Friday, July 29, 2011

The Charm of Tuscan Villas

I have recently traveled to Tuscany, and what stroke me most about it was the splendid yet simple architecture of some of its rural houses.

My tour brought me in the provinces of Siena, Florence and Lucca. While the latter area hosts many upscale properties, especially near the town of Bagni di Lucca, I liked best the stone wall rural houses. Those sun-baked walls surrounded by quiet, lovingly tended to gardens with blossoming flowers and bees hopping from roses, to dandelions, to fluffy geraniums talked to me of old people sitting outside, working the fields, enjoying the simple things in life. How peaceful it made me feel!

Nowadays the majority of even the most rustic villas and farmhouses in Tuscany have been remodeled to be some of the best properties you can find in Italy. Their interiors are as charming as the outdoors. Villa owners really put a lot of love and a great deal of effort into making these homes the perfect nest to live everyday.

Most villas I have visited featured handmade, originally Tuscan style furniture from the past century. The walls of the kitchen displayed a nice set of utensils that were once of everyday use, but are now some kind of beautiful domestic economy dinosaur to be just admired. Will there ever be a time I own a villa in Tuscany?

My heart skipped a bit when I visited a very old farmer house with one of those sit-in fireplaces. Those are really huge and can fit several people inside. Their purpose was to accommodate the fire, the cooking pot hanging from a chain over live ambers, and two benches, one on each side of the fire, to welcome family members and neighbors. They would just sit there telling stories, or doing some little manual work. It was the most peaceful time of the day, in the warmest place of the house. They would build up some heat before going to their bedrooms where there was no heating. I would so love a villa in Tuscany like that! I would light up my fire every night in winter, and although I might not sit inside all the time, I'd love to get people to come over and have a nice chat by the fire.

Tuscan villas will always hold a special place in my heart. I do really hope I will be able to live in one some day!

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