This villa is very significant for the district of Sant'Anna and is an extremely important point of reference spanning over more than a century.
Lorenzo Martinelli was a banker who had a money dealing office in the city in Palazzo Arnolfini and owned the first floor.
It is interesting to remember that Martinelli emigrated to the United States and succeeded in making his fortune in very little time. His uncle, who also lived there was Cardinal Sebastiano Martinelli, who held the position of Apostolic Delegate. When Lorenzo Martinelli returned to Lucca he bought a house and some land from some relatives and converted it into a villa. This took place during the 1880's. He put busts on the columns of the gates in perpetual memory of his American adventure. At first the building's main façade faced the garden and it had a double flight of stairs reaching the first floor. The two fountains which are today visible at the front were situated on the hemicycle of the stairs.
Then towards the end of the century, Martinelli employed an engineer called Frediani to raise the palazzo by one floor and extend at the back with a facing brick loggiato, in this way converting the façade looking onto viale Puccini into the main one and building flats to let.
The coach house was built in the garden around 1910. However this was projected by Martinelli's son-in-law, an engineer called Arturo Caprotti, who made a small pavilion in facing brick which picked up on the extension techniques using a more modern language. Above the pavilion there was a pergola which functioned as a roof to a belvedere over the garden and surrounding countryside at that time still intact.
Two small extensions were built on the terrace on the third floor around the 1940's thus permitting the construction of two flats instead of one on the top floor.
During the 80's the garden was drastically reduced in size due to accepted council expropriation for the construction of via Paganini, which meant that the land was divided into two, reducing it from a hectare to a mere 4000 square metres.
(source: Lorenza Caprotti - Centro Studi Cultura Liberty e Déco