I hope you are ready to see a lot of beautiful photographs today! These were taken by my husband, who does a great job. I am continuing to chronicle our trip to Italy. It is so lovely to look through pictures and remember our experiences there.
My step-mother loves gardens. My husband and I are art connoisseurs, and we always seem to pick venues that feature art or architecture. My family appreciates art, but they were there to balance us and keep us sane. I am so very glad she suggested some garden tours. I have already chronicled one of our garden tours, where we were able to visit the property of a Roman princess. Garden tours give you both God and man-made art, architecture, and a lovely outdoor setting. If I could I would go back right now. When, oh when, will teleporters be invented???
We visited a lovely garden called Villa Cetinale, which is located about 14 km southwest of Siena out in the country. It is up in the Tuscan hills on less-traveled roads, and is so easy to miss. There is a gate to mark you are there, but we almost gave up and turned around before we found it.
The villa and gardens had some years where property was transitioning to family after the death of Lord Lampton in 2006. During the last years the property suffered some neglect, but the present staff is working very hard to restore its former glory. We had the lovely opportunity to work with Lord Lampton’s personal assistant and dear friend during our visit; Sophie cooked for us several nights and gave us many tips to the region as well. The night before our garden tour she was able to tell us about much of the property and how it was working for Lord Lampton, whom she loved very much. It was a lovely introduction to a fascinating place.
The villa was originally owned by the Chigi family and was designed by Carl Fontana in the 1600s. Around the villa are extensive gardens, a church, garden paths outlining the stations of the cross, and a dramatic hill of steps leading to a monastery. Lord Lampton, being British, added a lovely English style garden. The whimsical nature of the English style contrasts so nicely with the sculpted, ordered Tuscan style. Sculptures dot the property, as well as a mammoth one of Hercules by Mazzuoli.
Now, for the lovely pictures.
We were greeted there by the manager of the property who was very kind and helpful. She talked to us a bit and then we were allowed to explore the property on our own.
If you happen to be in Tuscany and want a lovely way to get a bit of exercise and you love gardens, don’t pass up this opportunity.
Here are some sites about the gardens:
PS–All photographs in this post are owned by Damommacheftravels.wordpress.com. Please email me if you would like to use them.