In the nearby village of Collodi is the Garzoni Garden and Butterfly House. The garden was originally begun around 1652 by the Garzoni family when they converted an old castle into an impressive Baroque style 4 story house with belvedere tower and roof statues.
At the entrance is a delightful series of photos of past guests.
The garden was originally in the Italian style. In the 18th century it was embellished with the addition of terraces, balustrades, mazes, waterfalls, fountains, grottoes and statuary. It was designed by Ottavio Diodati. The garden’s reputation spread all over Europe and influenced many others.
A lovely feature of the garden is the Butterfly House. It is a fairly recent addition. The estate was sold by the Garzoni family in the 1920s. It passed through several owners in sequence and its existence became precarious. Thanks to the current owner in collaboration with the Fondazione Carlo Collodi and the Sviluppo Turistico Collodi Ltd, it gained back its former glory, and the butterfly house was added.
I braved the awful heat and humidity and wiped the steam from my camera lens to take photos of the flowers, birds and butterflies.
I visited the garden on a sunny autumn day. Garzoni Garden is open all year, but the Butterfly House closes in winter.
It is a relatively easy drive from Bagni di Lucca. Take the road to Benabbio and keep going down the other side of the mountain towards Collodi. There is a big car park outside Pinocchio Park and the gardens are a short walk from there.