Villa La Quercia: The Hemingway of Colors

tuscany

Italian abstract painter Francesco Clemente had a vision. In 1963, he discovered an abandoned farmhouse in the Tuscan hills called Villa La Quercia, with a history dating back to the 17th century. Despite the objections of his family, he bought the dilapidated structure and took  years to renovate it back to its glory days. The elegant villa became filled with light and laughter, its parlor attracting famous poets painters and musicians.

Villa Quercia became as vibrant as the oil paintings that earned Clemente his nickname, “Hemingway of Colors.”

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This vibrancy is still evident today in the lovely terracotta and stone structure, nestled on a hill amid the olive groves, vineyards, cypress trees and fortified villages of the Chianti district, near Florence. A beautiful loggia fronts the main entrance of the house, with dining table and bamboo furniture

Behind the Tuscan luxury villa is an open-air dining area with stone round table by a swimming pool surrounded by laurel and cypress hedges, beyond which lies the idyllic estate of 20 acres.

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Inside, the five-bedroom villa boasts a double living room with fireplace, dining room and well-equipped Tuscan kitchen that can be comandeered by a chef of superb culinary skills, by arrangement. You can enjoy a candle-lit dinner served by a butler.

In fact, if you hunger to learn how to make your own Tuscan feasts, La Quercia offers hands-on cooking classes in a converted cottage, adorned with the colorful paintings of Clemente. The cooking school is run by the painter’s descendant, Veronica Clemente.

Following the lesson, you may enjoy a superb meal with the fruits of your efforts, paired perfectly with the right wine, of course. A wide variety of La Quercia products area also available to purchase on site, including Trebbiano and San Giovese wine, extra virgin olive oil, marmalades, cheeses and more.

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The villa can also arrange for guests to have market tours in Florence, off-the-beaten-path winery excursions, cheese tastings at a local organic goat farm and pottery demonstrations at a terracotta kiln.

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Villa La Quercia lies only 12 km from Florence and 1.5 km from the centre of the village of Impruneta, with one of the most famous basilicas of Tuscany, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria. dating back to 1060, the basilica was immortalized in a 1620 engraving of Jacques Callot, showing the piazza in front of it with the Fiera di San Luca (Fair of St. Luke), which continues to this day.

See also “La Dolce Vita Under the Tuscan Sun.”

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