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 and later rented accommodation near Santo Spirito. Lisa’s family moved to what today is called Via dei Pepi and then towards Santa Croce, where they lived near Ser Piero da Vinci, the father of Leonardo da Vinci. They also owned a small country home in San Donato in Poggio about 32 km south of Florence. In 1421, many years before Lisa was born, they had sold Villa Vignamaggio to the Gherardi family, according to a contract issued by Biagio di Giovanni da Figline, and had no further connection with the villa.
Despite not being the birth place of the Mona Lisa, Villa Vignamaggio is one of the most beautiful Renaissance villas in Chianti, indeed, in all of Tuscany. Villa Vignamaggio, as it stands today, is the result of rebuilding between the 15th century and the 16th century by the Gherardi family. The internal courtyard of the villa was constructed along very pure classical lines showing a clear influence of the architecture of Brunelleschi. The villa was owned by Gianni Nunziante, a Roman lawyer, from 1988 until recently when it acquired a new owner from South Africa. Villa Vignamaggio offers accommodation as well as wine tours. The giardino all’italiano sets off the villa beautifully.
More about Villa Vignamaggio.
More about Renaissance villas in Tuscany.
More about the classic gardens of the Tuscan villas.
More about Greve in Chianti.