Villa le Barone: a story to tell…
It is sometimes said that the walls have ears. This is not quite right: there is much more than that. The walls have a past, a story, a life that is emerging thanks to the men who build them and embellish them and live a life that varies with the seasons.
It is this story that I’m here to tell you my story, the life of the Villa Barone, now charming historic hotel in the heart of Chianti. Centuries ago I am standing proudly atop a hill of Chianti, Panzano, at the border that once separated two rival cities, Florence and Siena.
I was a square tower, citadel careful confrontations happening around me. In the 15th century, I am transformed and become a farm and summer residence of the famous Della Robbia sculptors and ceramists, thus linking my story to that of the Renaissance. My tower loses a little high, I become bigger and typical Tuscan farmhouses are built on my property.
The church of San Leolino on a tract of the “Francesina” pilgrimage route from France to Rome, watches over me.
With Marchioness Maria Bianca Viviani Della Robbia, a descendant of Francois Larderel, I know a significant change at the end of the First World War. Streamlined, restored, I produce Chianti wine, wheat, olive oil …
But agriculture is changing again and, in 1971 after the death of the Marchioness , her daughter Duchess Franca Visconti, makes me take another route: under his leadership, I become Charming accommodation in Chianti. Guests are finding in Villa le Barone a family atmosphere, in the calm and serenity of green Tuscan hills. After the death of Franca Visconti, his heirs and Jacqueline Aloisi de Corso Larderel, continue to improve, anxious to protect my environment, while providing comfort and well-being to my guests and maintaining authenticity and conviviality. Swimming pool, tennis court and terraces for lunch or dinner, are fully integrated in the landscape.
So every day I write my story, surrounded by flowers, lulled by the chirping of birds, and, all around me I can admire the beautiful hills covered with cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves that shape the Tuscan countryside. My life through the seasons, the life of the Villa Barone, is rich in encounters, stories of my guests who have succumbed to the lifestyle of Chianti. I read the story being written every day under my eyes and it is this history, these stories I’ll share with you over the months, through this Blog.