The Stibbert museum in Florence

April 28, 2018  |  Culture and Art, Florence  |  Comments Off on The Stibbert museum in Florence

Banquet in the 19th century Exhibition Stibbert museum Florence Italy

The Stibbert Museum in Florence has to be visited, with its unique and extraordinary collection of armors and weapons from the 15th to the 19th century. A temporary exhibition on banquets, from the Renaissance to the 20th century is currently on display. A stay in the Palazzo Larderel Via Tornabuoni in Florence is the ideal occasion to make this exceptional visit.

The Stibbert Museum in Florence has been created in the late 19th century by Frédérick Stibbert, an Anglo Italian collector of European and Japanese armors and weapons. You can also visit his apartment, as it was in the 19th century, with its furniture, its paintings, its tableware … And of course, his collection , so original , of armors and weapons: caparisoned horses, cuirasses, helmets, shields, swords… One can even admire the exceptional costume worn by Napoleon at his coronation as King of Italy in Milan in 1805: a green attire, with beautiful embroidered patterns palms, laurels and bees, ears of wheat, oak leaves … The pair of shoes worn by Napoleon during this ceremony is also presented.

Banquet in the 17th century Stibbert museum Florence Italy

Currently, the Stibbert Museum presents a temporary exhibition on “banquets”, from the Renaissance until the 20th century, « Conviti e Banchetti ».Since the Renaissance, to celebrate special occasions such as victories, weddings, or other exceptional events, the best architects and artists were called to prepare the decor of those sumptuous feasts. The Italian princely families called upon all their talents to create decorations that we can still admire in certain paintings of the Renaissance. The artists were always competing with new types of dishes and tableware, while the cooks were racing with the sculptors to prepare meals and dishes with wonderful appearance!

And, after this fascinating visit of the museum, you can go for a walk in the romantic English garden, with its temples, fountains, caves, and return to the Palazzo Larderel to relax on the terrace.

Art in Villa le Barone: Arno Boueilh’s exhibition

April 20, 2018  |  Culture and Art, Hotel  |  Comments Off on Art in Villa le Barone: Arno Boueilh’s exhibition

Arno Boueilh exhibition at Villa le Barone

Art is everywhere at Hotel Villa le Barone with 18th and 19th century paintings and authentic furniture in the lounges and bedrooms. But this year one of the lounges is transformed into Art Gallery with the exhibition of Arno Boueilh until August 30, 2018.

Whether in the rooms or in the lounges, the hosts of Villa le Barone, who has kept the charm of a family home, are indeed surrounded by portraits of ancestors, original paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, and others This is a unique place to stay … The landscapes of Chianti around the Villa are also real paintings, which inspired so many painters!

And this year one of the salons of Villa le Barone becomes Art Gallery with the exhibition of paintings by Arno Boueilh until August 30, 2018. Arno Boueilh is a young French painter, former student of Pierre Gilou, who shares his life between Naples and Paris. After a degree in Fine Arts at Paris I University, he joined the Beaux-Arts in Paris (Ensb-A) and Art-Décos in Paris (Ensad). When he left the Arts Déco, he decided to devote himself entirely to painting.

Arno Boueilh exhibition at Hotel Villa le Barone

Arno has won numerous awards in France and Italy, including the most recent in 2017 from the André and Berthe Noufflard Foundation. He has exhibited in various Art Galleries in France in Paris and in the provinces, as well as in Italy.

Hotel Villa le Barone is pleased to honor the works of the painter Arno Boueilh to the delight of his guests!

Panzano in Chianti, a charming medieval Tuscan village

March 31, 2018  |  Chianti Holidays, Culture and Art, Tuscany  |  Comments Off on Panzano in Chianti, a charming medieval Tuscan village

Panzano in Chianti: San Leolino church viewed from Villa le Barone

Panzano in Chianti, a charming Tuscan medieval village located exactly between Florence and Siena, must be discovered, with its churches, its vineyards and cellars, its market, its typical shops, its festivals, its craftsmen, its protected environment and the beauty of its landscapes. Panzano is located in the heart of the “Chianti Classico”, with famous producers of these wines known around the world.

Coming from Florence, after crossing Greve in Chianti, the road to Panzano rises slowly in the countryside, offering beautiful perspectives on the Chianti hills, olive groves and vineyards … and then it’s the arrival on the main square, Piazza Bucciarelli, with its shops, restaurants, bar, florist, fountain … Every Sunday the market takes place on this square. This is where one can find fruits and vegetables, cheeses, roast chicken, kitchenware… Every first Sunday of the month, the market (then called “aprilante”) is enriched by the presence of artisans who offer their products. The small street, to the right of the square, lined with old houses, rises towards the center of Panzano, the castle and towards the church of Santa Maria Assunta, completely rebuilt in the 19th century on the site of the old medieval church. On the left of the square, a small street, with the indication Barone, rises slowly, bordered on the left by the houses painted in white and red stripes where the famous butcher Dario Cecchini operates. You can enter the butcher shop, drink a glass of Chianti and take part in the friendly atmosphere of the shop.

Continuing along this street, you can see Mr Papini’s shop on the right, where you will find seeds, bedding plants, fertilizers … and everything for the garden. The cave of Ali Baba! Continue straight, turn right towards Hotel Villa le Barone at one kilometer. You can enter and discover the beautiful gardens! Continue a little further, you find an oratory and following the dirt road on the right, the beautiful Romanesque church Pieve di San Leolino, to which a porch was added in the 16th century. Do not miss the magnificent tabernacles of Andrea Della Robbia, and the paintings of the 16th century. Feel also free to push the door on the right after the baptismal font leading to the adjacent small cloister. What a charm! If you go back on the SS 222 road and continue towards Siena, on the right you will find the indication of the Oratory of Sant’ Eufrosino, with the spring near which the Saint who evangelized the Chianti lived.

Panzano in Chianti: Dario Cecchini’s butcher shop

Festivals and events are numerous in Panzano in Chianti, and in particular the feast of the “Buona stagione” on April 25, that of the “Colombina” at Easter, the wine festival “Vino al Vino” in September…. Moreover, Panzano is located in the heart of the “Chianti Classico” region, where wines known worldwide are produced. You can visit many cellars and enjoy delicious wine tastings: Le Fonti, Molino di Grace, Fontodi and Castello di Rampolla … to name only a few.

One cannot be tired of admiring the protected environment and the wonderful landscapes that surround this charming typical medieval Tuscan village, Panzano in Chianti.

2018: Year of Italian food: a fabulous gastronomic and wine heritage

March 16, 2018  |  Culture and Art, Food & Wine  |  Comments Off on 2018: Year of Italian food: a fabulous gastronomic and wine heritage

Italian food market

Did you know? 2018 will be the year of Italian food, celebrating the Italian gastronomic and wine heritage and the links between gastronomy, landscape, art and culture.

However, the term “Italian food” is too generic! It is much richer and diverse, although for many non-Italians pasta, risotto or pizza are synonymous with Italian cuisine. In fact there are many types of Italian food, as many as regions!

Food and wine are two pillars of the Tuscan culture. Inherited from rural tradition, it is made of simple products: locally sourced, fresh, seasonal and tasty, such as tomato, eggplant, peppers, beans with regard to vegetables, beef, wild boar, rabbit, chicken, with regard to meat. Everything is cooked with locally produced extra virgin olive oil… With these dishes, simple but tasty, accompanied by exquisite wines, and especially the Chianti Classico, you taste Tuscany!

And Villa le Barone serves traditional Tuscan food, prepared, with local fresh products by our Tuscan cooks. The extra virgin olive oil, with ecolabel, comes either from the olive grove of Villa le Barone, or that of our farm in Maremma. Beef, also eco-certified, comes from our breeding free limousines cows… and in July, August, and September, tomatoes so tasty also come from our farm.

Buffet of appetizers at Villa le Barone

The dinner menu is a typical Italian menu. First, the traditional antipasti buffet to whet your appetite, with various regional charcuteries, colorful salads, marinated or dried vegetables… Then a “primo” (different kinds of pasta prepared in various ways, or risotto, or soups such as the Ribollita), then a “secondo”, meat or poultry or “bistecca alla Fiorentina”, or a vegetarian dish, finally dessert, with a choice of ice cream or homemade sherbet. You can eat as much cheese and fruit as you wish on the buffet…

The candlelight dinner is served in the restaurant or if the weather permits on the terrace in the greenery!

The famous composer Gioacchino Rossini has written: “An Italian meal is like an opera!” Come in Tuscany and celebrate Italian food and gastronomy, and at the same time relax and immerse yourself in the beauty of Chianti at Villa le Barone!

The art of hard stones in Florence and in Tuscany

March 2, 2018  |  Culture and Art, Florence, Toscane  |  Comments Off on The art of hard stones in Florence and in Tuscany

Tuscany Florence Opificio delle Pietre Dure Table in hard stones

The art of hard stones (Pietre Dure), dates back to the 16th century, and was developed in Florence and Tuscany under the impetus of the Medici family. Today the fascinating but unfortunately too little known Museum of the Opificio Delle Pietre Dure presents the history and the techniques used for this “Art of Stone painting” as well as examples of these art works.

The art of hard stones is to use semi-precious stones of different colors, finely polished, cut and adjusted, to create images, as in marquetry but using minerals instead of wood. The pieces of stone are glued piece by piece on a support to form tables, decorative panels, cabinets … “Stone painting”, such was the name of this technique, able, as painting, to represent the most varied subjects: geometric drawings, landscapes, flowers, birds…

Toscane Villa le Barone A lounge with an antique cabinet in hard stones

The art of hard stones was inspired by the ancient Roman “opus sectile”, a technique where marble and other stones with geometrical and figurative designs were cut and inlaid in the the floors and walls of Roman buildings. However, it was in the 16th century that the art of art stones developed, first in Rome and then in Florence, where the Medici gave it its full dimension. The Grand Duke Ferdinand I of Medici, who in 1588 created a factory specializing, specializing in the cutting and intaglio of hard stones, and that remained active for more than three centuries which has now become the “Museum of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure “, a small but unique museum in that it traces the history of a fascinating aspect of this Florentine art. In the entrance courtyard of the museum you can still see the stones that Ferdinand I had brought from Tuscany, Sicily, but also from many other countries known then, Bohemia, Persia, India … On the ground floor, one can admire the different aspects of this art from the 16th to the 19th century, and on the first floor, the hundreds of samples of semi-precious stones, and the superb workbenches used to cut, carve, polish the different pieces that will compose the tables, paintings, cabinets.

We are happy to have in one of the lounges at Villa le Barone a hard stone cabinet from the 17th century, secret cabinet that was used to hide the silver coins! And during your stay in Tuscany, visit the Museum of Opificio Delle Pietre Dure. (www.opificiodellepietredure.it)