Etruscan civilization to be discovered in Chianti

The world is discovering the Etruscan civilization, a civilization of paramount importance for its artistic refinement and organizational skills.

The Etruscans lived between 900 and 100 BC. If their origins are still somewhat obscure, it now appears that the Etruscans are an Eastern or Anatolian population that aggregated to local Villanovan populations Iron Age.
No one knows for sure where they came from.  Some said they always lived in Italy, others, like Herodotus, thought that they migrated from Asia- Minor around the twelfth century BC.
It is a civilization of great originality and who, like the Greek and Roman civilization, has greatly influenced our modern world.  However the Etruscan language has not yet been deciphered and, contrary to the Greeks and Romans, the Etruscans have left us no literature.

Geographically, the Etruscan civilization flourished in Etruria, which covered the territory Tuscany and part of Umbria and Lazio.

Politically, the Etruscans had formed a loose union of cities, like in Greece. Most towns and villages had been established in natural defense position, protected by very strong walls on which were built and many Roman and medieval cities. Volterra, a beautiful city that can be visited from Hotel Villa Barone is an example.  From the seventh to the sixth century BC, the Etruscans were the dominant power in Italy, but, little by little, they gave their hegemony and felt under the domination of Rome, even though many kings of the ancient Rome were Etruscans, including Tarquinius Superbus.  Rome finally triumphed, but the Etruscan influence remained.  Roman Emperor Claudius was a Etruscology’s expert, spoke the language and wrote an Etruscan history .The Medici  were very proud of being “Etruscans Princes”. Lorenzo the Magnificent and intellectuals around him often referred to Etruria. The “Chimera of Arezzo”, a work famous Etruscan, bronze found in excavations, was restored by Cellini and placed by Pope Leo X Medici in the Palazzo Vecchio.  It can be seen today at the Archaeological Museum of Florence.

Economically, agriculture, mineral resources, and trade were the three pillars of prosperity of the Etruscans. The Etruscans were one of the dominant trading powers of the Western Mediterranean, and their products, handicrafts and pottery in particular, have been found very far in Europe on the Black Sea and Carthage. From the eighth to the sixth century BC, the Etruscans developed agriculture in Chianti and introduced the cultivation of the vine. Etruscan wines were highly appreciated and exported throughout much of Europe, Greece, France and southern Italy. Thus became the renowned Chianti wine area today.

Artistically, the Etruscans demonstrated a brilliant originality, even though there is a clear influence of Greek art in Etruscan works, as trade between Greece and Etruria was very intense. Etruscans have left us, among others, decorations of tombs, paintings, sculptures, pottery or painted plates that give us a great idea of their intellectual and everyday life.  In particular, the murals in tombs or on pottery show that women Etruscans had a much freer status than Greek or Roman women. The archaeological museums of Florence, Volterra, Castellina in Chianti, close to Villa le Barone, testify of the wealth of Etruscan art.

The boutique hotel Villa le Barone is an ideal starting point to discover the Etruscan civilization in Chianti. At 15 minutes from the villa, you will find Castellina in Chianti with the “Tumulus of Montecalvario”, the tombs of the “Necropolis of Poggino” and an Archaeological Museum dedicated to Etruscan art. Also at 15 minutes from the Villa you can see the archaeological area of ​​”Poggio alla Croce” located in Radda in Chianti and, a little further, on the territory of Gaiole in Chianti there are the remains of Cetemura, discovered in 1964, and where the “Florida State University” conducts archaeological research for over 20 years.
The Archaeological Museum of Florence, at 45 minutes from  Villa Barone has a complete section on Etruscan art, and presents outstanding examples of animal sculptures in bronze and in particular the “Arezzo Chimera” (fifth-fourth century BC) . The Guarnacci Etruscan Museum, in Volterra, open since1761, is one of the best Etruscan museums in Italy. This is where Giacometti, the famous 20th century sculptor, found much inspiration for his own work.

You will find in the charming boutique Hotel Villa Le Barone itineraries to explore Chianti and Tuscany‘s Etruscan villages, as well as a number of books to read about this civilization which remains a mystery and so little known.

Vocal Master Classes in Tuscany

The boutique hotel Villa le Barone hosted many participants of the Vocal Master Classes given by Maestro Daniel Ferro in  Greve in Chianti,. Public concerts where held  in various Villas and churches. The dates for the next  Daniel Ferro Vocal Program in Tuscany are July 17 – August 7, 2013.

Villa le Barone has been proud to host many participants of the Vocal Master Classes in Tuscany given this summer by  Daniel Ferro, a famous  “bel canto” opera teacher. Daniel Ferro  has been teaching for more than 30 years at the Julliard School in New York  where he  still gives master Classes. The “Daniel Ferro Vocal Program” was created by him to provide an opportunity to talented artists from all parts of the world to study vocal technique in the idyllic setting of Tuscany”.  For its 18th year in Greve in Chianti, the Daniel Ferro  Vocal Program  headed an international faculty of 12 members (www.ferrovocalprogram.org ). Four public concerts have been held in Villa’s gardens or medieval churches and a large international public applauded arias of major operas from Mozart, Bellini, Puccini, Verdi and also arias from other composers such as Gerschwin, Kurt Weil, R Sills, and Granados. Private voice lessons also took place.
A number of guests of the vocal program, as part of, the travel component of the program Insider’s View of Tuscany, stayed at the boutique hotel Ville Le Barone. Guests participated in the Master Classes held by Maestro Daniel Ferro, attended Italian Language studies and joined the singers, faculty and guest artists for lunch before returning to Hotel Ville Le Barone for a dip in the pool or a relaxing siesta in the rose garden.
The program hosted an Art Exhibit by world-renowned artist Nissan Engel at the Museum San Francesco in Greve in Chianti.   Artwork from the Exhibit also was on display at our Villa.
The dates for the 2013 Daniel Ferro Vocal Program are July 17 – August 7, 2013.   Join the Vocal Master Classes in Tuscany as a student or as an Insider and choose to stay at Hotel Ville le Barone. You will enjoy Daniel and Joy Ferro’s conviviality and Villa le Barone’s hospitality!

Luxury holidays in Tuscany

Would you like to taste the pleasures of luxury holidays in Tuscany? Villa le Barone – a luxury hotel in Chianti, a lovely part of Tuscany – is there to greet you.

But what is a luxury hotel? Certainly, customer’s expectations for a luxury hotel differ across cultures and for each individual person. At Villa Barone, our criteria for luxury are: authenticity, attention to detail, beauty, service which is attentive but not obsequious, cuisine offering fresh and natural products, quiet and preserved environment. In summary, a natural luxury, a luxury in an elegant and discreet version.
Authenticity, because Villa le Barone is part of history: the history of the Larderel family, discoverers of geothermal energy in Tuscany in the 18th century, the history of the famous Della Robbia , a family of ceramists in the 15th century, the history of agriculture in Italy, with the patrician Villa and its “Fattoria”. Although completely renovated to provide modern comfort (including WiFi and Internet connections) Villa le Barone keeps the charm and elegance of a family house with its original furniture and paintings, its antiques, and objects witnessing the family past. The decoration is particularly well taken care of, with great attention to detail! Everywhere in the lounges, in the restaurant and in the bedrooms, fresh flowers from our gardens welcome every guest. Set on large grounds, Villa le Barone offers peace and tranquility, everyone can find a cosy nook to rest in front of the magnificent landscapes of Chianti. Beauty is everywhere: from the terraces, the pool, the tennis, the fitness trail, the views on the hills, vineyards, olive groves are unique. The tradition is also present in the typically Tuscan cuisine, prepared with fresh, natural and tasty products. The staff at Villa Barone is attentive to guest’s desires, helping them to discover this land where nature coexists with art and history and making their stay in this luxury hotel unique and unforgettable.