Villa Lecchi - Poggibonsi (Siena)

A corner of aristocratic history overlooking the Chianti region

In the hills of the Chianti region between Florence and Siena, a period residence converted into an exclusive hotel recreates the noble atmospheres of the early nineteenth century thanks to a splendid renovation project that retained the property's spirit and most important details
Claudia Capperucci

It is easy to appreciate the sense of rapture experienced by a tourist travelling through the hills of the Chianti region when he steps out onto this elegant terrace, a unique belvedere between Florence and Siena that combines spectacular views of the landscape with an authentic sense of history. Villa Lecchi, today an exclusive four-star hotel, is one of Tuscany’s most splendid period residences with a history dating back to the sixteenth century (judging from the entrance to the private chapel). However, its current structure stems from a project by Florentine architect Felice Francolini, who in the early nineteenth century was commissioned to undertake renovation work by the then owners Marianna, the daughter of Knight Paolo Lodovico Garzoni, and her husband Marquis Carlo Ginori Lisci. The result is a highly original Art Nouveau style, a layout in an eighteenth-century spirit with a central staircase leading to the belvedere and two small side towers where guests can sleep and enjoy breakfast while admiring the panoramic views of the hills of San Gimignano and the Val d’Elsa. On the ground floor the property also features an orangery housing the restaurant and on the other side a farm. The overall view of the complex confirms the words of Guido Piovene, who said the following about this region: „To penetrate into the real heart of aristocratic Tuscany, all or almost all of which is to be found in the countryside, it is perhaps better to visit the hills of Chianti along the road between Florence and Siena than to explore city buildings.“ After long being used for other functions and languishing in a state of disrepair for decades, the renovation project carried out at the end of the last century converted the property to its current use as a hotel and restored it to its former splendour and nobility. Following further years of restoration, the restaurant was opened in 1991 and the hotel in 1993. The villa houses a number of important frescoes, such as the one in the central hall depicting Ventura di Iacopo (born in Poggibonsi in 1264), which was restored in 1920 by the Florentine master Cesare Benini whose work is also displayed in Palazzo Pitti in Florence. On entering the rooms in the villa, one can easily understand why the renovation project took such a long time to complete. Furnishings and accessories in the perfect spirit of the originals, carpet, prestigious fabrics and curtains, floors and walls made from local materials or with a strong personality that reflects the building’s noble origins. A case in point is that of the two Frescoes Junior Suites, which were recently renovated and decorated using materials from the Versace Ceramics Marble line, a project carried out by the fashion house in partnership with Gardenia Orchidea. The porcelain tile collection faithfully reproduces the beauty of marble, with forms and colours inspired by classicism (white and black) and customised with decorative elements associated with the fashion company, such as the Greek fret and Medusa motifs. The beauty of the furnishings and finishings is also enhanced by the large dimensions of the rooms in both the orangery and the farm, as well as the suites in the villa which can be as large as 30 square metres (as in the case of the Frescoes Junior Suites). An added attraction is the spa, located next to the outdoor swimming pool and with a solarium sheltered between the cool walls of the outdoor pergola. Equipped with sauna, hammam, whirlpool and chromotherapy showers in keeping with the finest concepts of modern wellness, this space with its windows looking out onto the Sienese hills derives much of its charm from the historical aura emanating from the building in which it is located.

Versace Ceramics, Marble
porcelain stoneware
58,5x58,5-19,5x58,5 cm
Technische Eigenschaften
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,1 %
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): A
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): >12000
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
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