Tour of the Villas
In the territory of Capannori there are more than 150 villas between monumental and smaller ones, built from the fifteenth to nineteenth century by rich merchants and bankers from Lucca.
The villas are an excellent example of fine architecture and create a veritable system in the general landscape of the area thanks to their parks, spectacular fountains and artificial lakes, statues, water lily pools, and wooded areas.
Over the centuries the villas changed owners and were often enlarged adn redecorated according to the style of the period.
The historical villas are an asset of extraordinary beauty for the territory. Thanks to their parks, gardens and magnificent halls, visitors can live the magical atmosphere of the past and discover the interesting reality of the villas complex surrounding Capannori from the hills.
The open monumental villas are:
Some of the buildings, perfectly preserved and carefully restored, are nowadays used for cultural events, meetings, and weddings.
Visitors can admire these beautiful estates along two itineraries, one in the northern part of the territory, one in the southern one. The itineraries are integrated with the existing trekking paths and the historical Via Francigena.
The northern variant
It has the shape of an elongated ring, with a branch going north to the hills and another in the plain, both around 11 km long and perfect for a mountain bike day trip.
The north-western corner, in Saltocchio and San Pancrazio, shares its path with the Via Francigena northern itinerary. Along the way visitors will encounter Villa Bernardini, Villa Oliva, Villa Grabau, and Villa Reale.
These are just the main villas and estates, as there are many others near or along the way.
The southern variant – Villas of Vorno
This path is entirely in Vorno and is made of three rings for a total lenght of 5 km, and a few short detours.
Vorno is home to typical villas and chiuse erected between the sixteenth and the seventeenth century. A chiusa is a space limited by stone walls which encloses the villa and all its complementary elements: gardens, vegetable gardens, orchards, lemon house, stables, cellars, warehouses.
Among the many historical mansions to admire in this itinerary there are: Villa Sbarra, Villa Controni, Villa Minutoli-Tegrimi, Villa Bertolli, Villa Nottolini, Villa al Boschiglia.