Category Archives: Italian Country Houses

Up at the Villa

Posted June 4, 2014. Filed in Italian Country Houses, Villas

In an article written by Marella Caracciolo Chia titled “La Dolce Vita”, in the May issue of Architectural Digest, Caracciolo Chia shed further light on two villas – one imagined, the other real – that I particularly fancy: the imagined villa from the 2002 movie adaptation of Somerset Maugham’s novel Up at the Villa and, […]

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Palazzo Labèque

Posted October 19, 2013. Filed in Axel Vervoordt, Italian Country Houses, Tuscan Style

Axel Vervoordt imbued the Tuscan palazzo of the internationally famous Labèque sisters, Katia and Marielle, with his unique brand of elemental elegance in the mid-1990’s. Situated inside a fortified medieval city, the pianist duo’s sprawling residence is narrow but high. In the living room, above, Vervoordt mixed carefully selected pieces in unexpected combinations. As so many […]

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An Artist in Tuscany

It could be said that interior designer John Stefanidis is one of the first influences on the revival of the Tuscan farmhouse as dwelling and the ensuing trend of restoring these casas colonicas, beginning in the 1970’s, particularly among British and Americans desiring a holiday home in the unspoilt terrain of Tuscany. The late artist, […]

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Home Away From Rome

  Giancarlo Giammetti, Valentino Garavani’s busuiness and life partner, purchased La Vagnola, an 18th-century Tuscan villa in Cetona, in 1986 and enlisted the maestro of atmosphere Renzo Mongiardino to create enchanted interiors inspired by the surrounding lush, classical gardens. For twenty-five years he and Valentino vacationed here to escape the pressures of Rome and their […]

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Villa Cetinale

Posted October 13, 2013. Filed in Camilla Guinness, Italian Country Houses, Tuscan Style

Lord Edward Richard Lambton’s 17th-century Roman Baroque Villa Cetinale in La Cerbaia, near Sienna, is set amidst one of the most spectacular sitings in Tuscany, with views spanning over miles of rolling hills. Designed by the architect Carlo Fontana, a pupil of Bernini, the villa was built in 1680 by Cardinal Flavio Chigi for Pope […]

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Villa la Rose

Posted October 12, 2013. Filed in Italian Country Houses, Tuscan Style, Villas

My survey of Tuscan-style architecture and interiors, beginning with Under the Tuscan Sun, continues into the hills above southern Florence. The 15th-century Villa delle Rose, an example of the classical Tuscan villa modeled after Villa Medici in Fiesole, was saved from obscurity by Ernest Boissevain and his wife Jean Tennyson, the famous opera singer, when […]

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The Tower of Peretti

Elsa Peretti’s holiday retreat on the Tuscan coast was hardly your typical relaxed and breezy waterfront dwelling. La Torre was a ruin of  a watchtower on the steep and craggy cliffs of Southern Tuscany built by Spanish invaders in the 16th-century as a military lookout between the Tuscan archipelago and the island of Corsica. Its […]

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Palazzo Parisi

Posted October 10, 2013. Filed in Italian Country Houses

Today we venture beyond the Tuscan border to Oliveto in the Sabine Hills, north-east of Rome in the Lazio province, to visit Villa Parisi, the childhood home of landscape designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd. Her father, Piero Parisi, purchased the castle sight-unseen in the early 1940’s. It wasn’t until after returning from the war that he first […]

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