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

Villa Capponi

Villa Medici at Careggi

Villa di Catignano

Cecil Ross Pinsent

Castello di Celsa

Villa Certano Baldassarrini

Certosa di Pontignano

Villa di Cetinale

Villa Chigi Saracini

Villa Farnese (Caprarola)

Gardens in Fiesole

Villa Gamberaia

Villa Garzoni in Collodi

Villa di Geggiano

Villa Grabau

Villa Guicciardini Corsi Salviati

Horti Leonini di San Quirico

Villa I Collazzi, Firenze

Iris Origo

L'Orto de'Pecci (Siena)

Villa I Tatti

Villa Medicea La Ferdinanda

Villa La Foce

Villa La Gallina in Arcetri

Villa Lante

Villa La Petraia

Villa La Pietra

Villa La Suverana in Casole d'Elsa

The Medici Villa at Careggi

Villa Medici in Fiesole, Firenze

Garden of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Firenze

Villa Medicea at Poggio a Caiano

Medici Villas in Tuscany

Villa di Monaciano

Giardino degli Orti Oricellari | Firenze

Orto Botanico, Siena

Villa Orlandini in Poggio Torselli

Il Palazzone

Villa Palmieri and Villa Schifanoiai

Villa Peyron al Bosco di Fontelucente

Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza

Villa di Pratolino

Villa Reale di Marlia

Villa San Donato in Colle (Bagno a Ripoli)

Villa Santini Torrigiani

Villa di Vicobello

Villa Vistarenni

Il Vittoriale degli Italiani

Gardens in Tuscany
Villa Cahen

Villa Cahen

The Villalba park is located in the Selva di Meana Parka. Part of the Mountain Community of Mount Peglia, the Selva di Meana stretches for 2,500 hectares. The vegetation is rich and includes, as well as woods and Mediterranean bush, several species of wild orchids. The Villalba park is located here. The hidden jewel in the center of the Park is the splendid Villa Cahen. In the marvellous gardens you can find various and rare arboreal and herbaceous species.


Castello di Torre Alfina


Torre Alfina is a medieval picturesque village in the Acquapendente community. Torre Alfina is built around a castle that once belonged to the Monaldeschi and Bourbon del Monte families until it was purchased by Edoardo Cahen in 1880. The central tower (Cassero) was built by the Lombard king Desiderius. Edoardo Cahen was a Jewish banker who provided funds for the struggle to achieve a united Italy. He was given the title Marquis of Torre Alfina by King Umberto I in 1885.
With the expansion of the village, the original fortress was fortified with a second ring of walls made of bastions, walls of houses and many gateways. Two of these gates disappeared with the renovation works of Marquis Cahen, while Porta Vecchia is still visible. The palace was built near the tower; and was the home to the successive Lords.

The Monaldeschi Palace was renovated by Edward Cahen. Various parts of the village were involved and completely transformed, such as the area that faces the entrance ramp to the castle or the one overlooking Piazza Sant'Angelo, which is occupied by a roof garden and by the entrance staircase. This colossal work, which carried on until the end of the 1920’s, was assigned to the architect Giuseppe Partini from Siena.

Edward Cahen never managed to see the castle finished but he wanted to be buried, in a mausoleum built in the same neo-Gothic style as the castle, covered in basalt and refined with travertine that was in the forest-garden, that he had made accessible with paths constructed among the rocks, of the Sasseto.

Rodolfo Teofilo, Edward's son, completed this work by furnishing the castle with great refinement and style and by creating a large garden above the forest.

This dream was interrupted by the advent of Nazism, racial laws and then by the war. In fact the castle first became the headquarters of the Germans and then was plundered.

The marquis fled and died in Paris, leaving everything to Urbano Papilloud, the butler, who lived sporadically in Torre Alfina and finally moved to Geneva with his wife.

The property, which was handed down through inheritance from the Monaldeschi della Cervara to the Bourbon del Monte family, was sold in 1880 by Guido Bourbon del Monte to Edoardo Cahen, a Jewish banker from Anversa, who was ennobled to a marquis by Umberto I in 1885. The new owner started a complete restructuring of the castle, under the management of the Sienese architect Giuseppe Partini. Partini, following the ‘revival’ fashion of the time, designed a new imposing neogothic structure, with a decorative covering of grey stone from Bagnogrigio. The striking enlargement completely hid the authentic medieval and the Renaissance layers, only conserving, with some modifications, the sixteenth-century view of the internal courtyard. During the building works the ancient parish church dedicated to St Mary of the Assumption, close to the castle, was demolished to make room for the opposite piazza opposite and the gardens. The work permanently destroyed a precious historical and artistic legacy and completely changed the medieval urban planning. Rodolfo, Edoardo’s son, only used the castle for brief visits. When he died the property was inherited by Urbano Papilloud-Cahen who sold it to Alfredo Baroli in 1959. The current owner is Luciano Gaucci.


Torre Alfina
Allerona is a picturesque hill town in the mountains 19 km northwest of Orvieto.
Remains of the feudal castle of Allerona include the ruins of the old walls, the two gates known as del Sole and della luna. Architectural monuments are few: ruins of a 12c castle, the 15c church of S. Maria dell' Acqua; although just outside the town proper, there are remains of a Roman aqueduct. Villalba and the Selva di Meana, bordering with Tuscany, are the two most interesting tourist areas. The former has a well-equipped public park while the latter has the state-owned park with Villa Cahen, in Art Nouveau style.
The clay pits to be found near the hamlet of Scalo ore an interesting site far fossil remains.

Selva di Meana Park – Allerona    
Part of the Mountain Community of Mount Peglia, it stretches for 2,500 hectares. The vegetation is rich and includes, as well as woods and Mediterranean bush, several species of wild orchids. The Villalba park is located here. The hidden jewel in the center of the Park is the splendid Villa Cahen. In the marvellous gardens you can find various and rare arboreal and herbaceous species.
The Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden is situated in the surroundings of "Museo Naturalistico del Fiore" and develops on two allotments divided by the old road connecting Torre Alfina with Acquapendente. The southern exposure and the local presence of two springs make this site ideal for the creation of the Botanic Garden, which cover a surface area of about one hectare. The Botanic Garden aims at preserving, carrying out research activities, teaching, protecting, and exploring. It supports the museum and aims at spreading the knowledge of environmental didactics. The groups of students coming to visit the Park can exploit the inner spaces of the Museum through didactic labs and the external spaces to test the issues dealt with in the Museum exhibits.
The itineraries developing in the Garden give the opportunity, with the help of qualified tour guides, to smell flowers and herbs, touch the barks, the leaves, and also the rocks and soils of the territory.
Visitors will feel emotions and carry with them a characteristic memory of the place.

Laura Andreani | Torre Alfina: historical notes |

Gardens in Tuscany | Italian Renaissance garden


Villa is Tuscany

Podere Santa Pia, a formal cloister in the Tuscan Maremma is the perfect holiday resort for relaxing and enjoying the splendor of the Maremma hills of southern Tuscany. The most interesting artistic, historical and cultural sites of southern Tuscany are nearby, and are awaiting your discovery.

Artist and writer's residency | Podere Santa Pia


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

  Villa San Martino, Napoleon’s summer residence

Sitting in the garden, one can enjoy our dawns and dusks, with their jubilee of colours ranging from dark yellow to pink, orange and red. In this scenario, it is often possible to observe the flight of pheasants, falcons and buzzards, great tits, chaffinches and sparrows.
This is an enchanting place far from noise, ideal to regenerate body and mind, where one has the opportunity enjoy pleasant walks or rides on mountain bike. The summer breeze that caresses Podere Santa Pia guarantees "cool" holidays even in the hottest weather.

Allerona is a delightful, typical small town atop of a hill, surrounded by medieval town walls with two gates known as "del Sole" and "della Luna". Allerona is immersed in the wood-covered hills of beech, ilex, and juniper. Its origins go way back in time and there is no lack of architectural proofs from the period of the Roman Empire.
Inside Allerona, on the highest point, stands the old Castellana church. The church which used to be a part of a castle, dates all the way back to the twelfth century and has been renovated at the end of the 19th century.
Archaeological remains can be found in the close proximities of the village, among which are some stretches of the ancient Cassia road (between Orvieto and Ficulle) and inscribed pillars relating to the new Traiana. Also visible are the ruins of the Castle of Meana, of a small fortress known as "rudere dell'Armata" and the Bisenzio Tower, outpost of the Papal State. The Castle, destroyed by Carlo VIII in 1465, is certainly worth a visit.
One of the most interesting attractions of Allerona is Selva di Meana, a state-owned park in which the Villa Cahen, an Art Nouveau style villa (1880), is located. Villa Cahen accommodates for a very "rich" and prosperous Italian and Japanese garden, gently offering the visitors a variety of (often rare) trees, plants and herbs, which the owners imported from very distant places. The beautiful garden also contains a glass house, protecting the vulnerable species during winter times.
The most famous and characteristic festival in Allerona is that of St. Isidoro, patron saint of the countryside. This festival is held on the third Sunday in May, with a historical procession in nineteenth-century costumes presenting the so-called "Pugnaioni", small allegorical floats with scenes of rural life.
Allerona is also the host of the national festival of amateur theatre. This renowned festival is organized every year at the end of July - beginning of August and attracts lots of visitors. The performances are conducted in the old centre of the town, which gives the festival a medieval atmosphere.
As you might expect, Allerona is stolidly agricultural, appreciated for its cheeses, its DOC Orvieto wines and also for its lace.
A chance to discover the traditions, the gastronomy and the habits of the "Alleronesi", is offered every Wednesday, when a traditional market takes place, and the fruits of these lands can be found on the customary stalls. Orvieto

Orvieto is one of the main towns of Umbria and just under 20 kilometres away from Casale Colline Dolci. It is a "must see and do", perched on top of a giant rock outcrop in a superb defensive position and a history that goes back at least as far as Etruscan times.
The thirteenth-century Duomo, one of Italy's finest Gothic buildings, is Orvieto's most dramatic attraction. A striking black-and-white creation, the cathedral features intricate carvings on the facade, an atmospherically austere interior and terrifying apocalyptic frescoes by Luca Signorelli.
Orvieto is also renowned for its fascinating underground tours. Indeed, Orvieto is built on tufa, a volcanic rock which is very easy to dig into, and from the earliest times the hill-top dwellers dug downwards to extend their town. On the tour you can visit Etruscan underground 'rooms', with carved roof details, and see the deep wells dug by the Etruscan inhabitants to reach water. Much later many caves were used for practical purposes, with underground mills and stables in use until recent centuries. Most fascinating of all is the underground columbarium, cut into the very edge of the hilltop, with 'windows' looking out from the cliff-face over the surrounding countryside. Here, in countless carved niches, the medieval residents of Orvieto kept pigeons. In an age when siege was a constant threat, these pigeons were a form of insurance for the population. They bred frequently, flew out to find their own food, and provided meat and eggs in times of necessity.
Other underground explorations are the Pozzo della Cava, and the Pozzo di San Patrizio, two of the town's vastly deep wells, which the energetic can descend.
The streets of Orvieto are charmingly medieval, and away from the main tourist routes they are pleasantly peaceful. A tour around the edge of the town offers fantastic views over the surrounding countryside, and plenty of distractions like pretty churches and restaurants where you can enjoy local specialities such as truffles, and of course the famously good white wine Orvieto Classico. Once the tour parties and day-trippers have left, it's possible to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the medieval lanes, and enjoy long leisurely evenings feasting on the excellent Umbrian cuisine abounding in the town's many restaurants.