Villa Le Rose, another jewel in the property portfolio of the Ferragamo family, combines the elegance and art of the past with the technology of today.
by Mario de Castro
photo credits: Jean-Marie del Moral
Maria Beatrice Ferragamo discovered Villa La Rose during a stroll in the surroundings of Florence. It was built in the XV Century and is situated on the edge of the beautiful Chianti region. Maria Beatrice, married to Leonardo Ferragamo, President of the Ferragamo hotel chain, is herself President of Windows on Tuscany, a company specialized in the restoration and rental of historical properties. She is known for her ability to spot things of value and fell in love with this magnificent Villa. Notwithstanding the lack of documental evidence the property is thought to have been a walled manor farm around the 1400 period. It was Nicolò Antinori who decorated the villa, hundreds of years later, with the first frescos depicting hunting, landscape, biblical and mythological scenes. A line of cypress trees lead down to the Villa which is located on the peak of a rolling hill. The buildings exterior gives an idea of perfect harmony with the careful use of lines and angles, arches and drops, thanks to the joint efforts of a dedicated team of restorers, even if their work did span across several eras. The first restoration was undertaken in 1960, when a couple of American architects put their hearts and souls into the project with the aim of restoring the property to its former glory.
Recently, Francesca Poccianti (Beatrice’s sister) and Bernardo Toti have completed a flawless restoration to finally bring the project to an end. The Villa totals 1,250 squared metres divided over three floors. The second floor is extraordinarily beautiful and contains the main entrance, living room, dancehall, dining room and library. It provides a classic example of what is was like to live in the XVIII Century but with the comforts of technology of the third millennium, such as air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. The main floor contains a luxurious double bedroom with a four-poster bed, a work of art in its own right as a result of the frescos decorating the walls and the ceiling and a bath made out of black marble in the en-suite. There are a further 5 bedrooms, all with private bathrooms on the upstairs floor. In keeping with the habits of the period the utility rooms, pantry and kitchen are all on the ground floor. Here one perceives a real Tuscan spirit thanks to the nature of the furnishings which include fireplaces and a pizza oven.
The gardens, which have been ideated by the famous landscape architect Porcinai, also contain a private swimming pool. A real dream.