So allow me the indulgence as I can't help myself on this one. True, I'm posting this as much as a reminder and "file" shall we say for me in hopes of a future trip to Tuscany (come on, baby, let's go ... pleeeeeease) as much as I am sharing the glory of this place and deal with you. xo
Jetsetter has this on sale now, but only for about an hour longer, then the sale is gone. Bye bye. Adios. Ciao!
Two of the more romantic words in travel are “Tuscan villa” – and the lovely, 16th-century Villa le Maschere is exactly that. The beautifully restored villa features carved stone masks on its façade, gold-leaf tiles, Venetian-style flooring, historical frescoes, and suites with lacquered-wood beds. The villa rises elegantly over fragrant Italian gardens – with Florence and Tuscany lying just beyond.
Villa le Maschere’s exquisite architecture is matched by its guest list: Kings, queens, popes, artists and Italian noblemen have all warmed the beds here. It’s easy to see why: Villa le Maschere captures the best of Tuscan culture – and history.
As you stroll up the breezy front walkway, the lovely façade may stop you in your tracks. Carved masks, made with local pietra serena stone, grace the front, offering an intriguing taste of what awaits within. The spacious, airy villa reveals historical surprises around every corner: frescoes by painter Francesco Furini, detailed floral reliefs, Majolica ceramics dating to the Renaissance, and Venetian tiling.
The suites are fit for a king – literally. Each of the 65 suites is individually decorated, with a distinct color scheme, from periwinkle to lemon yellow. Suite 915 features two 17th-century statues of young girls, while suite 901 showcases fully restored 18th-century frescoes.
The villa’s history is impressive, but, happily, modern conveniences haven’t been sacrificed. Rooms come with high-end TVs, complimentary Internet, designer toiletries and fluffy robes. The white marble bathrooms – spacious, with classic arches and moldings – could double as Parisian pieds-à-terre.
It may be hard to believe, but there was a time when Villa le Maschere was in such disrepair that it had almost fallen out of commission. But after five years of “painstaking restoration” the villa emerged as a five-star, luxe property. In many ways, then, staying here not only offers the chance to bed down in a historical monument, it also helps ensure its survival.
Most travelers come to Italy to indulge in a very important activity: eating. The villa excels at this; you can dine on traditional Tuscan dishes, including pasta slathered with meaty swordfish and black olives, at Piopponero; come evening, you can sip vino amid the restored brick vaults of the cellar bar, Divinvino.
As for day trips, the villa offers easy access to Florence and the rest of Tuscany. Visit the famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence and peruse the works of masters from Leonardo da Vinci to Michelangelo. Explore the medieval walled villages of Mugello, and wine-taste your way across the fragrant, leafy region of Chianti.
WHAT TO DO THERE
Art, Art, and More Art. Florence lies less than an hour away. Pay a visit to the splendid Uffizi, which features one of the finest art collections in the world, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Caravaggio and Rembrandt.
Chianti Classico. Sip your way across the leafy vineyards of the nearby region of Chianti, known for its rich, weighty red wines. The concierge can arrange a trip, or go with one of the many tour companies, including Italy and Wine.
Manhattan of the Middle Ages. Explore the delightful historical town of San Gimignano, which lies about an hour away. During the 13th and 14th centuries the town was built up with an impressive 16 imposing towers.
Jump in a Lake. The villa lies near the breezy lake of Bilancino, which you can explore by canoe or even on a windsurfboard. The concierge can arrange trips.
Medieval Mugello. The nearby region of Mugello features lovely medieval walled villages and ancient churches, including Borgo San Lorenzo, Firenzuola and the Medicean Bosco ai Frati convent. The villa can arrange tours, or try Discover Tuscany.
HOW TO GET THERE
Flights are available from major U.S. cities to Florence Amerigo Vespucci Airport (FLR) on a variety of carriers with connections through Rome International Airport (FCO). Transfers to/from FLR are $96 per car, each way, and can be arranged through the property. If you are flying into Galileo Galilei (PSA) airport, transfers are available for $240 per car, each way. A car can accommodate 2 people.
- Elegant Room from $195/night 194 - 301 sq ft (Reg. $320/night)
- Superior Room from $255/night 215 - 355 sq ft (Reg. $395/night)
- Junior Suite from $350/night 226 - 430 sq ft (Reg $530/night)