At the tender age of 13, before finding his fortune in Hollywood, Salvatore Ferragamo was already the owner of a shoe shop near Napoli. Maria Beatrice, the wife of Salvatore’s son Leonardo and mother of four children, descends from an old aristocratic family with origins in Bologna. She is president of the Windows on Tuscany firm which was founded in 1986.
Well aware of the universal charm of Florence, the Ferragamo family decided to renovate and rent to the public many of the buildings in their property located in this city, dating back to the XIII and XVI centuries. Villa Le Rose is situated on one of Florence’s most beautiful hills, Certosa, near the monastery, where the roads leading to Pisa and Siena join one another. In the XV Century the property was a fortified farm. In the year 1487 a Tuscan gentleman of noble birth, Niccolò Antinori, bought the villa from the Rossi d’Oltrarno family who owned the hill and gave orders to his architect to transform it into a modern house with enough room to accommodate his family and friends. In the year 1600 a team of master artists and their students began work on a series of frescos for each room. Hunting scenes were designed for the dining room, elegant ones for the bedroom, landscapes in the Romanticism style for the lounges, Biblical and Mythological scenes for the other rooms. Aesthetically, the overall effect results pretty, clear and fresh: delicate pastel colours and subtle monochromes combined with crystal chandeliers.
After the Second World War John and Ernest Boissevain became owners of the property and with the help of both the Belle Arti of Florence and the talented architect Niccolò Rucellai, they returned the villa to its former splendor. Eventually they decided to put the property up for sale. Leonardo, who dreamt of owning a second home in Florence, bought the property and moved in with his wife and family. Last year Maria Beatrice’s sister Francesca, an interior designer, and her husband Carlo Ludovico were given responsibility for the restoration project that was to be undertaken with the help of their architectural studio, Archflorence, and of Bernardo Tori. The property totals 1250 squared metres divided over three floors: a unique example of XVIII Century architecture, the main floor contains almost exclusively the properties reception rooms. It is composed of a large ballroom, a lounge, a study, an elegant dining room, a library, a large bedroom with a four-poster bed and en-suite decorated with pastel coloured frescos. The first floor is composed of five bedrooms, each with an en-suite. The downstairs floor contains the Tuscan inspired kitchen with a fireplace and oven for baking bread. In the grounds there is also a swimming pool and Italian style garden ideated by the famous landscape architect Porcinai. The utmost refinement and attention to detail shown by Maria Beatrice Ferragamo make Ville Le Rose a wonderful residence for an enchanting stay.