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A love story in Lucca
Luci di Lucca is a small, artisanal candle producer from Lucca, Tuscany, founded by entrepreneur and Italophile, Siobhan Hughes. Born in Australia, Siobhan moved to Lucca in 2010 to study the language and immerse herself in the culture. As great love stories go, she met a local from a noble Lucchese family and eventually married him. She now lives with her husband and local tour guide, Federico Grabau, in the beautiful 16th century estate of Villa Grabau. Inspired by the beauty of its Italian Renaissance garden, magnificent lemon tree conservatory and its beautiful botanical garden full of rare and exotic plants, the idea to create a range of hand-crafted, unique luxury scented candles was born.
A hidden jewel in Tuscany
The name “Luci di Lucca” reflects the essence of the enchanting town of Lucca – a hidden jewel in Tuscany brought to prominence in the 11th century by wealthy and powerful merchants who traded in rich silk textiles, chestnuts, olive oil and wine. From this newfound wealth, a new aristocracy and merchant class emerged in Lucca. In particular, the families of Cenami, Bonvisi, Antelminelli, Bernardini, Orsetti, Diodati, Cittadella, Castracani, Guinigi, Burlamacchi and Arnolfini rose to considerable fame and importance. Thanks to their intellectual sophistication, cunning and strategic thinking, Lucca remained an independent republic for more than 500 years.
Attracting many of Europe’s pre-eminent artists, musicians and architects, spectacular villas such as Villa Reale, Villa Torrigiani, Villa Diodati (now Villa Grabau), Villa Bonvisi (now Villa Oliva) and Villa Mansi became well known in the world of refinement, luxury and architectural grandeur. Such magnificent residences with their exquisite gardens became a reflection of one’s significance and status in society and the owners went to extraordinary lengths to embellish their gardens with beautiful and exotic plants from around the world. These villas and gardens have remained timeless in their beauty, structure and elegance and many of them can still be visited today.