The village of camellias is located in Sant’Andrea di Compito, a small and quiet hamlet of Capannori in the province of Lucca.
The village of the camellias, is the largest park in the world where they grow a myriad of species of this wonderful flower that has always inspired painters and jewelers over the centuries; its large corolla with delicate petals and soft as silk, invite the viewer not only to look at it but also to hold it between your fingers, gently.
This plant of Japanese origin, was imported to Europe in the middle of 1700 where it became a symbol of refinement, perfection and excellence, meanings completely in antithesis to the country of origin where it represents the symbol of “broken life”given the transience of its petals.
The color of this flower also conveys a different message: pink means nostalgia, red declares that the heart is inflamed with passion, while both shades represent romantic love.
What is your favorite color? and the one that represents you the most?
This place is a true natural paradise, of peace and harmony; in the period of flowering you are immersed in columns of cotton candy camellias, a note sweet for the eyes.
With a modest admission ticket, 4 € in week and 7 € during the weekends, you can walk around the park, get lost in its maze and breathe deeply the olfactory notes of the Mediterranean maquis.
Inside the park there are thematic areas dedicated to famous people, divided into nations, which contain the most beautiful plants and allow you to “dive” into a world of colors that smells of history.
For the more adventurous we recommend to take the panoramic tour that we propose below, which allows you to make a ring of about 7km, from the top of the mountain (from where you will dominate the valley) until you return to the village of S. Andrea di Compito.
Going up to the most panoramic part, following the signs already present inside the park, you can get to a cross from which you can see much of the province of Lucca and the park itself.
From this viewpoint, called “Rock of the Cross”, you can continue along the path, among shrubs, pines and ferns, to a junction where you will find a junction with three roads.
From here you can go down to the valley as we did, or back on your feet. From the central road that you see in the photo, the path continues uphill ( towards where???) but we leave this route for the next hike; today we want to close the ring entering the wildest part of the park.
Continuing the path we climb through paths not beaten, although still visible. Ferns and shrubs from the Mediterranean maquis will keep you company.
We point out only a small stretch, about halfway down our descent where the track is a bit ‘ruined, but following our indications, the path will be there in front of you.
After the wildest part we will find ourselves again on a wide and unpaved road for a short stretch from which, keeping the left you will return to the asphalt, close to the return to the village.
A surely fascinating ride that could be further enhanced if it were more accurate. The park instead is simply enchanting, a brushstroke of colors and light from which to be lulled.
Returning to the village, we suggest you to stroll a bit ‘between the houses of the village to enjoy its “petit merveilles”.
Type of path: dirt road, mountain path and asphalt
Water: you need to be self-sufficient