North-East of Lucca, near Pescia, you can find the Villa Torrigiani at the end of a long cypress avenue. The origins of the house go back to the second half of the 16th Century. At that time, the Buonvisis name owned the villa. At the begin of the 17th Century, the Santini family bought the villa and had the style of the facade changed to a typical Manneristic style. Simultaneously, the garden was re-done in Italian Baroque.
Through a marriage, the Villa and its garden came into possession of the family Torrigianiat at the beginning of the 18th Century. They are still the owners. Everything around the house was re-done in the style of an English landscape garden.
The Serliana-Loggias and the bossen square stone have remained the same as well as all the decorative figures.
One of the Baroque garden areas is the Closed Garden.
This roof is from the temple of the Flora - here the landlord hosted his guests using water jokes. As early as the Roman era, these primitive "giochi d'aqua" were quite popular. They were revived during the Baroque.
The grotto of the "seven winds" is hidden at the end of the middle path .
Probable, this part of the garden has remained Baroque because it was designed lower than the ground floor of the house. So it wasn' t easy to include it in the plan for an English landscape garden.
The gateways from the flower parterre are as attractive as the middle part. Nevertheless, the Baroque parts have been simplified compyred to the originals. Back then, the walls were kept quite simple because the contrast to the planted botanical rarities and a lot of wonderful colors was very exciting.
Doch der Blick fällt immer wieder hinter zum Treppenaufgang und seiner integrierten, stalaktitenbehangenen Grottengalerie. Im Hintergrund des Nymphäums finden sich aus Tuffstein gehauene Tiere.
Yet, we always tend to look to the staircase and its integrated grotto gallery. Behind the Nymphaeum are animals made of tufa.
The staircase goes in both directions .
Sardonische Masken und Sirenen schmücken die Treppe.
Sardonic masks and Sirenes decorate the staircase.
And here comes our guide for the higher part of the garden with its long fish pond.
The fish pond is surrounded with mythical figures, orange trees and balustrades. The hedges and shrubs are cutted to serve as borders to the English landscape garden.
So we can see a "garden in a garden", allowing us to imagine the splendour of the Baroque! I love the reflections in the water!!
The Baroque figure decoration has seen the ups and downs of the family of Princess Simonetta Colonna Torrigiani, the owner today. The picture below shows the back fassade of the house. There are a lot of exotic trees, mostly from the 19th Century. I know you miss the perennial herbs here, but this is also garden art and garden history.