Chianti Villa is a charming 17th-century villa in the Chianti wine region near Monteriggioni, and close to Florence and Siena.
How would you describe Podere Palazzo in a nutshell
A serene country villa rental with 5 bedrooms, Podere Palazzo charmingly blends traditional textures with contemporary design and amenities. Very spacious and airy, groups of guests of up to ten people will enjoy the beautifully designed private grounds with its olive and fruit orchards and vegetable gardens. The views of this hilltop villa show everything Tuscany is famous for, its rolling hills, olive trees, vinyards, winding roads and elevated medieval villages off in the distance.
What was your inspiration to restore the villa and rent it out to holiday guests?
We used to vacation in the area but never felt like any of the houses we rented were as good as they could have been and at some point we challenged ourselves to find a dilapidated structure with lots of potential and restore it the way we thought it should be done! I wanted to give ourselves and future guests a great experience in every sense... I wanted them to feel the beauty of an old-world farm with the wit and creativity of a modernist architect’s vision.
Please tell us a bit about the architecture and style of Podere Palazzo.
The architecture is very typical of the area in its shapes and massing: the stones all come from the river down below and the fields around the house, the timbers are all chestnut from local woods, and the terracotta floors are part of a long tradition and produced with the clay of the hills around us then baked in wood fired ovens. The house used to be divided into stables and pig sties at the ground level and living quarters at the upper level so there was still manure everywhere on the ground floor...
The interior was a challenge because we wanted a very open floor plan despite the historical and stylistic constraints imposed by the existing structure and the building regulations. I wanted to blend the old textures and materials with modern clean lines in the furnishings and then infuse everything with the colors of the nature around. I like to also use humor in my projects so there is a lot of art that is a bit irreverent and playful without ever feeling silly.
What would you describe to be the essence of the villa?
One of extreme serenity... the kind that brings you in touch with your inner self and the souls of all the people that you chose to be your travel companions. All our guests comment on what chemistry and beautiful experience always develops among their family members or friends and they bring that home with them more than anything else. And that is exactly what we wanted our guests to leave the house with!
To you personally, what is so special about Podere Palazzo?
Everything! The location, the formal Italian garden with its vegetables, the olive orchard, the fruit trees, the pool in which I have the best fun with my nieces, the community around the house and the restaurants. And why not, a sense of pride in feeling like we rescued a piece of landscape and history from destruction and oblivion.
To you personally, what has been the biggest reward about renting out this holiday home?
People’s comments, their happiness and their gratitude.