Paolina Bonaparte

Parlano di noi

Negli ultimi mesi, villa Paolina a Compignano, una storica e nascosta residenza imperiale con la sua splendida vista sul mare è stata aperta ad un pubblico selezionato per eventi e serate culturali.
Grazie anche alla collaborazione con l’asociazione delle ville borboniche e delle dimore storiche della versilia e della fondazione del Puccini festival un vero gioiello, proprietà di Giuliano Baldini è stato scoperto.

di seguito l’articolo integrale scritto da Serena Giovannoni, pubblicato sul Wall street international da Javier Marcos


The imperial Venues in Lucca
Villas and living history experiences

She will be remembered as the favourite of Napoleon’sisters, as the emblem of beauty that inspired Canova the first nude portrait, as the protagonist of early XIXth century gossips, she is the Imperial Venus: Paolina Bonaparte. Her character has been portrayed in several biographies and movies, but no one will ever know what the real passions and pains of a young beautiful woman, who died as a diva when he was only 45, leaving the shadow of his elegance and charme behind.

This year, Italy celebrates the second centenary of her golden durance in the Villa of Compignano, lasting one hundred days, during which Napoleon had escaped from Elba island. Six hussar nights, her bodyguards, watched her involved in her new love affair with the young musician Giovanni Pacini, during the whole stay, which finally led her back to Rome. The Villa Paolina, after the Princess’ stay, in Compignano is a neoclassical dwelling, built on top of a hill with stunning view of the plain to Pisa and Lucca and the long sandy coast, surrounded by olive groves and its Italian garden, whose wisteria tree “pergola” was the discrete setting for blissful secret meetings.

night viewI reached for Villa Paolina at night, when dozens of candles enlightened the path that led to the entrance. I could spot the marble statues in the penumbra almost sneaking at me when I passed by wearing in my XIXth century evening gown, hairdo perfectly curled up over my head and my eye mask. I was not yet reached for the front door, when I heard the music of a valzer lingering in the air and glanced at the windows, where candles glittered in the dark were offering a scene as taken by Barry Lyndon’s movie.

The elegant sitting room, where Paolina used to receive her pairs and entertain them in the convivial atmosphere that she had learned to recreate from the Parisian and Roman palaces, was now frolicking with guests accurately dressed up for the Grand Historical Ball. Some of them were holding conversations, others were engaged in dice and cards games. A white-wigged croupier, in his silky dress handed me over a few fiches and I joined the ‘biribisso’ table taking my chances. Next to me other friends, that I could barely recognize behind their masks and lavish dresses, were intent in playing the faraone game.

I wondered about Paolina treading on that floor and sitting on the red velvet imperial sofa, where we had taken our pictures. The music became louder and we were invited to the dance hall, where gentlemen escorted ladies in some of the most elating music choreographies from Verdi to Strauss.

I am thankful to the Association of Bourbons Villas and historical dwellings in Versilia, that gave me the chance to attend such an exclusive event last February 27th. Tuscany is not familiar with this kind of events, which reminds of the Venetian atmospheres, although it has hosted in its villas and palaces a multitude of royal family members, aristocrats and the nobility coming from all over the world. A wide selection of historical dresses was provided by the neighboring Puccini Festival Opera house in Torre del Lago, that unlocked the doors of its costumes shrine for this unique annual event.

The Grand Historical Ball has been a successful event of the kind, which will probably be the first of a long series, that the Imperial Venus would have liked and welcome in her golden dwelling in Compignano.

For more information:
Villa Paolina

Serena Giovannoni

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