Tuscan villa vacation rentals

Accommodations in a Tuscan villa for your holiday in Tuscany

The expression Tuscan villa (and hence Tuscan villa vacation rentals) alludes not simply to a patrician house but to a house set in a garden and a wider landscape - a concept derived from the villas of Augustan Rome via the Renaissance. The ever-adaptable Florentines, as well as the Anglo-Florentines who settled in Tuscany in significant numbers during the late 19 C, surrendered to the fad for "English" gardens, with lawns and flowers and plantations of exotic trees. In Italian Gardens and Villas, published in 1904, Edith Wharton lamented that "there is perhaps no region in Italy so rich in villas and so lacking in old gardens as the neighbourhood of Florence." In fact, the Neoclassical garden, which had been considered indispensable through the 17 C and 18 C, was quite "independent of floriculture," as Wharton wrote, its three constituent elements being "marble, water, and perennial verdure." The garden was meant to harmonise both with the fully man-made world of the villa behind it and with the natural world of the podere, or farm, beyond. In the time since Wharton wrote, the wheel of fashion has turned and a great many Renaissance gardens have been restored, to the extent that finding a giardino all'inglese surrounding a Tuscan villa is now a rare experience.

During the 19 C and especially during the Tuscan building boom that followed the unification of Italy in 1861, Florence having been the capital of Italy from 1865 to 1870, a great many new villas were constructed, modelled in a simplified manner on those of the Renaissance. One of those most involved in this burst of architectural activity was Giuseppe Poggi (Florence April 3, 1811 - Florence, March 5, 1901), an architect and engineer, who was appointed in 1864 to develop a new urban plan for the city of Florence, to adapt it to its function as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy and to preserve it from flooding (but not from the disastrous flood of November 4, 1966, unfortunately). Poggi, inspired by the Parisian grand boulevards, knocked down the walls of Florence north of the Arno and replaced them with the "circovallazione" avenues, isolating the English cemetery and, south of the Arno, created the avenue leading to the Piazzale Michelangelo. He also did a great deal of architectural work on behalf of the Florentine aristocracy, involving the creation, renovation and modernisation of villas and palaces, particularly in the suburban villas of the hills that surround Florence.

Tuscan Villa Villas of Tuscany

Villa La Petraia - a Tuscan villa

casa colonica - a Tuscan farmhouse

A casa colonica - a Tuscan farmhouse

For most visitors to Tuscany, experiencing a Tuscan villa involves a visit to one of the magnificent Medicean villas in the vicinity of Florence and in the native territory of the Medici, the Mugello (Villa Medicea di Cafaggiolo and Villa Demidoff). Tuscan villa vacation rentals are usually not true villas at all, but rather stand-alone Tuscan farm houses (case coloniche) suitable for a single family or a group of up to something like eight people. Usefully, current fashion dictates that most case coloniche have external walls in unplastered stone while villas are plastered and painted pale brown or apricot in colour. Tuscan villas are also often characterised by a small tower, turret or dovecote (colombaia) set into the roof. Nevertheless, there are Tuscan villas in the original sense available to holiday makers.

An exceptional example is Villa Gamberaia, one of the most famous villas in Tuscany, and probably the most exceptional Tuscan villa offering accommodation in the whole of the Region.

Villa Gamberaia and its gardens
on the outskirts of Florence at Settignano, Tuscany

Accommodation at Villa Gamberaia in Florence, Italy

Stay at Villa Gamberaia in Tuscany

The famous Villa Gamberaia in Florence

Villa Gamberaia has been famous since the late 19 C for its magnificent garden and the ideal manner in which the garden integrates with the architecture of the villa. The villa originates from the 14 C and passed through several hands before its restoration was undertaken by Princess Jeanne Ghyka, between 1895 and 1925, and again by Marcello Marchi, after the depredations of WW II. Until recently, visits were limited to the grounds, but it now possible to rent luxurious self-catering vacation apartments created in buildings within the grounds or to rent magnificent vacation suites within the villa itself. The reception rooms and grounds of the villa can also be rented for events, including weddings. More about accommodation at Villa Gamberaia, Tuscany.

The villa of Corte di Valle was built at the end of the 19 C in the style of Giuseppe Poggi. His villa designs were widely imitated and are easily recognisable in the hills and occasionally in the towns all over Tuscany, and Corte di Valle is a fine example of his style. In this case, unusually, the owners of the winery live in a smaller farmhouse on the property and have converted the main villa, a magnificent structure with three floors of large and high rooms, into individual Bed and Breakfast accommodations. Corte di Valle, as a Tuscan villa vacation rental, provides an opportunity for a family or even a couple to experience living in the comfort of one of these splendid patrician residences.

Corte di Valle Tuscan Villa B&B Rooms and Apartments
near Greve in Chianti, Tuscany

Corte di Valle Tuscan villa Tuscan villa B&B rooms Bed and Breakfast rooms int a Tuscan villa

Corte di Valle offers large B&B rooms and two vacation apartments in a Tuscan villa located in the Chianti countryside at Greti, near Greve in Chianti in Tuscany. The villa has its own restaurant and swimming pool, and is famous for its saffron production. Air conditioning is available and there is a SITA bus stop right across the road. Suitable for wedding groups. More about Corte di Valle Bed and Breakfast rooms.

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