Pre-roman period
Roman period
Medioeval age
Guinigi family
the towers
Elisa Bonaparte
The architects
Walls and Garden
Teatro del Giglio
The musicians
The holy face
The saints
The writers

Little temple in San Concordio

Nottolini (1779 - 1851) has been defined "the keen and sensible interpreter of the landmark of Lucca".
He also was lucky, and had the due preparation to operate in the period of the great urban transformations (1805-1847) undertaken by Elisa Bonaparte, and continued by Maria Luisa di Borbone and his son Carlo Ludovico.
He was the pupil and collaborator of Giovanni Lazzarini, the author of modern Piazza Napoleone commissioned by Elisa; then soon after a period of non academic but intensively formative courses of specialization in the neo-classic cultural environment of Florence, and Rome with Valadier and in Bologna with Antolini, he was appointed royal architect by Maria Luisa (1818).

His numerous designs displayed in the State Archives of Lucca and its inland still show the sign of his architectural embellishments in all possible sectors: the urban embellishments (fountains, the promenade along the city walls, from 1818 to 1820) the indoor refinements (the staircase, the statues gallery in Palazzo Ducale, started in 1818; the designs for the fire-places, furniture, and of tapestry) the restoration of churches and castles (St. Alessandro in 1830, the castle of Nozzano in 1822, and the amphitheatre, in 1830-1839).

He also built some churches, (the cappella Orsetti in 1822, in the town cemetery), convents (remarkable in St. Angelo, 1822, on the Brancoleria hills to the north of the town), public buildings (the covered riding-school in 1822, the project for the royal stables, in 1839), the villas (the shooting - lodge of Carlo Ludovico in Pieve St. Stefano in 1837-1843; the Villa Reale in Marlia with the Specola which he started in 1819).

He built bridges (the most famous is the suspension bridge, called "delle catene" in Fornoli in 1839), he planed streets (Via Ludovica), a great enterprise of territorial and landscaping planning which is visible in the works for the embankment of the "Serchio river", and in the large scale project for the hydraulic reclamation of the plane around Lucca. But his most relevant enterprises are the aqueduct built to convey the waters from the hills of Guamo (unique for the balance aqueduct between the human intervention and the respect for the natural setting) (1822-1834), and the planing of the town of Viareggio (1820-1825).
In the same years, other architects worked with Nottolini. They are responsible for the modern urban setting given to the town in the 19th century.

Piazza S. Salvatore fountain

The most important ones are: Giovanni Lazzarini (1769-1834), his son Cesare Lazzarini(1806-1870), Giuseppe Pardini (1779-1884). Among the works done by Giovanni Lazzarini, in the historical centre, besides Piazza Napoleone, there is: the planning of via Elisa, Elisa gate, the restoration of St. Francesco convent and of the Quarquonia (1800-1817), the restoration of the Teatro del Giglio (1818-1819), the embellishments to the city walls (1818-1824), the arrangement of Piazza San Francesco (1827), and the "Caffé delle Mura" (1833). After his father's death (1834) Cesare Lazzarini, was appointed municipal architect with the task of continuing the work of "embellishment" of the town.

The name of Cesare Lazzarini appears in most of the principal projects in the years 1834-1868: he left more than 200 designs signed by him concerning urban decorations, the colouring of the facade of various buildings. They are so many that they might be considered as the representation of the new image of the town of Lucca. Giuseppe Pardini has produced in Lucca the votive lamp of the Holy Face (1836), the restoration of the church-square, the restoration of the bell tower and of the Basilica St. Frediano (1840-'70), the restoration of the church of St. Michele (1857-1866) and the setting of the area before it, the project for the new institute of "Fine Arts" (1861), the restoration of the Torre Guinigi (1866), the new hospital Galli Tassi (1870-1876), the restoration of the church of Santa Maria Forisportam (1874-1877) and many projects for private buildings.


  Comune di Lucca, texts