Villa dei fiori
Villa Controni, nestled below Monte Pisano on the southern outskirts of Lucca, is an historic 19th century Lucchese villa set on a stunning estate of hill terraced olive groves, elegant Italian gardens and pine forest hilltops with castle ruins. Panoramic views reach out across Lucca and Nottolini’s acquaduct and a pretty walled garden provides a peaceful and relaxing setting for the swimming pool and summerhouse with workout room. In keeping with the villa’s gentle and enchanting atmosphere, the unique interiors are elegantly furnished with style and charm and offer 11 frescoed guestrooms all with en-suite facilities for up to 22 guests. With three living rooms, a study area, a billiard room, a grand banquet room and the shady retreat of an arched loggia, the villa offers larger groups plenty of opportunity to relax in each others company or enjoy moments of escape and privacy. Monte Pisano is historically noted as being one of the main battlefields in the many wars between Pisa and Lucca which started in 1000 and continued for over 400 years. The villa itself was built as the summer residence of the Controni family; noble merchants who, in 1680, took over what is now Palazzo Pfanner in the centre of Lucca. In 1692 Carlo Controni invited prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway as a guest whilst he was visiting Lucca during his Grand Tour of Italy. For many years the fertile estate which provided housing for workers, a chapel, stables and an olive oil press, was used for the cultivation of rare flowers. The estate is famous because it was the residence of Mr. Felice Matteucci, the father of the combustion engine, who invented it in 1853.
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