17 May Like an Earl at Villa di Corliano
Whether you want to treat yourself with a special night like an Earl in a beautiful historical mansion, or you are wild about art and in search of hidden gems, Villa di Corliano is well worth a visit.
Ideally located between Pisa and Lucca – an overlooked area of Tuscany – Villa di Corliano, whose first construction dates back to the 15th Century, is considered one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in the area.
The ‘palazzo‘ was first built by the Spini, a rich family of merchants and bankers, and sold in 1536 to Pietro di Niccolao Della Seta, a branch of the Agostini Venerosi della Seta family that still owns the monumental property nowadays.
Through the Centuries, Villa di Corliano has been progressively embellished and enriched, starting from the beautiful frescoes decorating the ceilings of the entrance and the main hall. Painted by the Florentine artist Andrea Boscoli between 1592 and 1593, the frescoes represent scenes from the Roman poet Ovid‘s Metamorphoses and Fasti, as well as the 12 signs of the Zodiac and are very well preserved.
In 1755, the building was restructured by Ignazio Pellegrini, a renowned architect from Verona, who transformed the access to the Villa to a more spectacular entrance and designed the park according to the Rococo style. The park underwent a further renovation in 1884: the strict symmetry of the previous design was abandoned and the lawn in front of the entrance was raised, thus forming a slight slope and giving an overall more ‘natural’ touch.
Extending over more than 7 acres, the park presents an exquisite mixture of centuries-old plants and rare botanical species and includes a small ‘Kaffeehaus‘, the stables, an oil mill, the farmhouse and the Church of St Paul and Peter.
The olive oil produced in the mill was exported throughout Europe and the Americas until 1921 and has been awarded several prizes during Universal Exhibitions that took place in the 19th Century.
The glorious past of Villa di Corliano is also testified by the number important personalities who sojourned in the ‘palazzo‘: kings and nobles as James I King of England, Louis Bonaparte – King of Holland and brother of the French Emperor Napoleon I – and Pauline Bonaparte Borghese, Josef Wenzel I, Prince of Liechtenstein, Christian VI of Denmark, Gustavo III of Sweden. The Villa also hosted the poets George Gordon Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, the French novelist Alexandre Dumas and many others.
Practical InformationRelais dell’Ussero a Villa di Corliano S. S. Abetone, 50 – 56010 San Giuliano Terme (PI) – Italy Tel +39 050 818193 – Fax +39 050 818897 – Mobile +39 347 9067286
Getting there: Pisa airport can be reached from many European cities with low-cost airlines. The historical center of Pisa is located 7 Km away (10 minutes by car) and the town of Lucca is at 10 Km (15 minutes) from the Villa. To reach the Villa you can either rent a car or take the bus (approx 1 every 20 minutes) from Pisa, Pisa airport and Lucca stopping just in front of the Villa entrance-gate.__________ Note: my visit to Villa di Corliano was part of the Blog Trip “Like a Local Between Pisa & Lucca” organized and hosted by Casa Gentili (a B&B near Pisa) and Avventurosa (social media marketing specialists). However, all views and opinions expressed are uniquely mines.