There are several diminutive fountains in the parco of Villa Oliva, near Lucca. I use the word parco rather than the word garden; there is a difference. Today's garden visitor, a new kind of tourist ever more active on the front line of travel, imagines a certain standard of horticultural precision that they've come to expect at Sissinghurst or at Great Dixter. But this is Italy, and these are its old gardens and parks where things were never like they are nowadays in the extraordinary gardens of England and France. That said, you can't help but be impressed by the enchanting grandeur of this remarkable place.
The villa was highly damaged in World War II, but the Oliva family, of Genova, worked devotedly for many years in this admirable restoration.
The 18th century Sirena's basin with the statue of Sisto is installed against an East facing wall.
The waterfall above the Lover's Pool. In the 18th century this was the centerpiece of what would have been a much more elaborate, classical garden.
This elegant dépendance is available for summer rental; it's now divided into two apartments.
Yet another putto fountain plays just off the loggia of the North façade, below. The park is open to the public, and in the summer months there are concerts of classical music in the arrival courtyard. www.villaoliva.it