Palazzo Pfanner

Top choice in Lucca

Fire the romantic in you with a stroll around this beautiful 17th-century palace where parts of Portrait of a Lady (1996), starring Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich, were shot. Its baroque-styled garden – the only one of substance within the city walls – enchants with ornamental pond, lemon house and 18th-century statues of Greek gods posing between potted lemon trees. Summertime chamber-music concerts hosted here are absolutely wonderful.

Climb the grand outdoor staircase to the frescoed and furnished piano nobile (main reception room). From the copper pots strung above the hearth in the kitchen to the dining-room table laid for lunch, the rooms vividly evoke daily life in an early-18th-century Lucchese palazzo (mansion) – home to Felix Pfanner, an Austrian émigré who first brought beer to Italy (and brewed it in the mansion's cellars from 1846 until 1929).