Live Like Nobility at Villa Cetinale

This Italian Stately Home is an Architectural Masterpiece
Villa Cetinale descends from greatness. Built in the 17th century near Siena, Italy, this stately home was created for a well known figure of Italian history, Pope Alexander VII, née Fabio Chigi.
Chigi was a very wealthy man and a Cardinal before he became Pope, although this property was a modest place with farm dwellings before it evolved into what it is today. While Chigi initiated the work on converting it into something more opulent, the construction happened in fits and starts and he was ultimately unable to complete it.
His nephew, who inherited the property, finally brought the construction to fruition. With this ambition to create something legendary, he hired one of Bernini’s protegés to design the home, Carlo Fontana. Together, they succeeded in turning it into the masterpiece of Roman Baroque architecture it is today.
All of this history is built into the bones of Villa Cetinale, and a stay here is one where it feels as though guests are inserted into the heart of Italian noble life.
The property boasts 13 guest rooms which range in size from a single room with an ensuite to a grand suite replete with a living room and office. Most rooms fall somewhere in between and feature a bedroom accented with an office area or fireplace.
While each room shares similarities, such as all the double or king beds which are four postered with a lush use of drapery, each room is also designed with its own independent style.
For example, one bedroom is outfitted with deep, burgundy jacquard curtains draped from the posts of the bed and surrounded by walnut-toned bookcases and furniture, giving the room a feeling of traditional opulence. While another room is the polar opposite and is the personification of lightness, with white, gauzy, linen-like material with matching embroidery encasing the bed and windows.

With its formal dining room, impressive art and sculpture collection, and sumptuous grounds, it’s easy to imagine this villa having far too much formality for a stay, although it’s hardly the case. It is still designed to be enjoyed as a home, and as such there are spaces such as living rooms with comfortable sofas, chairs, and accoutrements for residents to lounge casually, or the cozy breakfast nook in the main kitchen which is best described as delightful.

What this villa is known for the world over are its gardens. Beloved by author Edith Wharton, the author featured the grounds in a book highlighting her 70 favorite gardens.
At Villa Cetinale pergolas are covered in vines, hedges are clipped to geometric perfection, while roses, lilies and irises cover the property. In the spring, the grounds are awash in purple as wisteria heaves from every point of the land.

Villa Cetinale is a magical setting for a family gathering or a formal occasion, such as a wedding, and a stay here is destined to become one of life’s greatest memories.