Lucca’s botanical gardens were founded in 1820 by Maria Luisa di Borbone who succeeded Napoleon’s sister after the congress of Vienna in 1815 which decided the future of Europe after Bonaparte’s final defeat at the battle of Waterloo. The gardens are tucked away in the south-east part of the city and are bounded on one side by its walls and on the other by the ex-convent of San Micheletto now used as a concert and exhibition centre.
Within the gardens’ small confines are to be found many flowers, plants and trees of some considerable value.
I don’t quite know if this was our first visit to the gardens in April 2006. It might have been. There is something magical about coming across a lovely place for the first time. We might learn more through subsequent visits but nothing can quite recapture the frisson of discovery.
Anyway this is what we saw on that visit ten years ago to the day.
Trees including Sequoia and Ginkgo Biloba:
Some of these trees are no longer there or have been sadly decapitated as a result of the violent hurrticane of February of last year.
The pond was enhanced by lilies and yellow flags:
The flowers included rhododendrons and azaleas:
There’s also a botanical library and museum but we still have not been able to gain access to it.
There’s more on the gardens in my post at https://longoio.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/flowery-lucca/ including the legend of Lucida Mansi and her pact with the devil.
There’s also a web site for the gardens at http://www.lemuradilucca.it/orto-botanico