August 18th, 2014

Tuscan Dream

Last night I returned from a couple of weeks in Italy where I walked, looked and photographed more than I have done in a long time. It was a wonderful holiday, especially as I managed to spend some time in “interior designer heaven” (now that my boys are teenage). The first hotel was nice, but the second was amazing and if only all Monday mornings could begin like this…

Villa La Massa

Villa La Massa, Near Florence, Italy

… walking up the driveway to Villa La Massa, a 16th Century estate sitting on the banks of the Arno River on 22 acres full of lemon trees and olive groves. I loved it, beautifully decorated, in a refreshing way that didn’t slavishly follow the predictable formula for a boutique hotel. The concierge mentioned that the hotel had been fully refurbished by a group of 3 architects from Florence, since it became part of the Villa D’Este Group in 1998. Some of the rooms take inspiration from original frescoes uncovered on the ceilings, others from the green/ochre and terracotta hues of the Tuscan countryside – all have a feeling of authenticity and originality with the most incredible attention to detail which sent me into a photographing frenzy.

Gardens  to the rear of Villa La Massa

Gardens to the rear of Villa La Massa

 

This scheme took inspiration from the original fresco uncovered on the ceiling

This scheme took inspiration from the original fresco uncovered on the ceiling

 

Villa La Massa

Original fresco uncovered on the ceiling

 

Villa La Massa

Ceiling and pelmet details with the colours echoing the view from the window

 

from bedroom villa la massa

View from the bedroom window…

 

Ceiling detail Villa La Massa

… and in my room

This was the tea room for that afternoon caffeine dip, after lots of exhausting lounging by the pool, including the lovely touch of some fashion illustrations for Italian gentlemen on the wall.

The tea room, Villa La Massa

The tea room, Villa La Massa

Followed by the library where I loved the contrast between the contemporary artwork and traditional Italian upholstery.

The library, Villa La Massa

The library, Villa La Massa

Finally the lower ground floor housed a perfect gym, spa and aqua room, again with the original touch of these great paintings below.

The spa, Villa La Massa

The spa, Villa La Massa

imags spa, Villa La Massa

If you needed to work off all that lounging, spa time and pasta, there was the fitness trail!

Fitness Trail  Villa La Massa

The afternoon and the next couple of days were spent re-exploring nearby Florence, crazily busy as it was August, but wonderful nonetheless!

Florence

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