Thursday, March 21, 2013

Villa Mazzino: Our Charming Romagna-Tuscan Retreat

Nestled within the 16th century Villa La Collina Estate on the Romagna-Tuscan border of Italy, in an area of ​​spectacular beauty, is Villa Mazzino, perched high on a ridge with panoramic views in every direction of the surrounding countryside. Lovingly restored by Count and Countess Maria Teresa Vespignani Boselli and her sister, an architect from Florence, the original buildings on the Villa La Collina Estate including Villa Mazzino — our home for the next two weeks — have been restored over the years with great care to preserve the original appearance and structure of the villas, while bringing in every modern design, comfort and convenience, from the outdoor pool and classic pizza oven to the complementary bottle of La Collina wine from the estate's own vineyard, no detail has been overlooked.

Our poolside vine covered trellis with the villa in the background

Signpost to our little retreat

A view over the valley with our villa popping up from the trees

In the valley below is the tiny Tuscan village of Lutirano; down the hill on the other side in Romagna, is the small hamlet of Tredozio. Half and hour drive to the largest centre, is Faenza, and from there, the Via Emilia. Built by the Romans in 79AD to connect the Adriatic to the main garrison town of Piacenza, the Via Emilia is the main highway that connects all the main centres of Emilia-Romagna: Bologna, Parma, Modena, Ravenna, Ferrara, Rimini and the small micro-state of San Marino. During our two weeks stay at Villa Mazzino, we hope to be exploring these wonderful Italian towns and delve into their unique character, culture and cuisine. Our gracious hostess, Countess Maria Teresa, has been very helpful in suggesting lovely area restaurants and day excursions to enjoy in the Tredozio region, so we look forward to venturing both near and far to get a well-rounded taste of everything Emilia-Romagna has to offer.

Finding a sunny spot to enjoy some breakfast

Flowers by the side of the house

The kitchen

The main drive up to Villa La Collina

Our hosts, Count and Countess Vespignani Boselli, and the "boys"

Oliver, Twist, Oscar and Wilde

Villa Mazzino pizza oven

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