November 8th, 2007
On one of our free days in Italy we took the bus to the lovely city of Lucca and stopped on the way at one of the famed Villas of Lucca that are nestled in the surrounding rolling hills. “Our” villa was the Villa Mansi, built by a family that made their fortune in the silk trade.
This beautiful building is in a storybook, parklike setting, surrounded by stately trees-all imported from Japan and Asia.
Did you know that the symbol of Tuscany, the cypress tree actually comes from Asia!? Just a little Tuscany trivia.
Inside, all of the rooms were beautifully painted in different styles including Chinoiserie and Grotessca.
The grand dining room was jaw-dropping, however. The bas relief trompe l’oeil painting was so well executed you just wanted to get up their and dust off the carvings.
As you can see from the crack in the wall in this detail, though, that wouldn’t be necessary. Amazing art in a magical place. By the way, they are working on renovating the upstairs to rent out the entire Villa, so gather you friends together for the vacation of your dreams. PS, thanks to Carlo Mori and Eva LaRue for taking better photos than me!