I always followed the principle that the most important thing in life is emotion. I do this through storytelling sometimes. Today I visited Villa Reale which is located in Marlia, in the Province of Lucca, west of Florence, in the Tuscany region of Italy.
Villa Reale was the former home of Elisa Bonaparte thanks to her brother Napoleon. She reigned here just under ten years.
Elisa Bonaparte Princess Of Her Emotions
Maria Anna Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi Levoy was an imperial French princess and sister of Napoleon Bonaparte. She was Princess of Lucca and Piombino, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Countess of Compignano by appointment of her brother.
Why do I love her story so much? Elisa followed the principle of connecting with her emotions. This was not what women in those times ever did. They never rebelled nor ever disobeyed men in power.
As Princess of Lucca and Piombino, then Grand Duchess of Tuscany, she became Napoleon’s only sister to possess political power. Their relations were sometimes strained due to her sharp tongue. She was highly interested in the arts, particularly the theatre, she encouraged them in the territories over which she ruled.
No images are allowed to be taken inside the Villa. It means you have to come and personally explore it your self. It keeps it mystical.
Villa Reale Marlia
The Villa Marlia or Villa Reale di Marlia is a late-renaissance palazzo or villa. The estate’s property includes the most pristine gardens in Tuscany.
The restoration of Villla Reale is still under going. Dotted with numerous works of art, including Tofanelli’s impressive Dance Of the Hours.
I noticed artists working on the walls to restore the art work. The patience, skill and the painstakingly thousands of hours to complete this is mind-blowing to fathom.
The Carrara marble furniture and marble bath are stunning. The rare opulence and gold trimmings is something that Elisa would have adored. Marble is throughout the Villa and its brilliant white pristine decor is a beautiful ambience to take in.
Elisa bedroom with the bed and its imperial design are gorgeous.
When it comes to intricate wallpaper, or papier peint panoramique this is one of the best restored examples of this. I am very passionate about wallpaper like this.
The walls in Elisa’s bedroom are decorated with this unusual wallpaper. The 11 scenes designed by Joseph Dufour, depict Cupid falling in love with Psyche. A total 1245 wooden hand-made stamps are 23 colours were used to print the panels.
This was one of the examples of money spent on emotion. No wonder Napoleon Bonaparte went crazy at his sister for not gifting money he specifically commanded her to give to political officials.
That is why she was ousted by these political influences after the fall, as she begged to remain here. Her emotional commitment to arts and crafts was noble of her and her legacy was left to Lucca.
Emotional Garden Exploration
Walking through the 17th-century water theatre and the gardens with roses, makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland and that enchanted forest.
I was in lock-down in an 80sqm flat for almost three months. I am finally healing and that is thanks to garden experiences like this. For an entry price of 12 euros, it is money worth spent.
There is so much to explore regarding every tree and flower grown here. As I stroll and smell, touch and explore this estate. I truly appreciate the love and devotion that Villa Reale has to offer.
I am understanding why Elisa begged to stay here after the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte.
The lemon garden has an amazing array of lemon trees. It is so beautiful and what an inspiration for textile brands to print on fabrics. Table cloths and a pencil skirt come to mind.
During this pandemic, there is no other place to be and appreciate gardens like the ones here at Villa Reale. It’s amazing to be able to walk countless miles of grounds, taking in the Italian outdoors. Children Need Outdoor Space
My daughter adores this place. There is so much to learn and experience here for children. Dipping her feet into the lake and water fountains.
She loves climbing the logs and smelling the flowers.
She adores running on the grass for hours. As a mum who is concerned more about our children’s mental health more so than ever, I choose to live the life of outdoor freedom.