Abbadia d'Ombrone

Abbazia di Vallombrosa

Villa Arceno

Bardini Garden in Florence

Bernard Berenson

Boboli's Gardens

Il parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo

Villa Bottini

Castello di Brolio

Villa Cahen

Villa della Capponcina

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Iris Origo

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The Medici Villa at Careggi

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Garden of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Firenze

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Villa Orlandini in Poggio Torselli

Il Palazzone

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Villa Santini Torrigiani

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Il Vittoriale degli Italiani

Gardens in Tuscany
Villa Vignamaggio

, outside Greve in Chianti

Villa Vignamaggio



Villa Vignamaggio


Villa Vignamaggio just outside Greve in Chianti, in Petriolo.

The villa at Vignamaggio was built by the Gherardini family in the XIV century. Between the 9th and 14th centuries, the Gherardini family played an important role in Tuscany. Its influence was also felt in the Veneto and Emilia regions between the 16th and 18th centuries and during the Italian Risorgimento.[1] The family’s restless and fighting nature has aroused the curiosity of many historians of the Middle Ages. Originating from the feudal tradition, it was one of the founding families of the Republic of Florence. The family took part in Florence's political life between 1100 and 1300. In 1300, it was exiled from the city when Florence began its transformation into a Signoria. In his Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri, who was exiled with the Gherardini, placed the family in Paradise's V-Sphere. [1]

The original design of the garden must have been characterised by a broad avenue leading up to the old main entrance of the villa, once lined with huge century old tilias and flanked by fields and small fruit orchards.

The Renaissance garden we see here today was designed in the 1930’s by Bino Sanminiatelli who, inspired by Italian Renaissance gardens, extended it with the intention of «uniting the forest and the house, by means of an avenue of Cypresses through the land where the forest was before». [2]

In 1993, Villa Vignamaggio was the setting for Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado about Nothing, starring Kenneth Branagh, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Emma Thompson, Michael Keaton, Robert Sean Leonard and Kate Beckinsale.

In 1925, Contessa Elena Sanminiatelli bought the villa and restored the Italian gardens. In 1988, Villa Magnomaggio was bought by Gianni Nunziante, and in 2014, architect Patrice Taravella took over the management of Villa Vignamaggio.

How to reach Villa Vignamaggio

The villa is situated less than 4km from the centre of Greve in Chianti and 8km from Panzano | GPS COORDINATES: NORTH 43° 33’ 26’’ – EAST 11° 20’ 15’’

Villa Vignamaggio, Via Petriolo 5, 50022 Greve in Chianti (FI)  



Films set in Tuscany

Much Ado about Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, 1993)


Movies set in Tuscany | Much Ado about Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, 1993)    




[1] The family is described in documents dating back to that period and kept in the Church of San Miniato in Florence. They were feudatories in the Chianti and the Val d'Elsa areas and settled in Florence in 1100 following the death of Matilda of Tuscany. They founded the Republic of Florence. Two centuries later, they took part in the fights between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines and subsequently between the White and Black Guelphs; they were with the "White" faction and were opposed to the transformations which led to the birth of the Signoria. Oneof the leading figures of the family during that period was Gherarduccio Gherardini, whose tombstone in the Church of Sant'Appiano is the oldest knightly tomb in Tuscany.

Civil War and Exile

Following many years of civil war, the Gherardinis were exiled in 1302 because they were accused of having forged an alliance with the neighbouring city of Siena. According to historians (and contemporaries of the time), the accusation was based on false documents and invented by Cante Gabrielli, the Podestà, to stamp out this family and its allies once and for all.[6] Following this accusation, Florence attacked the Gherardinis. The land they owned or controlled went from the first sighting centres near the southern walls of Florence, and from Marignolle up to Impruneta. It then went on up to the main fortresses of Montagliari and Montaguto near the current Greve in Chianti. To the west, their land went all the way up to the fortress of Linari near Barberino Val d'Elsa. In the summer of 1302, following a siege, both Montagliari and Montaguto were burned to the ground. The Republic of Florence then decreed that it was no longer possible to build on this area. This edict was breached by the Gherardinis in 1632 when they built a chapel.[1] The western part of the Gherardini's land and properties withstood the attack by the Florentines because Andrea Gherardini was ruling the nearby city of Pistoia and the Gherardinis enjoyed greater strength in Valdelsa (a valley south of florence). A few years later, Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor tried to remove this family from Valdelsa but did not succeed because the Castle of Linari, led by Vanne Gherardini, withstood the summer siege of 1313. Following the death of Gherarduccio Gherardini in 1331 (buried in the Church of Sant'Appiano, near Linari), the family lost its last great commander and the last remaining properties were gradually lost too.[2]

After the fall of Montagliari, and the subsequent loss of their land and properties in Val d'Elsa, the last Gherardinis (except a small group) went into exile to Verona that, at that time, was under the Empire. Dante Alighieri went into exile with them too. At the same time, the Florentines finished to destroy the Gherardinis' buildings in the city as well as other evidence of their life there. This was their third exodus. The previous expulsion of the Ghibellinis, half a century earlier, meant that some Gherardinis moved near Verona and Rovigo (they came together again later on). The first exodus took place around 1120 with the death of Matilda of Tuscany. One of the heads of the family, Gherardino, and his children (Tommaso, Gherardo and Maurizio) decided to leave Tuscany.

  1.  "I Gherardini ed il Castello di Montagliari", Giuseppe Corazzini, Ed. Landi, Firenze 1897
  2.  "Storia di Poggibonsi" by Francesco Pratelli – Lalli Editore. Poggibonsi, 1990.

Source: the Wikipedia article Gherardini family, published under the GNU Free Documentation License.

[2] Source: The Italian Gardens |


Website Villa Vignamaggio |




Stemma gherardini di firenze e montagliari



Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, La Gioconda
The famous "Mona Lisa" is probably the portrait of Lisa Gherardini known as "Gioconda" because she was married to Francesco Bartolomeo del Giocondo


Sepulcher of Gherarduccio Gherardini (1331), Pieve di Sant'Appiano, Barberino Val d'Elsa


This article incorporates material from the Wikipedia articles Gherardini family and Lisa del Giocondo published under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Situated in the spectacular scenario of the Tuscan countryside and hills, Podere Santa Pia is the ideal property for a holiday accommodation and vacation in Tuscany. The house is an authentic holiday home in Castiglioncello Bandini, a small village in the Maremma, in the south of Tuscany, situated half way between Florence and Rome and close to Montalcino, Arcidosso and Monte Amiata. Some of the most beautiful Tuscan villas and gardens are within easy reach.
A generous garden sweeps down the hill with olive and downy oak trees and various areas for relaxing and soaking in the views. The cool shadow of centuries-old oak trees, the thousand colors of the garden changing at each season make of this place a natural oasis.

Tuscan Holiday houses | Podere Santa Pia

Podere Santa Pia
Podere Santa Pia, view from the garden
on the valley below

Capella Vialetta, near Pienza