A Room with a View: a glimpse on E. M. Forster and James Ivory’s Florence
Florence, and Tuscany in general, has been the landscape to thousands of films. Some of those films became real icons. If you are fond of English literature and love James Ivory’s film “A Room with a with a view” the place for you to stay in Florence is Villa di Maiano. This is in fact a historical gem, where several scenes were filmed from the Academy Award winning film “A Room with a View”. The director himself, in that occasion, fell in love with this location. And he’s definitely right, as the view here is really incredible. But it doesn’t end here. The Villa has been also the set for another famous film “Tea with Mussolini” by Franco Zeffirelli.
Located on the green hills between Fiesole and Firenze, the Villa di Maiano was owned by the famous and powerful Florentine noble family, the Pazzi. Then, in 1859, it was purchased by an English politician, Sir John Temple Leader, who immediately fell in love with the property. He hired the architect Felice Francolini to restore the villa and took it back to its historical splendidness. At his death his great-nephew sold the Villa to a famous Florentine surgeon, Teodoro Stori. The current owner is her niece, the Countess Lucrezia Miari Fulcis dei Principi Corsini.
The inside of the villa is extraordinary. Everything is preserved as it was in 1800s with marble details, statues and beautiful tapestries on the walls, frescoes and extraordinary paintings. Most famous scenes of the film were filmed in the Red Lounge, such as the first kiss between George (Denholm Elliott) and Lucy (Helena Bonham Carter), that was shot in the dining room underneath the Merano glass chandelier. But every room here has a different personality: Tapestries Room, Old Dining Room, Carriage Room and Billiard Room. The library contains books, paintings and family photographs. Next to it there is a special “Doll Room” with ancient dolls. But the best thing is the view: from the balcony upstairs you can see an amazing view of the surrounding countryside. And from the villa's windows and gardens you can admire Florence, the Duomo and the city surroundings.
You can simply visit the villa with a guided tour or enjoy also a visit to the adjacent olive oil factory. The Fattoria di Maiano is a completely organic agricultural estate, that covers an area of nearly 300 hectares, mainly used for olives. They are picked entirely by hand in the months of November and December, and used to produce Laudemio, an excellent extra virgin oil with a high nutritional value.
But the best thing is to reserve one of the apartment located within the estate. They originally were ancient rustic homesteads and former convent buildings that have been recently renovated with particular attention to the architectural style. The apartments are in fact authentic country dwellings with an intimate and typical atmosphere in terms of style, peace and panoramic views.
Furthermore, during summer, guests can enjoy the lovely swimming pool, surrounded by the gardens and overlooking a unique view on the surrounding countryside. Guests can also enjoy many activities: from teaching farm, art and restoration class, to Villa di Maiano and Olive Mill guided tours, tastings and discovery tours of Tuscany and even night safari.
Furthermore, in the middle of the estate you can find the restaurant Lo Spaccio, where you can taste typical Tuscan specialties like tortelli and T-bone steak. The restaurant has tables in the garden, a panoramic terrace and cosy rooms for colder months with a charming fireplace.
The Villa di Maiano can be rented in exclusive for special events, like weddings. For you perfect wedding in Tuscany you can organize a wedding reception inside the villa or outside, in the wonderful gardens. It is definitely the ideal location for truly unforgettable weddings in Italy.