Part of the Gragnone Estate, land belonging to the Albergotti Family for almost a thousand years, Villa I Bossi was built in the year 1240. The grand salon with its massive stone camino and the bedrooms of the upper floor, known as the piano nobile, were restored in 1740. These are graceful rooms that are not afraid of showing us their age. Herein lies the value of the villa. Left as they are, in their original state, although somewhat fragile, the rooms afford guests a glimpse into the authentic interiors with furnishings of the past.
The Marchese’s suite, where we stayed, retains the frescoes of three hundred years ago, now muted with age, clinging tenaciously to the old plastered walls. One cannot dismiss the aged character and charm of this room that bares witness to its past. Although the Tuscan sun burned bright outside, our room was cool and we enjoyed our siestas, cocooned in a silence broken only by the birdsong outside our shuttered windows.
The old limonaia, where the lemon trees used to be kept in the winter months, has been totally restored, offering accommodations in six bright, cheerful rooms with all modern comforts. There is a kitchen and a patio with barbecue for those who wish to prepare their own meals. Banked by a hydrangea hedge and sheltered by a canopy, this pleasant corner is where breakfast is served.
A lovely garden with a small central fountain, offers sweet shade and solitude. For those who worship the sun and seek pure, unadulterated idleness, there is a swimming pool and a hot tub. Several times a week, dinner is served in the cellars. The food is unpretentious Tuscan cooking at its best, accompanied by the estate’s own wine. Cooking classes are also offered upon request.
A gracious hostess, Francesca states without apology that this is not a hotel, but a family-run bed & breakfast where guests are encouraged to feel very much at home and enjoy the relaxed, unhurried style of the villa’s simple, yet genuine hospitality. All of this comes through so clearly. Our original plans to explore Arezzo were abandoned at the villa’s gate. We never left the grounds.
All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson