Set on the banks of the Arno River and encircled by the bucolic splendour of the Tuscan countryside, Villa La Massa is a majestic sight to behold.
The property was built in the 16th century as a country home for the aristocratic Florentine family of Santi Landini and, as a result of careful maintenance and restoration over the ensuing centuries, retains a palpable sense of Renaissance splendour.
It was in 1948 that the property was transformed into a luxury hotel, before it was purchased and completely restored by the Villa d’Este hotel group in 1998. Today, Villa La Massa offers a luxurious span of facilities, from elegantly-appointed guest accommodation and the culinary delights of its Il Verrocchio restaurant, to the soothing Arno spa and charming Iris gardens.
The latest addition to Villa La Massa’s impressive portfolio of buildings is Casa Colonica – a picturesque former-farmhouse dating back to the 1800s. Spanning 6500ft2, this new wing offers four new suites, each with private bathrooms and walk-in closets, as well as a well-equipped kitchen.
Entering into Casa Colonica’s charming internal courtyard, complete with wrought iron furniture and a covered dining area, guests feel that they have their own private, and highly exclusive residence. This space is ideally suited to entertaining; enjoying pre- and post-dinner drinks on balmy Spring and Summer evenings, or enjoying a peaceful meal alfresco.
In keeping with the existing hotel buildings, the decor throughout Casa Colonica is classically Tuscan; awash with terracotta, stone, wood, and warm earthy tones, yet with a subtle contemporary twist.
Each of the suites has been individually designed, offering its own distinct colour palette and unique configuration.
On the right of the courtyard, at ground floor level, one of the suites features an ochre, blue, beige and wine-red palette. The floor here is constructed with durmast wood – providing the perfect backdrop for the custom-made 100% natural handmade silk rug – while the curtains are fashioned from neutral, soft fabrics enriched by elegant trimmings and hemmed by an ochre veining.
Period furniture pieces, such as the striking antique desk, chime perfectly with more contemporary furnishings like the sumptuous armchairs, cofee and side tables. The centrepiece here, however, is most definitely the striking hand-painted ancient fresco on the wall behind the canopy wooden bed.
As for all the suites, the bathroom features a magnificent bathtub, high quality ceramics and Santafiora stone which create a beautiful polychrome effect.
The other ground-floor suite is characterised by assortments of stripes, which give rhythm and personality to the space. Hues of purple, brick red, orange and emerald green bring warmth and vibrance.
Bedside tables of wood and brass complement the uniquely shaped bed headboard – inspired by the cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore.
Situated on the first floor, the third suite is majestic in tone. With a ceiling height of 15,33ft, this lofty space centres around a baby blue, light brown and deep-blue palette, interconnected by a vibrant orange-red.
The durmast wood floor here is complemented by black wooden bedside and console tables handcrafted by Tuscan artisans, as well as a painted iron canopy bed, and a geometric red and blue silk rug. Striped tole lamps, wall lights and handmade floor lamps illuminate the space.
The final suite adopts orange, blue and green tones. Cotto flooring has been used in the living room, where there is a cosy arrangement of elegant sofas and armchairs, alongside pastoral-themed artwork, a bookcase and a stand-out orange and green geometric rug.
Within the bedroom, a headboard reminiscent of ancient heraldic emblems draws the eye, upholstered with light blue and light brown fabrics, and wrapped with a pumpkin-orange velvet hem.
The effortless elegance and intricate attention to detail found within Casa Colonica is symbolic of Villa La Massa’s philosophy. Subtly regal, the hotel does not mimic the Medici Villas of old, but truly embodies its remarkable heritage.