Villa Reale di Marlia

After a morning strolling around the grounds of Villa Grabeau, followed by another delicious Tuscan lunch, we found our way to Villa Reale.

1-entrance-copy

In 1806, the sister of Napoleon, Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, purchased the 16th century villa for her country residence.

2-villa-reale-di-marlia3-villa-reale-di-marlia

She also acquired other neighbouring properties, including Villa del Vescovo.

4-villa-del-vescovo5-villa-del-vescovo

The sweeping lawns and lake were breathtaking.

As we walked around the villa

9-villa-del-vescovo13-villa-del-vescovo

we discovered the Italian Renaissance garden

10-italian-garden

and the abandoned inner courtyard.

14-inner-courtyard15-inner-courtyard

There were some surprising smaller buildings like the summer house

and chapel.

The nymphaeum (sacred place of the nymphs), is dedicated to the god Pan.

Built around 1580, the circular grotto has a domed roof with a single opening at the top.

25-grotta-del-dio-pan

Nestling within niches in the interior limestone wall are the statue of Pan

26-grotta-del-dio-pan

along with disturbing sea figures and gargoyles.

The art deco influenced Spanish Garden was created in 1924 when the park underwent restoration.

34-giardino-spagnolo

The Palazzina dell’Orologio waited majestically at the end of the avenue

40-palazzina-dellorologio

as we made our way to the 17th century Lemon Garden where more than two hundred citrus trees surround four magnificent magnolias

41-giardino-dei-limoni

At one end, the fountain of the Three Graces is set in a semicircle of rustic mosaics.

42-giardino-dei-limoni

At the opposite end is a large fishpond bordered by a marble balustrade.

43-giardino-dei-limoni44-giardino-dei-limoni

Two statues of giants, representing the Arno and Serchio rivers, spill urns into the pond

45-giardino-dei-limoni

while Leda and the Swan keep watch from their niche.

We continued on to the atrium of the Green Theatre with it’s beautiful fountain

49-atrio-del-teatro-della-verzura

and statues.

50-atrio-del-teatro-della-verzura

A natural theatre formed by yew hedges, the Teatro di Verzura was created in 1652. The semi-circular stage has a series of wings 5.5m high and the spherical bushes at the front imitate footlights.

51-teatro-di-verzura

Surrounding the grass stage are terracotta statues of Columbine, Pantaloon and Punchinello.

After a closer look at the 17th century Clock Palace,

54-palazzini-dellorologio55-palazzini-dellorologio

we descended the steps

56-teatro-dacqua

to the spectacular Teatro d’Acqua. Water pours from the mouths of five masks around the semi-circular pool,

57-teatro-dacqua58-teatro-dacqua

the Grotto fountain is a marvellous centrepiece.

59-teatro-dacqua

Statues of Jupiter, Saturn, Adonis and Pomona

overlook the pool and immaculate gardens beyond.

63-teatro-dacqua64-teatro-dacqua

In 2015 the Villa Reale Di Marlia was sold to a couple from Switzerland. The 18,000sq m building on 19ha of land is going to be turned in a luxury hotel.

9 thoughts on “Villa Reale di Marlia

    • Thank you for letting me know, the website and transformation are fantastic. We are returning to Italy in May 2018 and I will certainly be returning to Villa Reale.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s