With less than 24 hours before my big move from Los Angeles to Italy earlier this month, I still did not have an Italian home, hotel, hostel or any sort of accommodations booked. I was the only person in my life not deeply concerned about this. I had booked my flight, sold most of my stuff, suspended my iphone account and packed all I need in life into two bags. I just knew deep in my soul that everything was going to click. And boy did it ever. I went online the night before my flight to do a search. When I clicked on the listing for this Villa – I felt in my gut This was it.
Every moment since arriving at the Villa has confirmed that this beautiful home in the Florence hills is everything I wanted and more. I craved restoration after an overbooked year and wanted to dive into pleasure. The villa is such a special place, and after only one week here, I feel at home, relaxed, centered, feminine, creative, sexy and inspired.
The Villa is filled with beauty, character, history and art. I picked up my camera yesterday afternoon totally inspired and enjoyed capturing what I love about the villa. But my number one favorite thing about this place you won’t see a picture of: the owners/hosts, Frederica and her family, who have given me such warmth and generous hospitality. She’s responsible for the villa being in the beautiful state that it’s in, and so much more importantly, she makes this space feel like home. My dad used to say, “The people make the place.” And I am eternally grateful to Frederica and the other wonderful guests here for making this place the truly amazing and memorable experience that it is.
So allow me to show you around!… This is the view from my bedroom window… phenomenal, right?!
The villa is brimming with beauty both inside and out, and the building is full of art – you seriously can feel it in the air and in the stones. This is the front patio and side garden. And that’s the dresser in my bedroom. I love having this painting in my daily view.
The foundation of the villa dates back to 1400. I love the unique location – so close to the city, yet a complete quiet oasis. We are situated on a huge hillside, just below the famous Fiesole hills in Florence, about a ten minute walk down a beautiful stone-walled street to where you can easily walk, bike or bus into the city center.
There are hundreds of paintings within the Villa, and an original fresco dating back to the early 1400’s! These breathtaking panels were painted by Frederica’s grandfather.
I’m in love with this green natural patina (and the Chianti candle).
The villa consists of 3 independent apartments. On the right, one of many gates and doors that I enter through to get into my home. I think my villa key ring has 5 front gate/door keys. I kinda like that. There seems to be hundreds of doors in the Villa, and I am always amazed when I discover that what I thought was a painting or a closet is an actual doorway leading into an entirely new area of the villa.
The rooms are authentically furnished, simple, gorgeous, and totally soothing.
The pic above is the view outside my bedroom window to the southwest. I feel incredibly blessed daily to live fully amongst such beautiful surroundings and the fact that this was Michelangelo’s and Leonardo daVinci’s stomping ground is just a fun bonus.
In addition to mother nature’s finest work on the surrounding Tuscan hillside, I’m sure the villa’s long artistic and literary history have a lot to do with the inspiring energy of this place. Quick history lesson before I run off to have my third lunch today: there’s a plaque on the villa’s wall dedicated to famous author and resident from 1889-1935, Violet Paget. Known by her male pseudonym Vernon Lee, Violet received visits from literary greats: Henry James, Aldous Huxley, Edith Wharton, among others, and part of the plaque reads:
“she loved Italy… and spent her long life in the passionate search for beauty…”
I can relate soul sister.