Sant'Andrea di Compito, a hamlet of Capannori, in the province of Lucca, is called "the village of camellias". Here, for centuries, these white, red and pink flowers, coming from Japan, have been cultivated. In this country, also known for its sources of pure water, the history of camellias began thanks to the passion of doctor Angelo Borrini, ophthalmologist of Duke Carlo Lodovico of Bourbon, who planted them in many gardens of the most important residences in Lucca. In these places, these beautiful flowers are very successful, also because the climate is suitable for their cultivation.
In Sant'Andrea di Compito, a public garden was created in 2002 which houses more than a thousand varieties of camellias. The area is intended for the conservation and protection of "ancient cultivars", man-made varieties. The camellium, in which specimens of japonic camellias grow from historic homes in the area and from other parts of the world, has been included in the list of “Gardens of excellence”, in which there are a total of 40 gardens in the world. The camellium was built on terraced land crossed by a stream fed by springs.
The exhibition of the ancient camellias of Lucca
The large green area also includes a study and research center for universities and botanists and hosts various types of events, including conferences, conferences, concerts, and the tea ceremony. Annually, between the end of March and the beginning of April, the Exhibition of ancient camellias from Lucca, which can be attended by reservation.
On the days dedicated to the exhibition, many tourists from all over the world come to the village. Visitors also have the opportunity to visit the nearby villas in the area, in whose gardens ancient camellias grow. Among these, the most beautiful are the Royal Villa of Marlia e Villa Grabau. The first belonged to Napoleon's sister, Elise Bonaparte, in 1806, which made it a true artistic and architectural masterpiece.
Place to visit
The village of Sant'Andrea di Compito stands on a hill at the foot of the Mount Serra. Among the most important monuments, the Church of Sant'Andrea Apostolo, built before the year 1000, accompanied by very suggestive panoramic views such as the Crucial, ramp leading to the parish church.
There is also the watchtower, born as a signaling bell tower, dating back to the 13th century, which in the Middle Ages was part of the defensive system of the Republic of Lucca in defense of the enemy Pisa. The water heritage of the area is interesting, with the Source of Capo a Vico with the stone drawbridge.
(Photo: Sant'Andrea di Compito, Tuscany, Italy, Facebook page)