Lucca is full of wonderful old buildings. I have passed Villa Bottini in Via Elisa many times, but on a recent rainy day I wandered through the old door to the gardens. The Villa was built by Paul Buonvisi in the second half of the 16th century, so it can be excused for looking little old.
The entrance is quite imposing.
The roses in the garden were recovering from a heavy shower.
The house is a box shape with a loggia on top.
The gardens have some wonderful old trees and empty fountains.
After the rain there was more water outside the fountain than in it.
There are a couple of lovely old doors in the wall around the garden.
Best of all, the crumbling archway leading to an even more crumbling fountain.
The poor old fountain on the back wall has seen much better days.
The area must have been very beautiful in its day, and a delightful, cool retreat on a hot summer day.
Technically Villa Bottini should be a Palazzo, since it is inside the walls of Lucca. (A villa is a country mansion and a palazzo is an urban mansion). However, when it was built it was outside the wall…this wall.
The town expanded and the current outer wall is now on the other side of Villa Bottini and it is within the town boundary.
At the beginning of the 20th century the villa was owned by the Marquis of Bottini. It passed through a couple of other families until it was bought by the Region of Tuscany and was given to the town of Lucca.
The house is open to the public, but the day I was there a private function was about to begin and my visit wasn’t encouraged. I will have to return.