Majestic eighteenth-century noble villa for sale in a strategic location few kilometers from Pisa and the Tyrrhenian coast.
The building consists of a main body with three floors and two lateral bodies with two floors, for a total of over 40 rooms with a total area of about 2,500 square meters + attics, as well as outbuildings for an additional 320 square meters.
Considered one of the most important buildings in the Pisan area, it has been the subject of studies and editorial publications, as well as a setting for films.
The real estate complex has been declared of considerable historical and artistic interest pursuant to Legislative Decree 42/2004.
The villa is decorated with magnificent frescoes and has a park of about 11,000 square meters with large old trees, as well as a further adjacent plot of land of about 1,300 square meters, where a swimming pool or a tennis court can be located.
The entrance from the public street leads into what was once the carriage atrium, a large room with cross vaults, which still preserves the original sandstone floor intact and opens onto the north garden towards the stable through a double door.
The main entrance from the park, on the other hand, gives access, through the stone portal dominated by the noble coat of arms of the ancient owners, to a bright hall with columns and barrel vaulted ceilings, decorated with refined motifs that are repeated in various rooms of the residence.
On the ground floor, adjacent to the carriage atrium and preceded by an elegant frescoed hall, is the oratory, decorated by Tempesti with an admirable trompe-l’oeil effect that expands the spaces into spectacular aisles and lateral women’s galleries.
The main floor is reached through the monumental triple volume staircase with sandstone steps and balustrade with columns in white Carrara marble, entirely surrounded by large monochromes in warm ocher tones depicting the divinities Bacchus, Ceres and Minerva and surmounted by a polychrome vault depicting the Muses on Mount Elicona, with Apollo presiding as the God of Music.
The second floor is reached by another staircase, located in what was probably the initial nucleus of the residence. A further staircase, formerly called “the secret staircase”, connects the three floors.
In the main body, around the two major staircases and on the sides of the large double-volume central hall, there is a series of large frescoed rooms, sometimes connected two by two through an internal door.
The two-storey side body overlooking the south garden was originally a loggia and was redesigned in the nineteenth century, in the style of Gherardesca, to house a large and very bright room, probably wanted by the ancient owner, a musician, as a theater-auditorium for his compositions.
The side body overlooking the other side of the garden, intended for service rooms and servants’ quarters, still retains the large kitchen with fireplace, wood-burning oven and sink; there is also the freight elevator, hidden in a special shaft, which was used to transfer the food from the kitchen to the main floor.
Originally described in the land register of the Rivers and Fossi of 1672 as a “house with a dovecote tower”, the residence, belonging to the richest landowners in the area, was subsequently transformed, with the social rise of the family and the achievement of the noble title, in a sumptuous noble villa, enriched by a decorative apparatus of extraordinary magnificence and great originality. Eager to make manifest the new status achieved, the Di Lupo Parra counts spared no money and effort to embellish the residence and transform it into a real palace, as many precious details still testify today, such as the doors finished in pure gold, the rich mosaics at the Venetian and the great pictorial cycles of the interiors, which saw the major artists of the time at work.
In 1814 the young Lauretta Cipriani, born in Trinidad to Corsican parents and married at seventeen, with an arranged marriage by her uncle, to Count Giuseppe, almost twenty years her senior, joined the family. Lauretta’s life is a story within history and marked all those who, for various reasons, had the opportunity to attend her.
Lauretta’s biography, published in 1999 (more than 400 pages of fascinating historical and personal events), was immediately sold out.
The marriage with Giuseppe soon turned out to be stormy, not so much for the difference in age, but for the way of understanding and leading life: he was quiet, habitual, sedentary, as well as effervescent, enterprising, cultured and restless she. The villa was the scene of Lauretta’s encounters, including amorous ones, with the prince of Wallachia Constantine Caradja and the Russian prince Nicolas Dolgoroukij. For this reason, despite the benevolent and understanding attitude of her spouse, the countess was opposed and persecuted by his relatives, who, on the death of Giuseppe after eight years of marriage, even took away the custody of her beloved children, to whom she was in any case always close, fighting tenaciously for her rights as a woman and as a mother. Paolina Bonaparte was also her friend and defended her in the darkest moments. Lauretta’s eldest son, Pietro, died in his thirties in the battle of Curtatone and Montanara; a plaque commemorates him at the Monumental Cemetery of Pisa.
Woman of great charm, ambitious, lively and full of cultural interests, politically committed, she frequented, always arousing deep admiration, the major intellectuals of the time, from Giacomo Leopardi, with whom she maintained a solid friendship, in D’Azeglio, Troya, Aleardi, Donizetti, Manzoni, Giusti, Poerio, Giuseppe Montanelli. With the latter, twenty years her junior and who had been a friend and fellow student of her son Pietro, she had a long, intense intellectual and sentimental relationship. They married in secret in 1848 and since then Lauretta has exerted great influence in his political choices. He was at his side in the Grand Ducal government of 1848-49 in which Montanelli was President of the Council of Ministers, during the years of exile in Paris and on his return to Tuscany, always collaborating in a decisive way in her husband’s federalist programs.
In the meantime (we are in the first half of the nineteenth century), at the same time as the important social position achieved by the family thanks to the enormous wealth and the aristocracy achieved, the villa was further enriched with magnificent frescoes and enlarged until the definitive re-layout in what is the architectural structure still visible today.
A beautiful drawing by the French painter Adèle Poussielgue, dated 1840, depicts the façade of the villa and a glimpse of the garden as we see them today.
Meanwhile, the villa had remained with Lauretta’s brothers-in-law and, on their death, her son Antonio, while the two daughters, Emilia and Sofia, had married on the same day and left the villa. Antonio, a jurist by training and member of the Tuscan Parliament, was a passionate lover of music, an accomplished clarinetist and also a composer (some of his opera transcriptions, of good artistic value, were published by Ricordi), as well as the inventor of an innovative and revolutionary clarinet, patented in 1877 with his name.
On his death in 1879, the property passed to his daughter Sofia, who lived there even after her wedding with Count Franceschi. The marriage ended “because of him”; the villa was sold in 1905 by Sofia herself to a family of the Florentine aristocracy, who, in turn, sold it after a few years to another noble family.
During the Second World War, an American military command was housed in the villa and its annexes for almost two years. A book released in the United States in 2019 is dedicated to the stay of the US army at Villa Parra.
The villa, after having remained uninhabited for a long time, has recently undergone restoration in some parts of the ground floor and the main floor. The interventions brought to light further magnificent frescoes and opened interesting potential for re-use for a high-income investment in the cultural, geographical and socio-economic context of the area. In the rearranged parts, elegant suites have been found, occasionally used for receptive activities.
In some rooms, under recent layers of common wall painting, two or more superimposed frescoes have been found which, brought into view, now constitute a peculiar testimony of the evolution of taste over the centuries and an attraction for guests and visitors.
The villa and the garden can also be used for ceremonies, conferences, cultural events, shows.
The great artistic value, the considerable surface area and the favorable position with respect to the Pisa International Airport, the primary road network, the cities of art, the sea, and important business and research centers make it possible for the villa, in addition to the original destination of luxurious private residence, also an entrepreneurial use as a charming hotel, conference center, international study center, university campus of excellence, high-end management complex, representative office for foundations, event venue, wellness center or high-level residence in able to offer an incomparable atmosphere, able to satisfy the most demanding international clientele.