Category Archives: Tuscan Style


The Amalfi Coast may very well be my favorite destination. The winding, vertiginous coastline – defined by calcareous-dolomitic rock formations – plunges into the Tyrranean Sea, creating a dramatic landscape  spotted with mountain-hugging towns and sun-kissed dwellings. The air, scented with lemon (an Amalfitani staple), Mediterranean scrub, local herbs, and the sea mix to produce […]

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A Taste for Tuscany

Posted November 4, 2013. Filed in Mark Hampton, Tuscan Style

If I were to show you an illustration of a villa (above) and a photo of that villa (below), with no previous knowledge of its location or who designed and built it, would you be able to suggest where it is, who designed it, and from what era it originates? Though the taste for Tuscany […]

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California Tuscan

Posted November 1, 2013. Filed in Mediterranean Style, Michael S. Smith, Tuscan Style

Michael S. Smith is a designer who captures the essence of a particular place and time with insouciant, albeit studied, ease. For the interiors of a Tuscan-style vineyard estate in the Santa Ynez mountains in California Smith conceived the look and feel of an old Italian country house.  Its owners, Francine and Neil Afromsky, owners […]

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Saladino Style

Posted October 22, 2013. Filed in John Saladino, Mediterranean Style, Tuscan Style

The Tuscan style gained great popularity in the U.S. in the 1990′s, and there is probably no single American designer or architect more associated with this style than John Saladino, known for his romantic-classical take on Italian and Spanish Mediterranean styles. From the Veneto to the Tuscan landscape Saladino has distilled classical villa-style and Italian country […]

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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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Under The Tuscan Sun

From the Etruscans’ who left behind many roads that are still traveled today, to the expansive power of the Roman Empire and the Medici family, who financed  much of the Renaissance, Tuscany is rich in history, romantic ancient villages, rustic farmhouses and elegant villas, distinctive regional cuisine, and soft rolling hills for as far and […]

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