The Della Robbia Family in Florence and Panzano in Chianti

February 23, 2018  |  Culture and Art, Florence, Tuscany  |  Comments Off on The Della Robbia Family in Florence and Panzano in Chianti

Panzano in Chianti -Pieve di San Leolino- Tabernacle by Giovanni Della Robbia

The Della Robbia Family, Florentine sculptors and ceramists, have left an important footprint in Tuscan Renaissance art. Their superb works, and in particular glazed terracotta, can be seen in Florence and many other places in Tuscany. There are two tabernacles in Panzano in Chianti, in the San Leolino church. Villa le Barone is a former Della Robbia property, now transformed in a boutique hotel and managed by their heirs.

Luca Della Robbia, born in early 15th century, was a sculptor at the beginning of his career, and one of his first work, “the Cantoria”, can be seen at the Museo del Duomo in Florence. But he soon invented and developed the superb technique of glazed terracotta, also called majolica, giving to his ceramics beautiful shiny colors that were resistant to outdoors conditions. His nephew Andrea worked in his workshop and took over it at his uncle’s death in 1482. Andrea’s sons Giovanni and Girolamo continued his work and added many new colors to the simple polychrome works that the Della Robbia Family had produced earlier. Color became their primary focus and sculpture took the second place. Their work became more and more realistic.

Panzano in Chianti -Pieve di San Leolino- Tabernacle by Giovanni Della Robbia

The Della Robbia’s workshop was a very successful enterprise that developed many types of glazed terracotta products: liturgical items, such as tabernacles, baptismal fonts, altars… but also works made for use in private homes. Works were commissioned or bought from stock. Molds enabled the workshop to replicate popular models with consistent quality, and also to vary them by adding details before firing. The Della Robbia had a catalogue, enabling them to sell not only in Florence but also all over Europe.

You can see many of the Della Robbia’s work in the Bargello museum In Florence, but also strolling through the city you will come across many of their public works on or in highly visible and significant buildings in the city, including the Cathedral, the church of Santa Croce, the exterior of San Michele, Santa Maria Novella square.

The San Leolino church in Panzano in Chianti, which you can admire from Villa le Barone’s gardens, holds two Giovanni Della Robbia tabernacles.

A charming Villa in the countryside near Florence, on the golf Ugolino

February 16, 2018  |  Tuscany  |  Comments Off on A charming Villa in the countryside near Florence, on the golf Ugolino

Tuscany Villa il Rough designed by Tomaso Buzzi, on the Ugolino Golf

Next to the Ugolino golf course, close to Florence, yet in the countryside, Villa il Rough is not a Villa like the traditional Tuscan villas. It is a charming Villa, built by Tomaso Buzzi, a famous architect, companion of Gio Ponti. Located in the middle of a large garden, looking on the Ugolino golf course, with all the comforts, it has 3 bedrooms, a large living room, a large dining room, an office, a semi underground basement. It can accommodate 6 to 7 people.

Villa Il Rough, in the municipality of Impruneta, is just 10 km (7.5 miles) from Florence, on the road from Florence to Siena (Statale 222). It is regularly served by a bus, for those who do not want to use their car to go to Florence.

This Villa is not a traditional Tuscan Villa, but it is full of charm and light. It was built for the Duchess Visconti by Tomaso Buzzi, a famous architect who was a companion of the famous Gio Ponti, both of the avant-garde magazine “Domus”.Tomaso Buzzi built the “Scarzuola” a fantastic place, a stone “folly” located in the countryside of Montegabbione, in the province of Terni, and that can still be visited.

Villa il Rough is a very bright house, open to the outside, with a beautiful terrace, a shady veranda where you can relax or dine. It has three double bedrooms, all tastefully decorated, each with its own bathroom. In the living room a sofa and two comfortable chairs are installed in front of the fireplace. The dining room, adjoining the fully equipped kitchen, is round like a pigeon loft. Notice the thatched roof covering this part of the Villa! There is also an office, with a sofa, where one can watch television.

Tuscany Villa il Rough on the Ugolino golf course the lounge

There is also a basement, opening on the back of the house, in which a large games and sports room has been installed, with a small bathroom.
Villa il Rough is located in a large garden with many flowers, olive trees, pines. A large oak welcomes the visitor.

To the north, there is a view of the Apennine Mountains, to the east on a beautiful Renaissance villa, to the west on the vineyards and olive groves, and to the south on the Chianti hills and golf greens. The Ugolino golf course, 18 holes, was founded in 1933 and was designed by two specialized British architects, Blandford and Gannon. This golf has a club house and a swimming pool and accepts visitors for “green fees”.

Villa Il Rough can be rented for a minimum of two weeks or more. The house is indeed ideal for golfers who also want to spend vacations in Tuscany, but also for people wishing to spend a sabbatical year in Tuscany, or coming to work there for a year or two.

For more information contact


Vecchienna an historical hamlet in Maremma

February 10, 2018  |  Tuscany  |  Comments Off on Vecchienna an historical hamlet in Maremma

Vecchienna Tuscany Maremma an ADSI property

Why not spend vacations in Vecchienna, in its Podere San Florestano/ Rosmarino and Ciclamino , a listed historic hamlet in “Maremma” in Tuscany, just between the provinces of Pisa, Grosetto and Siena? Maremma is still a little known part of Tuscany, with many natural reserves and parks as well as wonderful hilltops medieval villages, where you can practice and enjoy a lot of activities!

Vecchienna is a listed historic property, member of ADSI, the Italian Association of Historic Mansion. It has been built by François de Larderel, an early entrepreneur coming from France, and who designed the process to extract boric acid, that had many industrial uses at that time, from the fumes coming from the soil. He gave his name to a nearby city, Larderello, where a museum can be visited explaining the most interesting story of this geothermal energy region. Vecchienna, an 800 hectares estate just between the provinces of Pisa, Grosetto and Siena is mostly covered with forest (chestnuts, oaks, and pine trees), but it also produces extra virgin olive oil and raises free range cattle.

Views on the hills and sunsets are stupendous! It is at 35 minutes from the sea, where one can enjoy swimming, sailing and wind surf, and at 10 minutes Sasso Pisano offers a natural hot pool and a “biolake”. There are great hiking and cycling opportunities. But there is also a lot of small hilltops villages to discover such as Pomarance, Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina, Suvereto, and larger cities such as Massa Marittima or Livorno…The area was populated since the Etruscan times, and archaeology’s lovers will be able to visit the nearby Etruscan- Greek -Roman thermal baths, and on the sea shore, the Popolonia and Baratti National Archaeological Park.

Vecchienna Podere San Florestano Tuscany Maremma

And lovers of Italian cuisine can discover the specialties and wines of the Maremma in the many typical trattorias!
One former farm ( “Podere “ in Italian) belonging to Veccchienna, San Florestano, San Giuseppe and Ciclamino, has been restored and offers a wonderful possibility to spend amazing vacations, discovering astounding Maremma ! This Podere can host 15 people in 7 large bedrooms. The space can be divided in 2 units, hosting respectively 8 and 7 people, each one having its own large kitchen and its own loggia equipped to rest or eat outside watching the magnificent sunsets and the landscape.

There is a swimming pool. For more information contact

A short Easter break in Chianti

February 2, 2018  |  Chianti Holidays, Special Offers, Tuscany  |  Comments Off on A short Easter break in Chianti

Easter in Villa le Barone’s gardens Chianti Toscane

Why not take a short break to spend Easter in Chianti and discover some of the many Tuscan traditions to celebrate this important moment of the year: the special menu, the chocolate eggs, the “Colombina”, a custom that dates back to the time of the Crusades? You can enjoy all this while staying at Villa le Barone, and furthermore on Easter Monday you can stroll through the flea market taking place in Greve in Chianti.

At Easter you will savor in our restaurant the typical traditional dishes, in particular the leg of lamb, and for dessert “la Colomba”, a molded cake in the shape of a dove. In general, like the Christmas “Panettone”, the dough of the Easter dove is made of flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and butter, to which can be added candied fruit. The cake is usually sprinkled with almonds and pearl sugar. Delicious!
Of course, on Easter day, an egg hunt in the gardens of Villa le Barone is organized for the youngest … and on each table, at breakfast, our guests find a beautiful chocolate egg that they can enjoy when they wish.

Chocolate eggs at Easter in Villa le Barone’s gardens Chianti

And there is also the famous custom of the “Colombina” which is held in many Tuscan cities: Florence of course, but also Greve in Chianti, and Panzano: a terracotta dove is set on fire, it goes down a cable, explode, and must go back all along the cable: it will bring good luck to the city! All the local population is present to witness the event!

Finally, on Easter Monday, there is a flea market on Greve in Chianti’s triangular square and, under its arches or around Verrazzano’s statue, you will be able, perhaps, to find a treasure: painting, sculpture, lace, porcelain, or other piece of art!
After a grey winter, feel the spring’s sun and discover Tuscan Easter traditions in a charm boutique hotel in Chianti!

Quality has a price! Services have a price!

January 13, 2018  |  Chianti Holidays, Hotel, Tuscany  |  Comments Off on Quality has a price! Services have a price!

Chianti Villa le Barone An infinity heated pool with a view

Whenever we purchase a good or a service we all have an eye on the sales price. Normal! Hotel reservations are no exception to this, but we believe that sometimes things are getting out of hand!

We are seeing more and more often hotel offers from Online Tourism Agencies (OTA’s) highlighting just the price per day or the discount rate rather than comfort, amenities, location, services rendered, food quality, … to the point that we are asking ourselves: are potential Guests buying price or are they buying what makes for a successful holiday, that is quality and services?

At Villa le Barone we have chosen a conservatively clear view: do not make compromises with “quality, beauty and comfort” and establish prices which will enable us to carry on investing for continued “quality, beauty and comfort” over the years! Do we need a special communication strategy? Do we need branding effort? Do we need strategic planning? Should we go OTA crazy? … what we need, really, is to continue making our Guests happy by welcoming them in a warm, authentic Tuscan atmosphere, offering them modern comfort in a beauteous internal and external setting and surrounding them with an attentive, not over present service.

Villa le Barone Chianti an historic Villa

Should we remind that all rooms are different, with period furniture and fresh fabrics from renowned manufacturers and that they are equipped with mini bar, air conditioning, Wi Fi and internet connection, safe, SAT TV (on free of charge request)?

Should we repeat that we are surrounded by several acres of land and rose and olive tree planted gardens where a heated, salt water, infinity pool in travertine marble as well as a smaller one to sunbathe in are a continuous temptation?

Tennis court, ping pong table, fitness centre and fitness trail are there just in case you might want to work up a very special appetite for evening dinner where three courses of different Tuscan specialties, often cooked with our own staple products, are served every night together with local Chianti wines.

Need a soft drink while at the pool? Need a whiskey before dinner? Need a Grappa after dinner? … two honor bars make you feel really at home while you pour yourself what makes you happy.

Would you really rather have a 47.79$ discount … or all of the above packaged with the friendly smile of the ladies at the Reception?
It’s for you to choose!