More about ‘Tuscan Villas and their Gardens’

Vitigliano – a unique boutique hotel and spa experience in Tuscany

Vitigliano boutique hotel and spa in Tuscany

Vitigliano is the name of a tiny “borgo“, an ancient farming hamlet, grouped around an ancient watch tower that formed part of the defences of the castle of Panzano in central Chianti. In fact, although the first documentation of Vitigliano dates back to 1085, the original settlement was probably Roman. This year, 2014, the restoration

Corte di Valle, where you can stay in a real Tuscan villa in Chianti

Corte di Valle - stay in a real Tuscan villa in Chianti

On your next visit to Tuscany, if there are not enough of you to rent an entire villa to yourselves, you nevertheless have a chance to experience living in a genuine Tuscan villa, namely at Corte di Valle where you can stay in a real Tuscan villa in Chianti. The villa of Corte di Valle

Villa Vignamaggio – NOT where Mona Lisa was born!

Villa Vignamaggio

Lisa del Giocondo, née Gherardini, Mona Lisa, was born on the 15th of June, 1479. On the road between Greve in Chianti and Lamole there is a magnificent Renaissance villa. This is Villa Vignamaggio – NOT where Mona Lisa was born! Lisa was born in Florence on Via Maggio. The family originally lived near Santa Trinita

A Tuscan farmhouse – the beauty of a Tuscan casa colonica

Case coloniche - the beauty of Tuscan farmhouses

The Tuscan farmhouse is among the most attractive of all forms of vernacular architecture, perhaps equalled in aesthetic appeal only by the villages of the M’zab in the Algerian Sahara. In contrast to the M’zab, Tuscany is, of course, easily accessible to all and a great many of these beautiful Tuscan farmhouses have been sensitively

The Cortona farmhouse of Frances Mayes and “Under the Tuscan Sun”

Bramasole, Frances Mayes' house at Cortona

A great many readers were introduced to the Tuscan hilltop town of Cortona via a popular memoir, “Under the Tuscan Sun“, written by Frances Mayes about impulsively buying and then restoring an abandoned house, Casa Bramasole, near this beautiful town. The book was the basis of the film of the same name and one of

The garden of Villa La Foce, created by Cecil Pinsent for Iris Origo

The garden of Villa La Foce, created by Cecil Pinsent for Iris Origo

I readily admit to being a garden nut, with a special love for the formal gardens of the Tuscan villas. Among these, I rank near or at the top of my list the garden of Villa La Foce, created by Cecil Pinsent for Iris Origo in the Crete Senese of Tuscany. This garden is one

Big sky country – the Val d’Orcia

the Val d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy

From time to time, I post about sights outside of the Chianti region but within easy reach for visitors who are making Chianti their Tuscany base. One of the most famous and beautiful regions of Tuscany is what my friend Anna Maria Baldini calls “big sky country” – the Val d’Orcia. In contrast to the

Villa Medici at Fiesole, the first true classic Renaissance villa in Tuscany, Italy

Villa Medici at Fiesole

Villa Medici at Fiesole, the first true classic Renaissance villa in Tuscany, Italy, was commissioned by Giovanni, the second son of Cosimo il Vecchio and, among other owners over the centuries, belonged to the mother of Iris Origo in the early part of the 20 C. Life there during that period is described by Iris

History of Tuscany and Tuscan Culture

History of Tuscany and Tuscan Culture

Usually I confine my posts to bite-sized morsels of practical Tuscany tourist information. However, today let’s try something cultural and historical. I’ll try to provide some pointers on one way to think about the huge topic of the history of Tuscany and Tuscan culture. One approach is to see the culture of Tuscany in terms

A beautiful Tuscan garden, the Piccolomini Gardens at Pienza in southern Tuscany

piccolomini gardens pienza

Pienza is one of the gems of Tuscany and should on no account be overlooked. Although located near the Val d’Orcia south of Sienna, it is readily accessible as a day trip from Chianti. A beautiful Tuscan garden, the Piccolomini Gardens at Pienza in southern Tuscany, overlooking the Val d’Orcia with Monte Amiata in the

The garden of Villa Gamberaia in Tuscany near Florence

The garden of the Villa Gamberaia in Tuscany near Florence

Of all the Renaissance villa gardens of Tuscany, perhaps none is so perfect as the garden of Villa Gamberaia in Tuscany near Florence. The garden of Villa Gamberaia represents one of the finest examples of the integration of an italianate garden into the architecture of a Tuscan villa. Among the outstanding villa gardens of Tuscany,

Sights of Chianti, in Tuscany, Italy. What to see, where to go, places to stay in Chianti. www.greve-in-chianti.com.
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