In Ancaiano, Tuscany, just a few kilometres to the west of Siena, and at the heart of a vast forest of oaks, hides a secret, sumptuous and mysterious residence. Built on the site of an ancient Etruscan encampment, Villa Cetinale is simultaneously a piece of history, a Catholic sanctuary and a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Its immense gardens, furthermore, are considered a seminal example of Italian landscaping by specialists, and the numerous sculptures scattered throughout them are the work of some of the greatest artists of the 17th century.Learn more
In 1651, Fabio Chigi, Cardinal of Rome, and future Pope Alexander VII, acquired a small barn at this site and began work enlarging it. The work was Interrupted in 1656 after the Cardinal was elected to the Holy See, but was then continued again in 1676 by Flavio Chigi, his nephew, who employed the services of the famous architect Carlo Fontana and completed the construction of this Baroque, three storey villa and its immense estate.
Villa Cetinale's gardens are organised around a large, central avenue approximately 300 metres in length and bordered by giant cypresses, magnificent natural sculptures and a wide variety of fruit trees. The gardens extend up onto a hillside via a "Scala-Santa", a flight of Holy-Steps, which lead to a monastery that was still in use until the end of the 19th century and from where you can look out over the entire estate. A swimming pool has been installed behind the villa between a topiary garden and a lawn shaded by an olive tree, which is set aside as a space where meals can be taken in the open air. Belfries, follies and numerous statues, some of which are the work of Guiseppe Mazzuoli, populate these endless gardens here and there.
Inside the building, luxury and the Italian art of living reach their pinnacles. The monumental entrance hall is preceded by a patio which, standing beneath a ribbed, vaulted ceiling and surrounded by several sculptures, is set aside as a breakfast area. On the first floor, ample sofas and large chaise longues are provided in the large stateroom, which leads to a sumptuous dining room overlooking the garden. The legendary know-how of the Italians in matters of furniture and materials has been brought to bear on the bedrooms, where the sumptuousness of the drapery hanging around the large canopy beds matches the fineness of the cabinet work displayed in each dresser, each writing desk, and each bedside table.
As a sacred, historical and artistic residence, Villa Cetinale offers, far beyond just a guarantee of traditional authenticity, a stay at the heart of the human spirit, a valuable testimonial to the lives of the great figures of this world, and a timeless voyage in a majestic setting.
This property has the following amenities. Please note that your concierge will be able to answer any other need you might have.
This property rental includes the following service: