Do you want to win a free week end in Chianti, Tuscany? Then come to Villa le Barone and take part in its yearly photo contest!
This year Andrew Hornig, UK, and Malin Mared, Sweden, won the 2 first prizes of the 2015 contest, and 10 other competitors won 1 bottle of Chianti Classico. Jury members were from all parts of the world!
Andrew Hornig, UK, won 2 free nights at Villa le Barone. The Jury members found his pictures technically superb, with lovely captures of architecture, nature, and people enjoying life in Chianti and Tuscany! Malin Mared, Sweden, won one night, with great panoramic shots of the Chianti and of Villa le Barone with perfect composition and lighting.
10 other guests in 2015 won a bottle of Chianti:
Carla Holloway captured very well the spirit of the Villa with shots of the interiors as well as the surroundings. Marie Nakasawa highlighted some of Villa le Barone and Tuscany’s vibrant and active wildlife. Melissa Goldsmith captured many different aspects of the Villa: a single flower, landscape, interiors. John Dempster highlighted small things contributing so much to the atmosphere of the place: an open door, a bottle of wine, a flickering candle. Barrie Duffield gave an ambience of magical Tuscany. Mary Bing brought out extremely well the charm of Chianti in autumn. Charlie Hargraves highlighted the links between manmade and the natural world: a vine snaking its way along the roof, a bench amidst the foliage, a wall bisecting a green field. Michelle Bunch had interesting shots of Tuscan life: scooters, doors, musician… Joe Galea with its “ smile in the dining room” , the best captured impromptu shot, the happiness of the surprised client who looks at the tarte with the birth day candle.., the friendliness of the staff… at the Restaurant in Le Barone, Andy Fitzjohn sent a beautiful picture of the butterfly and of the pool trough an olive tree. Sanvi and Gourang Agrawal sent pictures of superb sunsets.
Jury members were:
Angélique Droessaert, photographer, www.adartphoto.com, Blanche de Crepy , Directrice, Tectona, www.tectona.net, Isabelle de Tavernost , photographer, Justin and Christine Fields, winner of the 2014 competition, Robin Calderon , Painter, robincalderon.com.
The photo contest is also taking place in 2016!
It was a great birthday party in Panzano in Chianti that we had to celebrate Villa le Barone’s 40 Anniversary!
Almost 150 people: Guests of the hotel, friends, relatives, suppliers and, of course, past and present staff, participated in this event! Look on You Tube to hear extracts of interviews made on this occasion!
Not every day a boutique hotel turns 40 and all of Villa le Barone’s team has passionately prepared this event. Lawns were perfectly mowed by Artim and Nderim, Amira created beautiful bouquets that adorned the several terrace buffet tables, Giulia and Francesca prepared the renowned «cocktail Villa le Barone” and laid out the food and drinks, Elena e Vera helped with the service and our Chef Alessio, together with Tommaso, cooked ribolitta, prepared all kinds of crostini and bruschetta but especially baked a one square meter beautiful fruit puff pastry pie with the 40 candles on it. For once our maids Mirella, Lucia, Anna, Dritta, Xhyhere took part in the event as Guests after their work time in the morning! Rina and Stefania supervised the preparation, Magali was on duty at the reception and came out once in a while, and Barbara happily interrupted her day off to join the party!
During the cocktail, a guitar and flute duo organized by Anna Roos, Spazio Lirico, Greve in Chianti charmed the participants with several Italian music pieces!
Interviews were conducted by two young journalists who asked Guests “What is Villa Barone for you? The several answers, using different languages, expressions and words, were in essence the same: “Villa le Barone is beauty, harmony, tranquility, a family home open to friends”. Watch on YouTube!
All our guests left with a small present, a deliciously scented wax tablet to perfume cabinets and cupboards, specially prepared and offered by “L’Officina de Tornabuoni (ODT),” an ancient Florentine perfume and beauty products family craftsman which products we use at Villa Barone.
The party is now over, but beauty, tranquility and serenity remain at Villa Barone for you to enjoy a deserved vacation to relax, unwind and set your soul free!!!
40 years, this is a marvelous birthday: Villa le Barone, a historic patrician home in Chianti, property of the heirs of the Della Robbia family, opened 40 years ago as a charm boutique hotel, faithful to its original family values: hospitality, elegance, refinement and “buon gusto”
For centuries Villa le Barone operated as a farm under the supervision of a “Fattore” with about 200 workers to tend a variety of crops. After the First World War, Marie Blanche Viviani Della Robbia transformed the property into a modern estate, but he Second World War brought new social and technological changes. In the seventies, the daughter of Marie Blanche, Duchess Franca Visconti decided to respond to the emerging tourism trends in the Chianti region and to open the Villa to Guests. In June 1976 the first 9 rooms with 4 bathrooms were made available and the spirit of Villa le Barone was set: a stylish old family house open to friends. Villa le Barone grew over the years, with a pool, a tennis, a restaurant. The story of this transformation has been told in a book published for the 30th birthday of the Villa, “A Hotel in Chianti: the Renaissance of a Tuscan Farm”.
Franca Visconti wished Villa le Barone to remain in the family. Corso and Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel are now the proud custodians of this wonderful place with the aim to continue the tradition of sharing the house and its Tuscan hospitality until the next generation is ready to take over.
Today Villa le Barone has 28 rooms (and 28 bathrooms! :=)))); the spirit of Villa le Barone, elegance, hospitality, charm, attention to detail, has been maintained but the new modern technologies have been installed: air conditioning, Wi-Fi, fitness room, fitness trail! Rina Bonamici has been the manageress since the opening of the Villa, and still comes a few days a week. Some of the staff are there for the last 25 years or more, and all together we are happy to welcome Guests from all parts of the world.
Firmly anchored in tradition, alert and well adapted to the present, Villa le Barone is eagerly looking forward to the future! Happy 40th birthday Villa le Barone, as a leading boutique hotel in Chianti.
Are you a bicycle fan? Do you want to cycle in Chianti and at the same time watch the “Giro d’Italia” (Italy’s Cycling Tour), one of the great yearly cycling event?
Then, Hear, Hear! On Sunday May 15th, the 9th lap of the race (chronometer event) will start in Greve in Chianti to finish in Radda through a loop including San Donato in Poggio. The race will go through Panzano in Chianti, just a mile away from Hotel Villa le Barone. Be sure to share in the excitement by booking a room with us and being there on Sunday morning to cheer your favorite racer!
2016’s is the 99th Giro d’Italia, almost a century of racing on difficult and often very long laps all across the Italian regions. The Giro declares itself as “the toughest race in the world in the most beautiful country in the world”. This year’s Giro will be 3 383 Km. long, divided in 21 laps; it will start from Apeldoorn in Holland and finish in Torino Italy. The leader of the overall classification is identified by a pink jersey, the color pink beeing chosen because the newspaper “La Gazzetta dello Sport” that created the Giro to boost its sales at the expenses of the Corriere della Sera, was printed on pink paper.
There will be quite a big show, a wonderful “fiesta” in Panzano in Chianti, with Dario Cecchini’s celebrating the event with his horn, and Chianti Classico flowing abundantly!
And after having enjoyed the event, you can enjoy cycling in Chianti yourself, following one of the itineraries that Hotel Villa le Barone has prepared for you!
The Christmas Crib , staging the nativity scene, however small (fits in a hand) or large (human size), is a very fundamental part of the Italian Christmas. As important are the Christmas meals, which cannot happen without Panettone, the Italian traditional Christmas cake.
It is in 1223 that St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order in the 13th century, has created the first staging of the Nativity with the setting up of the “Christmas Crib” (in Italian “Presepio”) to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with the Holy Family and the Child Jesus in the manger, inside a barn or a cave. Gradually, the on looking visitors (shepherds, angels, Magi Kings) and animals (ox, donkey, sheep and camels) were added and surrounded the Child Jesus in his trough, its cradle or on straw. All cities and churches of Italy compete to create the most beautiful crib, the most suggestive, the most realistic and the most original, with characters in wood, wax, cardboard, earthenware and even glass. Some cribs are animated, The Neapolitan cribs are particularly known and respect stringent traditional setting up criteria! Many families also have also their own crib at home which comes out of the cupboards this time of the year.
But Christmas is also a family gathering, the occasion to have a delicious meal, always including traditional Italian Christmas cakes amongst which the most famous is “Panettone”, a brioche stuffed with raisins, candied fruits and citrus zest, eaten for breakfast or, after the meal, with sweet wine.
Traditions are essential and Christmas traditions are still very strong in Italy, with the Crib and the “Panettone”!