giovedì 23 marzo 2017

Villa Palmerino

Villa Palmerino
Why do we hold the summer courses at the Villa Palmerino estate ? 

Villa Palmerino is a special place. The villa is situated on the outskirts of the city of Florence, right where the countryside begins, in the famous foothills of Maiano and Fiesole. This has been a sought after area for centuries for people who want to live the country life minutes from the city.

The villa itself has a long history of being a place for artists and creative people. Earliest records from the 1400s show the owners to be artists, a goldsmith, Ottaviano Antonio di Duccio, active in the courts of renaissance Italy with his brother, a well known sculptor called Agostino d`Antonio di Duccio.

Vernon Lee by J.Singer Sargent

Vernon Lee, here depicted in a portrait by John Singer Sargent, owned the villa in the 1800s. 
This famous English intellectual and writer was a woman with a strong belief in the arts. A circle of artists, writers and musicians naturally formed around her during her time at the villa and thus Palmerino has seen many famous visitors. Virginia Wolf, J. Singer Sargent, Henry James, Oscar Wide, Edith Wharton, Telemaco Signorini and Bernard Berenson have all passed through the villa’s gates, to name a few.

Federica shows us here grandfather's work
 The current owners of the Palmerino estate are three siblings. Our hosts are Federica, the eldest sister, and her husband Stefano. Federica's grandfather was a well known artisan in Florence. He ran a successful mural and furniture reproduction business in Florence in the early part of the 20th century. His studio was called to create murals and decoration in exclusive villas in many places in the world, from the Côte d'Azur to Florida. Federica conserves her grandfather’s original sketches for many of these projects and some of his oil paintings in the old studio on site at the villa.

view of the studio space from outside

working in the studio
 Federica’s aunt was a picture restorer with a love for art, and creative exchange. When she died in 2014, she left the villa to be run as a cultural association, continuing its purpose as a place for artistic retreats, providing accommodations and work space in a beautiful environment for creative people from all over the world. If it can be said that some places conserve a certain energy, this place truly does seem to exude an artistic vibe from its very walls.
a meal together after class
one of the many paths at Palmerino

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