Built in 1624, Villa Lenka is set in a verdant valley in the southern hills of Lucca and was once summer residence to Count Cosimo Bernardini.

The Bernardini family owned several palazzo’s in the city centre as well as many villas in the hills that surround the city and were 72 times Gonfaloniers of the Republic (magistrates of the medieval communes) from 1388 with Giovanni through to 1798 with Cosimo.

In 1805 when Napoleon installed his sister, Elisa Bonaparte and her husband Felice Baciocchi as rulers of the Principality of Lucca, the Bernardini family continued to feature in this new political order with Federico Bernardini being camp assistant to Felice Baciocchi, Duke of Lucca, and his wife, Eleonora de Nobili “dame de compagnie” of the Duchess Elisa Bonaparte, Napoleone’s sister.