Villa Reale is one of the oldest and most opulent Villas that you can visit in the Lucca area. In the High Medieval period, a fortress belonging to the Dukes of Tuscia existed where Villa Reale stands today.
When the property passed to the Buonvisi family the fortress was transformed into a noble, two-storey palace. The Orsetti brothers bought the property in 1651 and it is believed that they demolished the ancient building, bringing it back to the foundations, to create a late Renaissance style building which dominated the open lawned space.
The result was a compact, rectangular building featuring rustication on its corners. The façade facing the valley included a balcony above the main entrance door.
In 1806, Elisa Baciocchi became the new owner. The architects Pierre-Théodore Bienaimé and subsequently Giuseppe Marchelli were taken on to change the aspect of the building: the 18th Century lines disappeared, and the roof was raised, adding a third storey for domestic staff and services, thus creating three storeys of equal height.
A raised portico and a large Italian-style terrace were added to the north façade, and the loggia windows replaced with doors which today constitute the main entrance to the Lucca villa, now open to the public after wide-ranging restoration work commissioned by the current owners.