The history of the camellia has ancient origins. The first variety of camellia to arrive in Europe was the Japonica Alba Plena. These plants were introduced into Great Britain in around 1730, arriving in Italy later, towards the end of the 1700s. The Royal Palace of Caserta was the first location to feature the plant, in its English-style garden. Following this, the camellia became more widespread throughout many cities in Tuscany, where it found both its natural habitat and many enthusiastic cultivators. In Lucca, the first reliable, documented evidence of the arrival of the Camellia japonica was the substantial delivery of rare plants received by Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi from her brother Giuseppe, King of Naples, in 1808. These plants came from the gardens of Caserta, destined for and arranged in the new English garden of Villa Reale. Some of the camellias most representative of the Lucca area can be found here in the two camellia-lined walkways, which are one of the major points of interest within the Park in the months of February and March. Even in January, more than thirty varieties of ancient camellias have already started to bloom, of various forms and colours, from white to red to pink, and all the shades in between.