The work comprises two volumes: Villas of Lucca. The delights of the countryside illustrates the models and modes of the useful and the pleasurable that Lucchese society projected on to country living between the Middle Ages and the nineteenth century; centres of territorial government, state residences, pleasure houses, theatres of artistic experimentation – all these the volume describes in words and images, weaving in the themes of architecture, society, economics and culture, as well as mercantile and family history. The second volume, Lucchese gardens. The Theatre of nature in city and countryside (the book will be published in 2017), deals with the theme of the garden as independent expression, as architecture constructed with nature, as a place of encounter between art and artifice, between material and spiritual culture, between learning and trades, linking the gardens of the city’s palazzi and monasteries with those of the villas, the medieval simples-gardens with the baroque theatres of water, the Romantic feeling for nature with the classical revival of the twentieth century, in the constant interchange of a culture open to continual experimentation and enrichment that found its ideal expression in the Lucchese context.
The author of volumes, Maria Adriana Giusti, is professor at the Polytechnic of Turin. She is an internationally know scholar, especially in the area of historic houses and gardens.
Apparatus and notes by Gilberto Bedini and Maria Adriana Giusti. Photographs by Luca Lupi.