WHO WE ARE:

Villa Villoresi is a 3 star Hotel, in a historic residence, managed by a member of the family which owns the villa, with kind and qualified personnel who speak various languages, are capable of giving out useful information and who are willing to do their best to make the guest’s stay comfortable and pleasant.

Contact: Manager Cristina Villoresi

THE VILLA: Information and history:

Built as a fortress in the 12th century, the original structure consisted of a central courtyard with a Guelph tower and two lateral wings connected by a communication passage for the soldiers. The purpose of many of these constructions around Florence was to control the territory and to defend it against the very frequent enemy raids. This medieval part is still visible and functioning. In the courtyard you can see the cut tower, with access to the century-old underground cellar. The ancient open passage for the soldiers, supported by the arches, has been turned into a corridor connecting the bedrooms on the first floor, while in the lateral wings there are: dining rooms, a bar, a reception, a music room, a small conference’ room a library.

The first owners of the villa were the Della Tosa, a powerful family of the rich wool corporation, belonging to the Guelph party; in 1260 the Ghibelline factions, winners at Montaperti, set fire to the tower in order to scorn the family of the opposite faction. A claim for damages followed this episode, documented in the Annals of the Commune of Florence. Simone della Tosa recounts in his "croniche" that in 1364 "he had to rebuild the tower and the battlement of his villa in Colonnata", and thanks to this claim the villa has the oldest historic record amongst all the fortifications on the north side of the Arno River. The tower resisted until 1364 when the ordeal from Pisa, together with the English and German ones, conducted by “Acuto”, sacked and burned it again. From then the tower has remained cut short!

During the Renaissance Florence reached such economical, political and military power that it no longer feared its neighbours, and many structures of defence in the outskirts, such as this one, were transformed into country residences, enlarged, opened, embellished and enriched with gardens, parks and work of art. The purpose was to be able to enjoy the spaces with the new spirit of the time and also to demonstrate the power and the taste reached by certain families.

Over eight centuries only a few families have owned this villa: in 1579 it passed from the Della Tosa to the Manieri family, then afterwards to the Capponi, Pratellesi and Collini families, until the Villoresi family who are the actual owners. Each family has left evident traces of their taste and of the fashion of their times. The family chapel dates back to the 17th century. Here history and families events are mixed with legends, such as that which says that Gemma Donati, Dante's wife, found refuge here for a certain time, during the poet exile.


The Entrance Gallery

The Villa is registered as a National Monument for its historic, artistic, and architectonic importance.

In the sixties it was turned into a hotel, while keeping the structure and the pleasant elegance intact, so typical of noble Tuscan country villas.

The actual entrance Gallery, forty meters long, and originally a passage for horses, was entirely covered with murals by Alfredo Luzzi in 1829 who depicted Tuscan landscapes and Pharaonic symbols, as was fashionable after Napoleon's campaign in Egypt. This is the most original and extended examples of "retour d'Egypte" existing in Italy.


      
Temperas by B. Pinelli at Villa Villoresi

On the first floor, the old family dining room is entirely tempera painted by Bartolomeo Pinelli (1781-1835) with popular Roman scenes and games such as: the puppet theatre, the shepherds, bowls players, the tarantella, a peasant bringing a bear and trained dogs to exhibit at the fair. These are the only tempera paintings existing by this roman author, who is more famous for his prints. It seems that Pinelli painted the walls of the dining room as thanks for the hospitality received in this house at the beginning of the XIX century.                                              


The Renaissance Loggia

From this room, you reach the Renaissance Loggia, which overlooks the Italian garden, outlined by the box-trees, and full of roses, lemon and wild orange trees. It is the longest terrace in Tuscany, forty metres as the underneath entrance Gallery. Stone columns sustain the wooden roof, while the balustrade is decorated with terracotta pots containing geranium. It is linear and majestic.

Some of the most beautiful apartments, regarding their dimension, frescoes and antique decoration, open onto terrace. One is on grand floor; other rooms open onto the garden, onto the park or onto the medieval courtyard. In the ancient Arms rooms, there is now a restaurant, a bar, the library, and a meeting room, also used for small conferences and concerts.

The Villa is patronized by people from all round the world: tourists, business men, artists, scientists, or simple travellers. People who enjoy discovering traditions, and after touring in Florence or a working all day, want to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere, a dip in the swimming pool, and wholesome food which reflects the best of Tuscan cuisine, with salads from the vegetable garden all seasoned with the olive oil coming from the property. The city can be reached quickly, although the Villa remains far from the noise and the congestion of nearby Florence.


The Sculptor Antonio Berti with friends


Live concert at the Villa Villoresi


The sculptor Salvatore Cipolla

Many different events are organized at the Villa to make guestes stay as interesting and as pleasant as possible, for example:

1) The Hotel offers and puts suitable spaces in the villa at the disposal of Painters, Sculptors, Restorers, Musicians and Artists, who are travelling with their students and who wish to teach then, for a certain time, in a different country or city. This allows them to develop their activities with students of every age, free of charge, while they are staying in the Villa. 

2) When Writers and Authors wish to work in isolation for a long period of time in a peaceful place, we propose the large room in the tower, or another space with the equipment they need at a special rate-

3)  People of every age, from 6 to 16 persons, staying at the villa for over 7 nights , will have the possibility of learning different artistic techniques from great Florentine artisans directly in the villa, such as: design and painting techniques, Fresco, Tempera, Mosaic and Restoration,.

4) If requested by Academies, Museums, Cultural Institutes, Clubs and Associations, and with the cooperation of Travel Agents in different parts of the world and our own experts, Special Cultural Programs are organized at the Villa for small programmed groups, from 10 to 24 people, staying at the villa for 7 nights, who have a common interest in specific arguments. This will include Conferences, Concerts, Special Visits to private and public collections as well as excursions in the magnificent Tuscan countryside. 

5) Certain interesting and amusing Events, Visits and Excursions have been studied for those people who are travelling by themselves, for small groups of friends, just men or just women, couples or families, from 1 to 16 people, who are staying at the villa from 3 to 7 nights and who wish to dedicate a part of their time to something special.. Guests can decide to go by themselves with their own car, or with a guide, when they think it could be useful, or even a driver-guide! These itineraries include visits to private and public collections, excursions into the magnificent Tuscan countryside as well as the discovery of the world of Perfumes, Jewels, Music, High Fashion, and wine and food appreciation.!