Only a short 15 minute drive from our apartment in Ponte a Serraglio is a village called Ponte a Moriano. Then just a few minutes from the centre (il centro) of this village is one of the many stunning villas in this area. At the local bar/café we asked for directions to Villa Grabau.
We easily found this Tuscan villa but alas the gates to the entrance were closed and locked. We decided to drive up close and see how much we could see through the gates and as we drove up to the gates, they automatically opened so we drove in and up the long white driveway. Within a few minutes a lady appeared and explained to us that the Villa is a private residence however we were welcome to stay and we could do a tour of the grounds and of the actual villa. These instructions are also posted at the gate however when at first you do not see anyone you believe it to be closed.
The lady gave us a map of the property and showed us where to park the car. She suggested that we spend about an hour exploring the grounds, gardens, outer buildings etc. Then we were to meet up with her again at the rear of the villa for a tour with her of the inside of the villa.
At first we thought that an hour was a long time but we were wrong. There was so much to see and experience on that elegant property surrounded by greenery and silence that an hour went very quickly.
The entire property is beautifully manicured , clean and well-kept
The back garden of the house, is composed of two large oval flower beds, decorated with vases of lemons and by a high hedge curved with oaks. There are statues of female figures to introduce open passages in the hedge, and benches, a table and stone sculptures. It is such a peaceful lovely area.
We were quite surprised by the huge collection of lemon trees in rich old terracotta pots. There is a special building, Limonaia, the Lemon house, where these lemon trees are housed during the winter and cold months. The Limonaia is a real jewel, perfectly preserved from 1640
The villa is situated on nine hectares which is full of secular trees and real botanical rare species with rare plants found in the 3 architectural gardens – the “English Garden”, the “Italian Garden” and the gracious “Box hedge theatre”.
After exploring the grounds we met the lady as planned for our tour of the inside of the villa. Actually the tour is only of the ground floor as the above floors are the private residence of the owners of the villa. The elegant ground floor of the Villa is totally furnished and the rooms show amazing frescoes. After taking only a few photos we were advised that photography was not allowed which we respected.
This stunning Tuscan villa is only a short distance, about 7 kilometres, from the city centre of Lucca