Friday, November 5, 2010

The Romantic Villa of Vignamaggio, Mona Lisa's Birthplace

Towards the end of our visit with our son in Florence, we ventured into the countryside and spent the night at Vignamaggio in Greve, a 15th Century villa.

We had high expectations about Vignamaggio, and we were not disappointed. In fact, we were just blown away.
After all, Mona Lisa was born here. Leonardo da Vinci painted her portrait here.
And the movie Much Ado About Nothing was filmed here. It had a lot to live up to!

The light was fading when we arrived and the sun's rays were casting a lovely glow on everything. I was in heaven with my camera.

We walked around the grounds photographing the incredible gardens, villa and landscape.

The villa with it's rosy exterior. It was restored in the 90's after being covered with ivy for over 200 years.

The villa as seen from the garden.

I couldn't help fantasizing about a wedding here someday. After all, we have three single grown children. I'm hoping it's Alex. Perhaps he'll meet a nice Italian girl......!

We spent well over an hour just walking the grounds. Everywhere we looked was a photo opportunity!

Eventually, we went inside and had a glass of Vignamaggio chianti. It was ridiculously delicious! After all, they have been making wine here for over 600 years! Oh, how I wish I had those glasses as a souvenir!

Our room was just off this second floor loggia. We practically had the whole villa to ourselves as it is off season. The price definitely reflected that.

Looking down from the balcony to an interior courtyard.
We wondered what life was like here back in the 15th Century. It seems like not much has changed since then.

The interior balcony at night.

Our room with the heavy beamed ceiling and terra cotta floors, just off the loggia as seen below.

Photo of our loggia from the book we bought before we left. Our room is on the left.

Although most of the text is in Italian, there is a lot of information about the history of the villa, Mona Lisa and even the chianti wine district. And the photos are gorgeous. Better than mine!

I learned that Leonardo da Vinci lived close by and probably was a frequent visitor. It is said he and Mona Lisa were lovers!

Notice the background? I never had before either, but apparently it is the vista from a window of the villa.

Kenneth Branagh said "There is a wonderful sense of peace in Chianti" when explaining why he chose the site for his film Much Ado About Nothing. "There is a lovely sense of being out of time. And the villa literally wrapped itself around the film."

I am anxious to rent the move and relive our time at Vignamaggio!

Be sure to check out their website here. I highly recommend a visit in the late fall when it is off season. The room was only 170 Euros. Otherwise, it would rent for 400 Euro in peak season.
An incredible breakfast was included!

I'm linking this post to Laurie at Bargain Hunting With Laurie for "Favorite Things." Staying at Vignamaggio was definitely one of my favorite things ever.
Maybe a "once in a lifetime" experience!

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Lori E said...

Aaaaaarrrrgggghhh. You are living my dream. That is exactly where I want to go. Greve in the fall for the Chianti festival, first weekend in September.
I will get there, I will get there, I get the picture.
Every time I see photos of the area I am more sure that I must be Italian and not French as all my research has said.
Thanks for sharing these. I will commit them to memory and think about my trip one day.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

What a beautiful place! I have really enjoyed your sharing your trip with us.
Enjoy your weekend.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

What a beautiful place, Delores. Breathtaking photos. That would be the perfect place for a wedding.

a quiet life said...

what a fantastic property, and your lighting is magical, that soft rosy glow, the warmth of italy comes straight thru. gorgeous!

Jacqueline said...

Absolutely gorgeous. We had the chance to stay in a private villa in Tuscany and it looked really similar on the inside to this. This brought back such wonderful memories. Your photos are gorgeous.

Did you get my last comment. You won on Designs by Gollum, she announced you were the winner of the Kitchenaid just yesterday!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Absolutely stunning photos. Italy is my ultimate vacation - can't wait to go.

I absolutely love the shot you got peeking through the trees (under you mention dreaming of a future wedding there). Gorgeous!!


Blondie's Journal said...

This is a great post~I feel like I have been to the villa!! So glad you had a wonderful time and perhaps there WILL be a wedding there!! ;-D


Sarah said...

Delores, the views in this post are stunning. I agree, a wedding at the villa would be magical. I've saved the link in case we get back to Italy. This looks like a wonderful choice. Thanks for the info.
Have a nice weekend. ~ Sarah

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Delores,

Well, that ancient and 'everlasting' life of the old world, especially Italy, I do miss here in the USA!
You stayed at a lovely place, that's for sure. Did you ride that ancient bike which was out on the patio?
Have a great weekend and enjoy the fond memories...

Greetings from a cold Georgia, our first frost at night is coming...


maría cecilia said...

wow!! I´m absolutely speechless at this amazing beauty!!!! I can imagine such a joyful time you had over there!!!
muchos cariños
maria cecilia

Linda in AZ * said...

* "Well, I've packed my bags... I'm ready to go..." oh, this is DIVIIIIINE, D!!!

Thanks for sharing! (And yes, what a magnificent place for the most wonderful wedding ever!!!).

Linda in AZ *

Tamra said...

15th century villa!? What an amazing opportunity!

Your photo's are lovely, thank you for taking us on such a lovely trip with you.


Low Tide High Style said...

Wow, all that history and a beautiful location too. I'll definitely put this on my list of places to stay! Gorgeous photos as always!

Kat :)

Rettabug said...

Hi Delores!

I saw on Gollum's blog that you won the mixer (Congratulations!!) & I thought....holy crimoli...I haven't visited D. for ages! I rushed right over here & found you were out of the country! What a spectacular trip & thank you so much for sharing some fantastic photos.
Of all the countries we have visited Italy (& Ireland) are my most favorite!

~~Safe travel vibes~~

Unknown said...

Oh, what a fabulous trip! Your photos are simply gorgeous.


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh my, what a gorgeous place and all of your pictures are stunning. A fabulous trip. Thanks for taking me along. Hugs, Marty

Custom Comforts said...

What beautiful photos! How blessed you are to have visited there.

Greet Lefèvre said...

Wonderful wonderful post!!!!!!!!!
Oh my goodness these pictures are just gorgeous!!!! I was so happy to read and see this great post!Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!

Olive said...

Yes, Delores you must encourage a wedding at this pink beauty! Lovely images! ♥O

bj said...

OOO, I want to go here soooo bad and I know I will never make it...

Well, I am glad that you were blessed enuf to go..and so glad you had such fun and had time with your son.
Thanks for taking us along..:))

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Delores, are you having any trouble coming back to the real world? What a gorgeous place, and how wonderful that you were able to stay there. Your photos are wonderful (Did you worn out your camera on this trip?) And oh! this would be a gorgeous place for a wedding. The landscaping is incredible! I'm so glad that you linked this amazing post to Favorite Things Sat. laurie

maureen harber said...

Your photos and descriptions take my breath away....

Anonymous said...

Enjoying your pix!!! Fantastic! Our daughter lived in Naples for 3-1/2 yrs and will have to say it was a wonderful trip!!! oh, a wedding would just be spectacular there!! thanks for the pix! Memories are great!!
Pink Hugs,

La Dolfina said...

It looks fabulous and somewhat reminiscent of an amazing abode in Asti that I've seen on this blog :)
Thanks for sharing this special place!

cotedetexas said...

So gorgeous!!! Congrats on your anny - a year already???? wow!!!
time flys.

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