Among the historic villas dotted around the countryside near Lucca, Villa Oliva, which lies just 6 kms from the town of Lucca, occupies an important post due to its special historic and artistic value. It was built around the year 1500 for the Buonvisi family.
The grounds of the villa, which are completely enclosed by a boundary wall, occupy 5 hectacres on three different levels, consisting of various different types of garden: even today the overall structure is still characterized by special effects generating surprise and movement, just as the tastes of the time envisaged, and it is embellished with pools and fountains with plays of water, waterfalls, statues, amphitheatres of holm-oaks, grassy hummocks and rare essences.
Due to its beauty it is listed among the historic italian gardens and due to this is also visited.
Alongside the villa - occupied by the owner - is the building where the old stables were, also from the 16th century and linked to an interesting legend about the king of France, Louis XIVth: Buonvisi maintained that the stables were more beautiful than a famous room in Versailles, so the Sun King sent an ambassador to check on this, who found the walls of the stables covered in gold coins showing the king's effigy, and Buonvisi won the bet.
It is in this building that our guests are lodged, in a large apartment on several levels, and from the windows it looks both onto the villa and onto the garden and the swimming-pool. The furnishings are in tuscan style, welcoming and comfortable: besides the two equipped kitchens, spread out in 2 different places, there are two other smaller ones, for more intimate meals.
All of the rooms have air-conditioning, except for the ones on the lower floor, although due to the position, that are naturally the cooler. Access to the private, furnished area of the garden and to the swimming-pool is through the rooms on the lower floor, and from here you also come to the large furnished area with the barbecue.
Besides the beautiful swimming-pool (18x8m and only rarely and briefly shared when the grandchildren of the owner come to visit), there is also a tennis court at guests' disposition in synthetic grass.
In recent years Villa Oliva has been host for some evenings in August to a classical music festival, which is staged with the magnificent backdrop of the garden opposite the loggia of the villa, a unique opportunity of passing a wonderful, different evening.