Biking in Lucca Among Noble Villas
Lucca streets are filled with bikes...
Biking in Lucca is very easy because it's only about 3 miles around the walled town area. There's a flat, large pathway for many bikers to enjoy riding at the same time. The streets are narrow, however, and crowded with bikers and some cars. Only specific cars are allowed to be inside the walled area. Bikes can be rented near any of the entrances to the town. Although bottled water is expensive in town, take plenty of it on your bike trip. More...
Upper left: Outside the walled area; Upper right: An entrance into the walled area. Nina and Linda are ready to go on the bikes...
While biking along the pathway, you'll pass centuries old homes, dwellings, the botanical gardens and one the most famous villa in the city, Palazzo PFanner.
Palazzo PFanner in Lucca is one of the most remarkable stately homes of 1600. The garden remains today one of the rare examples of Baroque. The building now houses an exhibit of costumes of the court of Lucca in 1700 and 1800.
The Palazzo makes a great stop for a rest and photo op.
The Royal Villa of Marlia 118,000 sq ft.
There are inexpensive car tours to the other famous, noble villas of Lucca because they're outside the walled area. Maps are readily available also of the town for walking or biking.
Villa Mansi perfectly represents the culture and society of ancient aristocratic Republic of Lucca. The Mansi were known in Europe as the great merchants of silk even before beginning their contacts in the sixteenth century with the noble families of Lucca. The villa, built in the second half of the sixteenth century, contains some beautiful frescoes, one of them: 'Triumph of the Sun God' who was much loved by the Princess of Lucca and the sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, Elisa Baciocchi.
In 1962 in the halls of Villa Mansi was filmed by Luchino Visconti's famous film 'The Leopard'. Villa Mansi, famous for the grace of its gardens and elegance of its architectural lines, has often played host to sovereigns and ambassadors from all the states of Europe who were invited by the Republic of Lucca for a pleasant sojourn. Tuscany-charming.it.
Above: Villa Mansi and a map of the noble villas to see in Lucca
See more about the Lucca Villas including the Garbau's and Bernardini's Villas here