How to live in style
Over 300 historical houses were built in the hills of Lucca between the 16th and 18th century by the rich silk merchants as country residences. The tour lasts approx 4 hours and includes Villa Torrigiani in Camigliano with its gardens and stunning interior (visit allowed on the ground floor only), and Villa Reale in Marlia. The house can't be visited but the park is simply magnificent.
You will be able to learn the history and the stories of these places and their past owners but, as I'm a local girl, you will also get some modern gossip.
Other villas in the area are open to the public, so I can easily arrange a different itinerary based on your specific preferences.
From Lucca we drive to the Northern hills where we visit the imposing, mainly Baroque park of Villa Reale. We then continue the drive for another 6 kms to Villa Torrigiani, to explore a smaller, beautifully kept garden and a surprising interior.
Depending on the tour start time we may visit Torrigiani first and Reale later.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: A favourite meeting place is in front of the Tourist Office at Piazzale Verdi in Lucca.
But if you have a car and feel very confident about your sense of directions, I can meet you in front of one of the two villas.
End location: The professional driver will drive us back to Lucca, where you may want to go shopping or try one of the many eating places.
If you are driving your own car, we end the tour at the villa gate, either Torrigiani or Reale.
Duration: 4 hours
Tours take place rain or shine!
It can be very hot in those gardens during the Summer, so please make sure to have a bottle of water with you
In your own car, meeting in Lucca or in front of one of the villas.
Please ask me for a quotation if you need a driver service.
My services as your personal tour guide and my undivided attention.
In the "Maximum Traveler" section below, the system doesn't accept more than 10 partecipants. However the tour price covers up to 20 people, as long as they are members of your party.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
50 euros - It is always a good idea to carry some local cash with you, that you should buy in your own country to avoid Italian bank fees and bureaucracy, both ridiculous.
Entrance tickets to the villas, as follows:
Villa Reale 9 euros pp
Villa Torrigiani 12 euros pp
These two villas are 8 to 14 kms away from Lucca and some 6 kms away from each other. There are no convenient public transports. In case you don't have a car, it is necessary to hire a professional driver. The latest estimate I got for a 4-hours hire, covering 4 passengers plus me and the driver, is 160 euros. Cost of minivans and even minibuses can be quoted on demand.
I do not have a commercial driver's licence, so I cannot drive during tours. Lucca is totally flat, so we normally walk or rent a bike when in town, but we can have a professional driver to take us around to the different destinations
A Recent Review of this tour
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We enjoyed a wonderful day with Wanda, our tour guide through the Villas of Lucca. She offered an informative experience explaining the history of the families, political and financial influences, and style of artwork throughout the villas. She facilitated an encounter with the Prince of one of the Villas who was welcoming and appreciative of our visit. Wanda is quite personable, kind, and learned which created a special experience for both us. Thank you Wanda!!