Cosimo di Medici (admitting we ALMOST named our pup after him) built the first "cabin" in the Western world. Of course it was a villa and it was near Florence. It served one purpose. Otium
, a Latin word meaning something like the following:
A time and place for leisure, rest, communing with nature, reading, writing, engaging in conversation, thought, philosophy, poetry, music. Today we might add meditation - though otium
is a bit of an active meditation, it seems.
Cosimo di Medici states: "I don't come here to till the soil. I come here to till my soul." This was the purpose of the Villa Medici, built around 1460 on the hillside in Fiesole, overlooking Florence. This is where we went today - then on to 2 other villas, with notes about each here below!
But first , we started at Gamberaia, the garden that Edith Wharton described as "the most beautiful garden in Italy." I might argue that Le Balze, a 1910 interpretation of a Renaissance villa tops it. But we'll let you see what you think. Today...photos from Gamberaia. Tomorrow...from the other villas.
I realize as I sit here in this palazzo in Florence writing this post that I, too, am engaged in otium.
|Allee to Gamberaia in Settignano|
|Amazing cool cupboard with chicken wire and curtains covering contents.|
|Bedroom at Gamberaia. |
|View from the House|
|Another lovely bedroom!|
|The garden from the loggia. I want a loggia. Even more than a garden!|
|View of Florence from the Piano Nobile|
|Piano Nobile -Living Room on what we know as the second floor. Amazing! No rugs....hmmmm...|
|Library with shelving and doors in brass chicken wire. Well, why do I think the Italians don't call it chicken wire?|
|The house from the garden - through a green window. |
|The limonaia - the building where they store the citrus plants during the winter to protect from freezing.|
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