Pic nic al tramonto firmato Giglio_Villa Reale

Picnic by Giglio restaurant at sunset

PICNIC signed by Giglio: the gardens of Villa Reale as a location of excellence for a culinary trip of the Giglio restaurant in Lucca, which is always innovative and reinvents itself.


Treat yourself to a wonderful evening: enjoy the gardens of Villa Reale at sunset with an elegant picnic curated by the renowned restaurant Giglio di Lucca.

The park will open specially for this exclusive event – an immersive experience in the magic of nature, beautiful architecture and gastronomic delights.

The park will be open after 6pm on both the 27th of July and the 24th of August to host a very special event: an exclusive picnic inside the beautiful Park of Villa Reale. Three chefs from the Giglio restaurant in Lucca have collaborated with us to create this unique experience, with a menu featuring traditional dishes with a contemporary twist. The newly-renovated Villa architecture and its gardens provide the backdrop.

Due to the unusual nature of the event, park entrance with picnic must be booked by the Tuesday prior to these dates (24th of July for the July date, and 21st of August for the August date) by writing to or calling us on +39 (0)583 30108

The Giglio-created picnic will feature dishes produced solely and exclusively by the restaurant (apart from the wine). The menu (for two people) is:

Chianina beef tartare with aromatic herbs and bread mayonnaise

Salmon marinated in dill, sour cream and salmon roe

Spelt salad with seafood

Cheeses by Andrea Magi

Fresh seasonal fruit


Naturally leavened bread



The price of the picnic varies according to the wine chosen. The options are:

A) € 35 with L’eclisse, Paltrinieri, Lambrusco di Sorbara Doc

B) € 45 with Atmospheres, Domaine Landron, Brut Nature Loire

C) € 55 with Pierre Arnaud, Champagne Premiere Cru and the addition of 2 oysters

The price is per person and includes entrance to the park of Villa Reale and picnic basket (minimum 2 people,1 bottle per couple)

For children, you can book a picnic basket for €15 with:
Cold pasta
Small dessert
Fruit juice

A vegetarian picnic is available upon request.

Menù pic nic Giglio_Villa Reale

Why did we choose to cooperate with the best restaurant in Lucca for our outdoor tasting event? Because for a location of excellence such as the park of Villla Reale that opens exceptionally the gates for these two summer evenings, we needed the best chefs on the square! Know them better on


Easter Monday? Botanical treasure hunt!

Caccia al tesoro botanico_Villa Reale di Marlia
Caccia al tesoro botanico_Villa Reale di Marlia (2)

What to do on Easter Monday in Tuscany?

Don’t miss the special Botanical Treasure Hunt in one of the most beautiful gardens of Italy: the Park of Villa Reale!

The Botanical Treasure Hunt Grandi Giardini Italiani, created and promoted by the network of the most beautiful gardens created in Italy, is an excellent opportunity to introduce children to the garden and nature, helping them to discover and recognize, in a playful way, trees and plants found in parks.

What better time than Easter Monday (April 2, 2018) for a walk and a nice hunting in the park of the Villa once owned by Napoleon’s Sister?

Caccia Al Tesoro Botanico _ Grandi Giardini Italiani

For whom: For children aged from 6 to 12 – the youngest can still enter the park and stay with family members.

How does it take place: Children can go in search of the botanical treasure together with their families and friends by following the map given at the ticket office. They need to find all the clues and search for the trunk with the treasure! Each child will bring home a small prize and a diploma of participation. 

At what time:There is no time, you can arrive from 10 to 16:30 (the park closes at 18:00) when you prefer! 

How much does it cost: Children € 5 – Adults € 9 – Over 65,  € 7

Bookings required: or 0583/30108

More information and curiosities: On social! FacebookInstagram

Here is the experience of GlutenFreeFamily who participated to the Botanical Treasure Hunt at the park of Villa Reale last year:

Caccia al tesoro botanico a Villa Reale

Corso pittura villa reale marlia


Every Thursday of June and July painting classes en plein air will be held in the magical Gardens of Villa Reale under the guidance of Federica, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence.

Look out Lucca_Turislucca

LOOK OUT LUCCA: The redescovered gardens of Elisa

Look out Lucca: guided tours by TURISLUCCA

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.

Look out Lucca_Turislucca

Every Saturday from March 18 to October 28, 2017

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


Villa Reale Festival 2017



Copertina Villa Reale Festival 2017

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.

VRF2017 Homepage
Tom Kirkpatrick

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: 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).

Giusi Merli alla fontana del Teatro di Versuna della Villa Reale di Marlia

SHORT FEATURE FILM AT VILLA REALE WITH GIUSI MERLI (from the Oscar-winning film The Great Beauty)

4 scatti per 4 storie intrecciate - in basso a destra Villa Reale di Marlia
Giusi Merli all'interno della Grotta di Pan della Villa Reale di Marlia

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.

Giusi Merli alla Peschiera della Villa Reale di Marlia
Giusi Merli nel Giardino all'Italiana della Villa Reale di Marlia
Giusi Merli alla fontana del Teatro di Versuna della Villa Reale di Marlia

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.


The film will be showing in the autumn at national and international cinema festivals – do join us to watch! Stay tuned and follow us on  FB or keep updated on the Fan Page of Shortfilm Satyagraha.

We’d like to extend special thanks to all the actors:  Giusi Merli – Jun Ichikawa – Dhemetra Di Bartolomeo – Giulia Rupi –  Djack Traore

colonnina 1

Restauro: ricompare una colonnina del ‘500

colonnina 1

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.

Il restauro e la scoperta però non sono gli unici grandi lavori che sono stati fatti tra le pareti della villa: il restauro è stato preceduto da un accuratissimo lavoro di ricerca storica al quale ha lavorato con tanta passione e meticolosità l’archeologa fiorentina Nadia Montevecchi, specializzata in archeologia dell’architettura, che con le tecniche dell’archeologia è in grado di rilevare dalla struttura stessa tutte le trasformazioni e gli interventi che nei secoli sono stati effettuati.
Dall’analisi stratigrafica dell’intera struttura della villa, come spiega la stessa archeologa, non solo si è potuto capire che alla fine del Medioevo la Villa Reale era un nobile palazzo illuminato da bifore impreziosite da colonnette di marmo con capitelli, ma che prima era stato un palazzotto medievale e forse anche un castello cinto da mura. È lo stesso edificio, vero e proprio archivio di se stesso, che continua a narrarci la sua storia e dopo il medioevo è stato possibile ricostruire l’aspetto della Villa seicentesca di Lelio Orsetti, le trasformazioni che con la principessa Baciocchi la resero Villa Reale, fino a ricostruire tutti i mutamenti della veste e dei colori con cui la villa si è presenta negli ultimi due secoli. Un lavoro affascinante e importantissimo che è stato scrupolosamente condotto sull’archivio di carta (i documenti) e su quello materiale (i muri): nuove pagine dettagliate che sono state utilizzate prima come guida per il restauro e poi come fonte preziosa per scrivere un altro pezzo di storia, quello che fino a pochi mesi fa era inimmaginabile.
colonnina 2

“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”.

Giulia Prete