Monte Pisano is historically noted as being one of the main battlefields in the many wars between Pisa and Lucca which started in 1000 and continued for over 400 years.

The villa itself was built as the summer residence of the Controni family; noble merchants who, in 1680, took over what is now Palazzo Pfanner in the centre of Lucca. In 1692 Carlo Controni invited prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway as a guest whilst he was visiting Lucca during his Grand Tour of Italy.

For many years the fertile estate which provided housing for workers, a chapel, stables and an olive oil press, was used for the cultivation of rare flowers.