Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Everyday family life in a centuries-old villa { Tenuta di Valgiano }

Tenuta di Valgiano wine oilve oil tasting tour in Valgiano Lucca Toscana Tuscany

Traveling in Italy, I often wondered what it might be like living in one of the centuries-old villas that dot the Italian countryside. This summer, while scouting the Colline Lucchesi region for Viola's Italy, I finally got a sneak peek into everyday villa life - when I met Laura di Collobiano, who with her two kids and dogs lives in an incredible 15th century villa perched high in the Lucca hills.


Staying nearby, I had already passed by the fortress-like walls that enclose the villa, admiring its panoramic view terrace and small chapel from below - so was excited to learn the villa was part of the famous Tenuta di Valgiano estate which was on top of my list of places to visit.

As it turns out, I had been using Tenuta di Valgiano olive oil in our kitchen for years, coveting the fragrant oil as much as the minimalist design of its no-label bottle - not realizing the estate was even more famous for its biodynamic vineyard until I had my first glass of their incredible Palistorti di Valgiano.

Laura only occasionally opens her home to tasting tours, so it was a treat to get a private tour, take a stroll through the Italianate gardens, taking in the views from the panoramic terrace looking out to the Capannori plains and Lucca below. And it was fun to get a glimpse into everyday modern life in a 15th century villa, a grand home filled with period antiques, art, incredible trompe d'œil frescos lining the library walls - and in the center of it all an inviting country kitchen with rustic fire place and vintage stone sink.

Valgiano Lucca Toscana Tuscany Tenuta di Valgiano
Tenuta di Valgiano viewlunch at Tenuta di Valgiano
Tenuta di Valgiano vineyard

For a tour of Tenuta di Valgiano's beautiful estate, an olive oil & wine tasting in Laura's kitchen followed by lunch served on the panorama terrace, join Viola Buitoni on one of her upcoming itineraries exploring Lucca's hidden foodways ... #violasitaly
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