The Botanical Garden of Lucca

You are here

The Botanical Garden of Lucca reopens to the public, as per tradition on the first day of spring, this year on March 20: camellias in bloom, rarities and botanical beauty.
The historic garden commissioned by Elisa Bonaparte and created by Maria Luisa of Bourbon is ready for spring.


Orto Botanico di Lucca - camelia


The Botanical Garden of Lucca is ready to reveal to visitors floral beauty, botanical rarities, food plants or plants used by man to produce fabrics, colors or medicines. In particular in this period you can admire the abundant blooms of the camellias: both the ancient cultivars of Lucca and numerous species and selections that constitute one of the most interesting collections of the ancient scientific garden of Lucca.


Orto Botanico di Lucca - tappeto di camelie


The Botanical Garden is the most precious garden of Lucca, it extends for two hectares in the south-eastern corner of the historic center. Founded in 1820 by Maria Luisa di Borbone, Duchess of Lucca, it is a scientific institution that preserves living collections of plants in a path of colors, sounds and smells that takes us around the world, illustrating the species from distant countries until the discovery of the treasures of local flora and biodiversity.


Orto Botanico di Lucca - fioritura


The Botanical Garden rises on a very humid area and remained unsold for a long time for this reason. In the nineteenth century, however, it became the first Botanical Garden of the city, and center of botanical studies, and the small body of water around which grow associations of plants, common and rarer, but characteristic of wetlands, became the main attraction of the garden. Numerous autochthonous varieties, the water iris, various water lilies, the rotundifolia sundew bloom there in spring. When it is said to be necessary, virtue.


Orto Botanico di Lucca  - iris palustre

Like many events in the city in the nineteenth century, two women are the protagonists: Elisa Bonaparte, who had already given substance to her botanical interests in the design of the large park of the Villa Reale in Marlia and who in 1814 had agreed to the foundation of a botanical garden for the use of the medical faculty, and Maria Luisa of Bourbon, who in 1820 founded the institution and handed it over, for her studies, to the Real Liceo (the University of Lucca).


Orto Botanico di Lucca - tasso


In the summer of 1822, finally, the fence wall was built and the Duchess authorized the removal of plants and shrubs that "are found doubled both in the royal villa of Marlia" and in other public nurseries in the city. Seeds and plants also came from nearby botanical gardens such as the Cedar of Lebanon, son of the Cedar of the Garden of Pisa. In the summer of 1823, running water was brought through a channel fed by a water wheel to the public pipeline.

Many passionate curators took turns, some also took possession of some spaces above the Walls where rare and ancient species still grow, others surveyed the existing plants and the formation of a conspicuous herbarium.


Orto Botanico di Lucca - fiortiure di magnolia


Visitors can also observe in the sphagnum, fed by the purest water of the aqueduct of Guamo, near the lake, the black shoots of the Osmunda regalis, a large fern almost disappeared from the natural landscape. With its shapes, this plant has inspired the capitals of Gothic cathedrals throughout Europe. Until the beginning of April it will also be possible to see the collections of tropical plants arranged like a dense forest in the greenhouses where they spent the winter, before the gardeners move them outside.


Orto botanico di Lucca - Osmunda regalis

The Botanical Garden is open from March 21 to April 30 from 10:00 to 17:00; from May 1 in continuous time from 10:00 to 18:00; from July 1 to September 30 from 10:00 to 19:00.
Info and reservations: 0583 950596 e-mail:


Orto Botanico di Lucca - laghetto

Orto Botanico di Lucca - cedar fo Libanum