A few years ago I received a trip request from a lovely woman interested in designing a trip not only for her husband and kids, but for her extended family too: her parents, her siblings in their mid-forties and her nieces and nephews. Initially they considered Puglia, a strong destination for multigenerational trips, but through more discussion it became clear that a region with a deeper history of art was better suited to their interests. And while they envisioned a hotel with high service standards, I suggested a private home, as that seemed a better way to achieve their goal to spend time together while providing enough space to content the various generations.
Feeling confident about a refined property large enough to accommodate up to 20 guests, with gorgeous grounds, an outdoor pool, incredible views, and a location well positioned to bike, walk and explore nearby hilltop towns, I proposed one of my favourite villas in Italy: Villa La Foce.
The remarkable history and gracious owners of this property add significant dimension to what would already be a lovely stay in a beautiful home with wonderful amenities and services. It’s difficult to describe the enchanting sensation one encounters while walking through the estate’s gardens, comparable perhaps to the charms of Ravello’s Villa Cimbrone gardens on the Amalfi Coast. Suffice to say there is an enhanced element that Villa La Foce offers to its guests. The owners occupy the villa for part of the year, so it maintains the lived-in quality of a noble home with limited rentals.
The villa proved an ideal base for our travellers, whose younger set dedicated their mornings to biking, while their grandparents took the occasional walk. Everyone came together for lunch at the simple yet exceptional trattorie in nearby Pienza or Montepulciano, an informal picnic at a B&R friend’s home, or a cooking demonstration at the villa. Afternoons were spent leisurely: biking for the more enthusiastic, a guided visit of Siena’s historic city centre, or procuring ceramics from local artisan shops in nearby towns.
The family gathered for dinners to recount the various activities of the day, either at a long table adjacent to the limonaia (greenhouse) or elsewhere in the garden, or more formally—befitting the occasion—in the frescoed dining room where the family celebrated their grandfather’s 70th birthday.
After the trip, I was delighted to hear that the villa exceeded the family’s high expectations: “You and B&R really created a very special week for my family, which we will remember for a long, long time. Grazie mille!”
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