The week I spent in Villa di Masseto in Tuscany seems like a dream now that I look back on it. It’s still a bit hard to believe that we were all really there. Some of my dear friends could not join us, for reasons of work and family and timing, etc, and I really missed them. But I had a wonderful time catching up with those who could come and also meeting some of Kevin’s friends.
Kevin and I picked this place because it was pretty close to Florence (~25 minutes by car) just north of Fiesole, it was big (10 bedrooms, olive groves, pool, four-story tower, a billiards room, etc), and it had a great balance of old and new (~500 year old buildings with original details but with fully renovated bathrooms and kitchens, yes multiple kitchens, and wifi). We didn’t know anything about the history of the villa or the family who was part of the Pazzi conspiracy, and that was a great surprise for us. I also had no idea that Valentina, the villa manager, and Patricia, the chef, would make our holiday so special. I feel lucky to have stayed at Villa di Masseto and I’m truly grateful for the experience we had.
Valentina told us about the Guadagni family who used to own the villa and how we’d see their family crest (cross with thorns) in various places, like in the kitchen, over the fire place, outside walls of the villa, etc. They used to own everything on this side of the mountain and the other side was owned by none other than the Medici family. After they unsuccessfully conspired with the Pazzis to take the Medici family down (more on that later), all of their property was confiscated and they were exiled. According to Valentina, this villa was given back to the Guadagni family eventually and remained in the family until the new owners bought and renovated the place.
Lynnie and my favorite room of the house. The big window let in a ton of gorgeous light and the view out to the rose garden and the pergola was just precious.
A downstairs living room where we often hung out as a group and the dining room set up for breakfast.
Since I can’t do a post without mentioning food.. This is a part of the huge breakfast spread Valentina had ready for us each morning, set up in front of a giant fire place (not pictured). Thanks to Peter for the photo…
I loved having my morning practice in “the tower” surrounded by Tuscan hills and valleys. Valentina explained that this was the oldest part of the house and needed to be completely rebuilt. My bedroom was in the tower, a level below this but above the second floor of the main house. I went up there each morning to watch the sun come up and over the mountains.
After one of the hottest and driest summers EVER in Tuscany, the week we spent there was relatively cool with a couple of cloudy days. Had it been a few degrees warmer I think we would have had more swimmers in the pool. I took full advantage of it however.
I didn’t take photos of any of the rooms (um, the master bedroom had a phenomenal tub IN the room) or the beautiful bathrooms or the huge fire places. But they were lovely and I hope I’ll remember all of them.
Below is Peter’s photo of the gorgeous stone stairs I took a dozen times a day as a short cut to my room on the third floor. We could never find each other in the villa because there were so many places to hide yourself away. But I could usually locate half the guys in “their” living room sitting in a semi-circle around fire place with what looked like a mini Apple store in front of them. The other half were either playing pool or carefully brewing coffee, but that’s another story for another day.
Here is one of Paula’s favorite spots where she sat often in deep contemplation… when she wasn’t plotting to win her next foosball match.
View from the second floor window by the guys’ living room.
It was an incredible place for us, so much more beautiful than I hoped for or imagined. It still seems like a dream…