Where: Lucca, Tuscany
The Restoration of the Royal Villa spans the entire complex of monumental buildings and gardens addressing a wide variety of historical, architectural and landscape themes that are closely and harmoniously interconnected. Within the framework of recovery, enhancement and development of activities, which create the conditions for people to experience and enjoy these wonderful unique spaces, the objective is pursued to restore the full functionality of the buildings together with the desire to keep the historical identity of the places unaltered. Great care is given to the preliminary cognitive investigations through the meticulous survey that ranges from the totality of the buildings to the individual details, from fountains to decorations, from sculptures to paintings, frescoes furnishings and any other treasure contained, and that, together with a careful and detailed historical research, allows to analyze in depth the peculiar characteristics of the genius loci and insert with great delicacy and care, but also incisiveness, in the monumental and landscape fabric of the Villa in order to effectively carry out the interventions now made indispensable by the critical state of conservation of the artifacts. Particular importance is given to the study of the monumental gardens, which finds its application with the restoration, maintenance and conservation of the rare preserved essences, as well as of the architectural forms and volumes of the greenery (among which the prestigious “teatro di verzura” stands out); with the recovery of the water system, the rationalization of the use of the water resource and the re-commissioning of the many systems of great scenic effect of the complex of fountains and water features. The stated objective is to restore full usability to the entire complex thanks to the proposed uses, in complete harmony with the setting of each individual building, the use of the latest restoration techniques and the scrupulous care in enhancing and preserving each artistic and architectural testimony, providing plant and technological adaptations in full respect of the pre-existence and in total assonance with the original construction techniques. Parallel to the restoration of the wall envelope, the internal and external decorations will be upgraded, amalgamated seamlessly into the articulated compositional framework. The renovation operations will progressively invest the individual villas starting with the Villa Reale, former residence of Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, and extending to the Villa dell’Orologio, historically intended for hospitality and the Villa del Vescovo, to be maintained as a single residence, with the attached service facilities and Gardens. At the same time, all interventions will be put in place to stem as quickly as possible the deterioration of the gardens with their fountains, ponds, pedestrian paths and all the botanical ensemble that enriches the vast green frame uniformly distributed throughout the property. The connecting tunnel between the Royal Villa and the Villa dell’Orologio will be recovered, enhanced and extended. The creation of a real museum, organized in dedicated rooms, will make it possible to preserve and expose to the public the many treasures kept: furniture, paintings, manuscripts, clothes, elements of sacred art collected and owned by the family Pope Leo XIII°, as well as many private collections, up to the models of some buildings still present today in some rooms of the Villa dell’Orologio. The history and evolution of the site will also be exhibited, reconstructing the vicissitudes of the various families from the Orsetti to the Pecci-Blunts. Some rooms will be dedicated to cultural activities for the use of the local community, with which the Villa will be able to recreate a close relationship. The Museum, the lecture hall as well as the park, through the promotion of cultural activities and events, will be able to be enjoyed by an increasingly wider public, in a manner independent of the accommodation business.
I would like to thank all those who contributed to the realization of this important restoration:
The owners, Henric and Marina Grönberg, for their passion and enthusiasm without which it would not have been possible to get this far. Paulina Ulanek, Michela Fovanna and all the staff of Villa Reale Park. Romano Serafini – historical doorkeeper of the Villa Reale The Engineer Francesco Cecati of the Superintendence of Lucca for valuable collaboration The Arch. Lisa Lambusier, Dr. Claudio Casini and Dr. Ilaria Boncompagni of the Superintendence of Lucca. Engineer Stefano Fabbri for his important professional input in the design and construction phase for the structures and facilities. Mario Magi Meconi, Technical Director and all the staff of the Bruni firm, for their expertise, experience and organizational and construction skills. The archaeologist Nadia Montevecchi and Arch. Andrea Sbardellati, for the historical investigations the study and research on the sites conducted with great professionalism. Marco Renzoni – site surveyor-in-chief Stefano Palmieri – site surveyor-in-chief The collaborators of the Studio: Arch. Daniela Oggioni, Arch. Simone Braccagni, Geom. Simone Cresti, Arch. Lucia Borgogni, Geom. Elvis Campolungo, Arch. Attilio Guerreschi, Arch. Cesare Michelangeli, Arch. Andrea Stipa. Alessandro De Francesco and all the staff of “Gruppo Giardini” – For the recovery and enhancement of the gardens and monumental park. Gianni Fusi, Luca Parra, Alfred Leka, Marco Raboni, Alessio Biagioli, Francesk Deda, Preng Zefi, Massimiliano Pierozzi, Pavlo Merla, Vito Siscaro Dr. Alessandro Benvenuti – Laser Scanner Surveys Luca and Giovanni Cinelli – Topographic and Laser Scanner Surveys Alessandro Conti – photos and drone shots. Monica Mancini – Restorer Maria Assunta Sebeti – Restorer Elena Grassano – Restorer Pietro Lernetti – Restorer Massimo Moretti – Restorer Giampaolo Zuliani – Restorer Roberto Trebino – Restorer of the Clock Ilaria and Sandra Coturri – Restorers of floors and paintings Guido Lombardi – Antiquarian Restorer Maurizio Rocchiccioli of the Rocchiccioli firm for imbrications and decorations Stefano Guerrini and all the staff of Sicif – Electrical and special installations Giovanni Cuda – installer Bruno Mugnai and all the staff of Mugnai and Falciani – Mechanical installations Federico Giardi, Simone Di Gino, Simone Giomi, Luca Mariottoni Vittorio Di Tella – Artisan Construction Contractor Iacopo Di Tella – Artisan Construction Contractor The Workers Gaetano Santaniello, Luigi Spennagallo, Tonino Calabrese, Francise Kanga, Esmein Arapi, Pietro Boemio, Giuseppe Spennagallo The Gardeners: Constantin Catana, Constantin Copciuc, Costica Amariutei, Salvatore Di Sciacca and Stefano Pescini.