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Live La Dolce Vita like a Medici at Villa La Massa, Florence

July 28, 2008 By:Mary Winston Nicklin

Villa La Massa, FlorenceIf you could imagine savoring the artistic and cultural riches of Florence without the crowds, what comes to mind? A 16th century Medici-style villa in a tiny village in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, just a few miles outside of Florence? On the banks of the Arno River, no less? With a guest list that includes celebs like Clark Gable, Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton? This little piece of paradise does in fact exist. Indeed David Bowie and Iman took over the Villa La Massa for their wedding. Owned by the same folks who run the magnificent Villa d'Este on Lake Como, the Villa La Massa is brimming with ancient frescoes and luxurious touches. After its major spruce-up in 1998, the New York Times raved:

Beyond the iron gates of the buttercream villa with sage window shutters, there is a four-story atrium in the main building decorated with the flags of Tuscan nobles, dark antique furniture and pots of white flowers. All 34 guest rooms are furnished with antiques, silks and brocades, and linen sheets. Many feature oversize bathrooms of a pale green Iranian marble called Verde Atlantide.

There is a majestic 22-acre park surrounding the villa, and the seasonal produce from the chef's garden is served in Il Verrocchio restaurant on a terrace overlooking the Arno River and famous Rufina hills. The breakfast buffet is sumptuous: fruit juices, fruit, cheeses, Tuscan cured meats, cereals, yogurt, organic jams and marmalade, prosecco, and fresh eggs straight from the hotel's hen-house, cooked to the clients requests.


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