Hidden from the public eye, the gardens of Villa Reale of Marlia or “Marly” as Princess Elisa Bonaparte, Napoleon’s sister, used to call them, were greatly desired by the Princess and gave her much joy and happiness during her reign. The gardens are a closely-guarded treasure chest full of secrets, tales, and utterly charming spots. They are an oasis of light and beauty, colour and harmony, and it is possible to exclusively view them in the company of our expert licensed guides. Only by taking a historical, botanical, and architectural tour, can the park and gardens of Villa Reale, silent witnesses to events tied to important historical figures, reveal their past magic and splendour which, today, has been given new life.
Meeting point and time
3:00 pm at the Ticket Office of Villa Reale
90 minutes approximately
€ 15.00 per person (entry fee and tour); Free for children to 14 years of age
Option: Meet your Guide in Lucca and head out together Meeting point and time 1:55 pm at the Information Centre in Piazzale Verdi
Bus departure time 2:10 pm with Bus n. 59 in the company of the guide (Please note: bus fare is at the expense of the participant)
Bus return time 6:00 pm
From 2nd of June to 2nd of July, Villa Reale in Marlia – one of the most beautiful and well-known villas in Tuscany – will host a month of performance, music and theatre.
The VILLA REALE FESTIVAL is a production forged from the creative partnership between Villa Reale and Ecoeventi. The aim of the festival is to host a programme of quality arts and cultural events at this elegant and historic location. Events will take place in in the park of the villa, at the Water Theatre against the picturesque backdrop of the night stars.
The festival is supported by the Municipality of Capannori and aims to become a magical, yearly event featuring great artists.
The festival starts with “Jazz in Villa” – a series of ten concerts from the 2nd to the 11th of June spanning various shades of jazz including contemporary jazz, bossa nova, funk, soul, Latin and Manouche. Some of the great names on stage include globally renowned musicians such as Tom Kirkpatrick, trumpet player Flavio Boltro, guitarist and composer Max Amazio, singer Michela Lombardi (winner of the Ciampi Award) and Greta Mirall.
“The art of wonder” (30th June, 1st and 2nd July)
The grand finale of the festival will include fire, light and water show, featuring performances by Duo Briseart and the Teatro Lunaticocompany.
How can you be part of this event? You can easily book your ticket on: www.villarealefestival.it or come to the reception of the park!
The event managers:
Ecoeventi consists of a cultural association and a graphics and communication agency. They have worked in the Lucca and Tuscany area for over eight years in prestigious locations, organizing popular events such as Histrionika, ArtEtica, Lucca Vegan Friends, RiEco il Natale, Bimbi in Fiera (in partnership with Ingegno Creativo). The core business and the mission of Ecoeventi are a great challenge: to bring culture and wonder to people by creating and planning events based on ethical values while acknowledging current themes and social changes.
Ecoeventi deals with current events, tradition, performance, history and stories, ecology, social projects, wellness, nutrition (with a focus on bio, vegan and local produce), reusing and recycling, holistic medicine and much more. Ecoeventi offers events for children and families, street art exhibitions, civic theatre, high quality music, performances, specialist markets with artisans who only work with natural raw materials or recycled materials, debates, conferences, round table discussions and book launches. Ecoeventi operates in partnership with other local associations, contributing to an increase in cultural tourism originating from all over Italy.
Villa Reale is co-organizer of the event, thanks to the cooperation and to the active participation of its executive staff. Villa Reale of Marlia is one of the most important Italian historic dwellings; in the 19th century it was the residence of Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, Napoleon’s sister and Princess of Lucca. The property covers an area of sixteen hectares and includes many refined gardens, real botanical rarities and majestic buildings constructed over the centuries. The park is crossed with camellia-lined walkways and hosts two famous theatres: the Water Theatre and the Green Theatre (Theatre of Verzura, where the violinist Niccolò Paganini often performed for Elisa Baciocchi).
Filming has just finished at the Park of Villa Reale for scenes from Satyagraha, a fascinating short feature film written and directed by Simona De Simone (who uses the pseudonym Nuanda Sheridan). The bold and daring young director, who hails from Puglia, chose the Park to shoot the final scenes of the film for its unique atmosphere and visual impact. Among the actors include the up-and-coming Giulia Rupi and the fantastic Giusi Merli, known for her role as La Santa in Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning film The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza in Italian). Born in Pisa, Giusi Merli has been a theatre actress for more than forty years and has played a wide variety of roles for many leading international film directors.
The film tells a story of love and reincarnation through an elderly woman’s journey through the distant memories of her soul. The dreamlike atmosphere oscillates between life and death, mixing the colours of the far east, the African earth and gypsy dance, visions which reveal the yearning and pain of a timeless love.
Nuanda Sheridan gives outstanding direction to this story of passion and intrigue. All shall be revealed – but for now we can enjoy a taste of the film through the images of the talented Vassili Spiropoulos, the director of photography who collaborated with Sheridan for the project.
Offering an intriguing glimpse to critics and film fans, the director describes the plot using a quote by Brian Weiss:
<<There is someone special for everyone. Often there are two or three or even four. They come from different generations. They travel across oceans of time and the depths of heavenly dimensions to be with you again. They come from the other side, from heaven. They look different, but your heart knows them. Your heart has held them in arms like yours in the moon-filled deserts of Egypt and the ancient plains of Mongolia. You have ridden together in the armies of forgotten warrior-generals, and you have lived together in the sand-covered caves of the Ancient Ones. You are bonded together throughout eternity…>>
The title also nods to the film’s complexity and spiritual nature – Satyagraha is an ethical and political theory based on pacifism, developed and practiced by Gandhi and adopted by other activists including Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. The word derives from the Sanskrit Satya (truth) and means “strength of love” or “insistence on truth”. The orchestral soundtrack, written and conducted by the composer Mauro Crivelli, also weaves this feeling into the film.
We’d like to extend special thanks to all the actors: Giusi Merli – Jun Ichikawa – Dhemetra Di Bartolomeo – Giulia Rupi – Djack Traore
Un progetto durato un anno e mezzo e poi la grande scoperta: una colonnetta di bifora risalente addirittura a quasi sei secoli fa. La scoperta è avvenuta durante il restauro della Villa Reale di Marlia, che senza alcun dubbio, oltre ad altre colonne, nasconde dietro a muri e intonaco ancora tantissime antiche sorprese. La colonnetta col capitello in marmo decorato da foglie lisce è tornata alla luce dal lontano Medioevo in ottime condizioni nonostante le tante e importanti trasformazioni che l’edificio ha subito in queste centinaia di anni.
“Ringrazio per il prezioso contributo l’archeologa Nadia Montevecchi, senza la quale non sarebbe stato possibile effettuare questo importante ritrovamento e la restauratrice Maria Sebeti che con grande passione si sta dedicando al restauro di Villa Reale”.
A dirlo l’architetto Luca Borgogni che in tutti questi mesi ha lavorato anche lui nel cantiere di Villa Reale. “Troveremo il modo – continua l’architetto – di valorizzare il più possibile queste nuove scoperte”.
These ancient camellias arrived at the Gardens of Villa Reale in 1808, when Napoleon’s sister Elisa Baciocchi received from her brother a delivery of the rarest plants back from the gardens of the Palace of Caserta.
Every March, visitors from around the world gather in Marlia to admire the splendid gardens, featuring the celebrated Camellia Walkway. The park is host to over thirty varieties of Camellia, of particular interest for both their botanic rarity and unique characteristics.
As part of the 27th “Antiche Camelie della Lucchesia” Exhibition, we invite you to discover the extraordinary Camellia Walkway at the Gardens of Villa Reale. Show your ticket for the Exhibition at the Gardens entrance for a discount.
For any information, please contact us here – We are waiting for you!
Works have begun to restore and renovate Villa Reale di Marlia, entrusted to the architect Luca Borgogni along with the building firm Bruni Costruzioni, and carried out under the strict supervision of the Architectural and Cultural Heritage authorities in Lucca and Massa Carrara. READ MORE
The Odu Movies team returns to the Gardens of Villa Reale to create a video commissioned by the Lucca Chamber of Commerce. READ MORE