The Villa

This Villa built on the second half of the XIX century over the Tuscany Hills, in Lastra a Signa, in Tuscania and eight miles from Florence, Italy, after sheltering many family stories, now opens its doors to welcome guests wishing to experience this wonder.

The house built over 1,100 square meters is surrounded by a seven-hectare tract of land with olive trees and a swimming pool. Gardens and terraces, offer privileged views of Tuscany plains and of the city of Florence. Like a picture outside of time, whoever stands in front of a window or lies down on one of the terraces can contemplate, at his feet, the city that fascinated Michelangelo.

The Villa can comfortably accommodate up to twelve guests distributed in two floors and an attic on the third floor. The main living room opening directly towards the terrace has comfortable armchairs and a lovely fireplace inviting to a gathering. The kitchen, recently restored and fully-equipped, completes the comfort of the place. With a typically Tuscan style from the second half of the XIX century, the halls and rooms are decorated with original period furniture that recreates the atmosphere of those years but, at the same time, they have been refurbished with the latest technology in order to create pleasant, magic and suggestive atmospheres.

Its strategic location just fifteen minutes away from Florence, one of the most interesting and richest cities in history and art treasures, makes it an ideal place for vacations combining rest and learning.

It is also an excellent departure point to go on excursions and to visit other near cities, such as: San Gimignano, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Arezzo… Although some people say that the visitor who arrives at Villa Montebello Colombo would prefer to stay right there, in the swimming pool under the olive trees, or on the terrace contemplating the top of the Duomo far away, at night, walking around the park, in those endless instants of paradise.

History

Villa Montebello Colombo is located in the neighborhood of Lastra a Signa, a small town about 14 km from the city of Florence. Situated on the Tuscany Hills, in a privileged location with lovely views of the Arno’s valley and the city of Florence itself, this Villa was built during the XIX century. It is considered architectural heritage of the zone. It appertains to those buildings which require authorization of the Commune for any change to their facades.

The zone where it is located is surrounded by other population centers – besides Florence – which have been inhabited for centuries, such as the towns of Signa and Malmantile.

As early as prehistoric times, small settlements existed on the hills in the surroundings of Lastra a Signa. Furthermore, during “villanovian” time, there existed small prisons – “Villaggio Cardine” – located on the right bank of the Arno river, whose valley can be seen from the Villa. The necropolis of this town was discovered in the region of the Florentine Republic, with interesting archaeological discoveries, including artifacts and skeletal remains.

In the period between VI and IV centuries before Common Era (BCE), these lands were inhabited by the Etruscans, giving rise to the town of Fiesole.

In the year 59 before Common Era (BCE) Florentia was founded, a roman colony with a characteristic octagonal layout which can still be perceived.

Around the XIII century, there was a fortress known as Gangalandi, presumably destroyed in 1326. At about the same time, the little town of Lastra, completely undefended, was subject to repeated lootings perpetrated either by neighboring communities or by other barbarian invaders.

Due to the lootings perpetrated in 1437, the Florentine Republic decided to intervene fortifying both towns of Lastra and Malmantile. The decision goes back to the first months of 1437, but the defensive walls were not finished until 1438. There are records from this year that show that Brunelleschi participated as supervisor of these fortifications.- Part of them still survives today. Battista d’Antonio was commissioned to finish the works.

In the area within the walls were built the Mercy Church, the Mayor’s Tabernacle and the Pretorial Palace , as well as the “Spedale”, used to accommodate pilgrims travelling through Lastra.

The Villa is situated in Via del Fantone, an ancient and colorful hill road – which is paved today – that in the past connected – and still connects – Lastra to Malmantile.

Very probably the posterior wall of the Villa gardens dates back to the time when the Villa was built. An ancient stone tower destroyed during the final stages of the Second World War dated from the same time. This tower offered a wonderful panoramic view which can be contemplated today from the windows of the residence facing to the East.