A serene and peaceful retreat in Chianti, similar to the “Shangri-La”!

A serene retreat  Villa le Barone in Chianti
A serene retreat Villa le Barone in Chianti

Don’t you dream of a serene and peaceful retreat, similar to the “Shangri-La” as described in James Hilton’s book and in Frank Capra’ old movie “Lost Horizon”? Indeed Chianti is a peaceful and serene place to be, a permanently happy and idyllic land, with wonderful hotel to enjoy this earthly paradise.

Do you know or remember the old (very old) movie, a film made by Frank Capra in the thirties (novel written by James Hilton) under the name of “Lost Horizon” describing “Shangri–La”: a group of people is fleeing a country in the far east caught into some kind of revolution, they manage to get into a DC-3 and take off in the direction (they hope!) of Hong Kong. Midflight, the plane changes course with the pilot locking himself up in the cockpit and the plane heads for the Himalayas. Caught in a storm at dusk, the plane hits the mountain, but both plane and passengers are sturdy and while the former doesn’t blow up, the latter are all unhurt. While the blizzard growls around them, some torches are to be seen through the windowpanes and a caravan of Asians (their leader speaking Oxford English) comes to rescue them. Protected by heavy fur coats and hats (the female actress has a very fitting one that looks like coming out of fifth avenue) rescuers and rescued head down the mountain through snow, blizzard, rocks, small bridges above unfathomable ravines, then through a tunnel dug under the mountain to find, on the other side of it, a sunny, warm, spring weathered, cherry blossomed valley where stands a beautiful lamasery (it looks more like a five star Palace hotel!).

A peaceful retreat Villa le Barone in Chianti
A peaceful retreat Villa le Barone in Chianti


Inside the premises while the travelers get their rooms allocated, their leader tells the Oxford man: «I have a question, where are we?”,( it is not “what is the Wi-Fi code”, usually the first question that our guests ask!) , and the answer the answer to the question is: “We are in “Shangri-La”  a permanently happy land of eternal spring, isolated from the strife of the outside world where people become almost immortal, living years beyond the normal lifespan and only very slowly aging in appearance”.

Indeed wouldn’t it be nice to find a beautiful and serene place where to forget world strife, live and get around safely all hours of day and night, living while being sure that one’s activities do not hurt the environment in any way, eating and drinking selected biological healthy food, have one’s wishes responded to quickly and with a smile by yellow clad maids … a place where the only risks would be to get lost on a small road amongst the olive and vine roads of Chianti, or to feel in urgent need of a “siesta” after a bottle of Chianti Classico …. May be we should rename Villa le Barone, our serene and peaceful retreat, Villa Shangri-La!