Did You Know? Lucca Botanical Gardens

Via Del Giardino Botanico, 14, Lucca

Did you know . . . Lucca’s Botanical Garden has permanent residents? A multitude of turtles occupy the small pond on the back edge of the gardens. They often sun themselves on the shore or on the small island it the center. This water is also keeper of an ancient Lucchese tale: that of Lucida Mansi. Legend says that the noblewoman made a deal with the devil in order to maintain her youthful look. When the deal finally expired, he came to fetch her at her door, dragging her on a burning chariot throughout the entire city. In the end, she was dragged down into the abyss, passing through the pond adorning the garden today. The gardens themselves are a wonderful place to visit with plant species from all over the world. Founded in 1820 by Maria Luisa of Bourbon (dutchess of Lucca at the time) it is open daily during the summer, has a small admission fee. See web site here

Submitted by Christine Stava.

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