Botanical Garden of Lucca
Gardens in Lucca
The Botanical Garden of Lucca, situated in the heart of the city center, is a precious natural gem waiting to be explored. Established in 1820 by Maria Luisa of Bourbon, the Duchess of Lucca at the time, this sprawling garden covers an area of over two hectares.
A visit to the garden offers a fascinating glimpse into a diverse collection of plant species originating from various parts of the world, including centuries-old specimens. Among the remarkable attractions, don’t miss the majestic Libano cedar tree, towering 22 meters high and spanning an impressive 6 meters in width. Planted in 1822 by Paolo Volpi, this tree’s grand foliage has become an iconic symbol of the garden. Additionally, you can admire other towering species like the magnificent magnolia, ginkgo, and black pine trees, stretching over 30 meters in height.
The garden proudly houses several significant collections, including medicinal plants, Ericaceae, hydrophytes, and spontaneous vegetable species traditionally used for food in the Lucchesia area. Not to be missed is a selection of beautiful camellias that add to the garden’s allure. An annex to the main garden is the Cesare Bicchi Botanical Garden, preserving historical herbariums (Puccinelli and Bicchi) and scholarly garden materials passed down through generations. Moreover, the Botanical School has thoughtfully designed a guided path tailored for the visually impaired, complete with a handrail and braille signposts, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all visitors.
The Botanical Garden of Lucca boasts another intriguing feature—a small pond, at the center of which stands a bald cypress, originally hailing from the swamps of Florida. This picturesque water body also holds an ancient tale from Lucchese folklore—the tale of Lucida Mansi.
According to the legend, Lucida Mansi, a noblewoman, struck a sinister deal with the devil to preserve her youthful appearance. When the time came for the devil to claim what was his, he arrived at her doorstep, dragging her on a blazing chariot through the entire city. Ultimately, her dreadful journey led her down into the abyss, passing through the very pond that now graces the garden. This eerie and captivating story adds a touch of mystery and fascination to the already enchanting Botanical Garden of Lucca.
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