Lucca is surrounded by magnificent historical residences of the 16th century. On a perfect spring day, three of us ventured out to discover a couple of them. Villa Grabau was first built in Renaissance style in the late 16th century,
then renovated in the 19th century in a neo-classical style.
Following a tour of the villa, owned by the Grabau family since 1868, we explored the 9 hectares of beautiful gardens. Starting with the formal Italian garden behind the villa,
the pond lilies enjoying the sunshine.
We meandered along mysterious paths
never knowing quite what we would find.
The 17th century limonaia was fascinating.
Over 100 lemon trees are moved inside, in their terracotta pots, to shelter in winter.
There are many rare species in the park,
we didn’t expect to find giant bamboo in an Italian garden.
The ‘Box Hedge Theatre’ was enchanting.
A stage defined by box tree hedges set in a secluded position,
the theatre garden contains two marble lions and a bubbling fountain.
Having worked up an appetite, we had a delicious al fresco lunch at a small roadside Osteria, Bottega sulla Fraga.
The English translation of the menu was dubious
but the meals were superb.
After lunch, we made our way to Villa Reale but that will be another post.