the seat of the local health unit.

Viale Cavour:
You continue along Viale Cavour after passing Viale San Concordio. Here, the most representative building in the city from this historic-architectural period is Palazzo Bertolli, located at civic number 287. It is presently the seat of the Professional Institute "Sandro Pertini". Opposite this building, at civic number 263, you will find another Bertolli palace, which is currently the seat of the Guardia di Finanza (main entrance on Piazza Risorgimento, 6). Further on, Palazzo Lazzareschi Lazzeroni at civic number 120 is the seat of the police headquarters and was designed by the architect Gaetano Orzali. These three buildings mentioned above are not innovative from a planivolumetrical and distributive point of view compared to 19th-century building construction. Moreover, beyond some decorative solutions, their adherence to classical taste (which was inspired mainly by the neoclassic school and the Tuscan renaissance) is very strong.

On the corner of Viale Cavour and Piazza Ricasoli, facing the train station, is the powerful Palazzo Giurlani (civic number 197). It is mainly characterized by a bulky outer covered presence on the façade in imitation ashlar and a rich decorative display on the frames of the windows. The palace was designed in 1925 by the engineer Alfredo Belluomini, who is particularly noted for his work in Viareggio. It is the first piece of work that is part of the Grand Hotel Royal, the Hotel Excelsior and the Salone Margherita complex. On the corner of Viale Regina Margherita, the graceful Palazzo Vannucchi stands at civic number 241. Dating back to 1912, it was designed by the architect Ugo Giusti, creator of the suggestive Berzieri Baths in Salsomaggiore. Viale Regina Margherita is characterized by the presence of regularly shaped constructions, like for example the two graceful twin palaces at civic numbers 195 and 229. They are also inspired by very a traditional style, featuring cubed planivolumetric solutions and a façade that repeats the characteristic traits typical of the 1800s neoclassical style.

Viale Giusti:
The circular road along the medieval wall continues along Viale Giuseppe Giusti. Here, at civic numbers 587-593, you will find the Palazzo Giorgi, designed by an engineer called Virginio Paolinelli. At civic number 451, located on the corner of via Monte Grappa, you will find Palazzo Fortunata Dell´Agnello, which was designed in 1904 by the engineer Daniele Del Magro. It revisits the classical style. Shortly afterward, there is Villa Simonetti at civic number 375, which dates back to 1909, and was designed by the architect Gaetano Orzali. This villa is a very good example of the Lucchese building construction during that period, particularly due to planivolumetric choices made. Meanwhile, the adjacent Villa Del Magro at civic number 331, which sits on the corner of via Nazario Sauro, is noteworthy for its polychrome majolica realized by Galileo Chini, which decorates both in the interior and exterior of the building. It is also important for its large decorative windows, which open on the turret. The latter was designed by the engineer Daniele Del Magro in 1912. At civic numbers 225 and 201, you will find Villas Panelli and Davini, which are both in extremely bad conditions in terms of their decoration.

Built on a traditional plan in a decorative style reminiscent of the neo classical school, the two houses were constructed side by side and were designed by the engineer Francesco Ragghianti in 1903. At civic number 159, the charming Villa Volpi, situated on the corner of via Fabio Filzi and designed by Dante Ragghianti in 1904, shows decorative elements of eclectic taste. Across the street at civic number 133, there is Villa Marraccini ,which was designed in 1913 by engineer Enrico Pergola. Today, it hosts the local health unit. Immediately afterward, at civic number 93, you will find the Villino Marraccinini, today called Villa Lembi and built by the same designer in 1925. They are followed by two praiseworthy buildings of eclectic taste: the first is the small villa at civic number 65, which is the present seat of the state Corps of Foresters, and the other is located at civic number 25, which is today called "Hotel Cellide" and located on the corner of Via Oberdan.

Viale Pacini:
Continuing north along the circular road, you come to Viale Pacini. The three small villas at civic numbers 205, 227 and 247 all repeat the characteristic traits, which are typical of an eclectic taste. They were designed as if they were one building, while the following two that sit opposite on the corner of Viale Diaz at civic numbers 191 and 153 display neoclassic style elements, as does the building at civic number 115 and the Palazzo Torre. This palazzo was designed by the engineer Francesco Ragghianti and is located at civic number 75, on the corner of viale Cadorna. Facing this building, on the opposite corner, you will find the powerful Villa Del Magro at civic number 37, which was designed by Daniele Del Magro. By taking a brief detour along Viale Cadorna, you will come across two small palaces with ceramic decoration on their façades. The first one sits at civic number 41 and the second at 198/208. Engineer Daniele Del Magro designed them in 1911. The latter is particularly significant as are the figures in a Neo 15th-century taste, containing puttos and garlands; there is a plaque with phrases of well wishing written on it as well as the year of construction, which is 1912, written on its ceramic panels.Returning to the avenue, another brief detour along Viale Castracani takes you in the direction of Pescia and toward Palazzo Menesini. It dates back to 1913 and is clearly an eclectic style. The small and elegant Landucci Palace, built in 1925 and designed by the architect Gaetano Orzali, is also noteworthy.

Viale Marconi and Marti:
Back on the circular road along the medieval walls, you start going down Viale Guglielmo Marconi. Here, at civic number 527 is the Villino Menesini, which was built in 1923 by Lelio Menesini. It is characterized by a typically Liberty-style motif consisting of a fascia featuring storks in bas-relief. The municipal stadium Porta Elisa is also worth seeing also. You can admire the extraordinary grandstand, visible from the side of the innovative structure which looks onto via dello Stadio. It was built in 1934 by the architects Rafaello Fagnoni and Leone Mannozzi and engineer E. Bianchini. Continuing west towards Viale Marti, you come across an allotment that dates back to the beginning of the century and characterized by seven small villas that are stylistically similar and eclectic in style. The villa at civic number 431 is worth seeing for its elegant painted eaves fascia. Further along at civic number 263, you will find the small palace that hosts the local health unit, commonly referred to as "casina rossa". This palace is perhaps the most significant example of rationalist architecture in the city, along with the stadium. Crossing the junction at Via Matteo Civitali, on Borgo Giannotti at civic number 19, we find the majestic Palazzo Bertolli Ponzi on the corner of Piazza Martiri della Libertà. Built in 1925 and designed by the architect Gaetano Orzali, it dominates the Piazzale of Porta Santa Maria with its massive, powerful structure.

Source: Provincia di Lucca

Explore the area
The Lucca Area boasts a landscape that’s been shaped by the bends of the Serchio River and dotted with medieval towns. The heart of this elegant territory is Lucca, famous for its perfectly-preserved defense walls and for its “100 churches”. ...
Scopri Lucchesiakeyboard_backspace