Italy is synonymous with both tradition and innovation. Its long and varied history is a testament to inherited values and a continuous “rinascimento” to classical beauty and current fashion. Chianti, a small region in the Italian province of Tuscany, is a parallel microcosm of its host nation. “A Hotel in Chianti” is the story and celebration the transformation of one historical Tuscan farm into its current status as one of Chianti’s leading boutique hotels. It is about history, love, family, vision and change.
For centuries the farm at Villa Le Barone operated steadily under the supervision of a “fattore” employing over 200 local workers to tend a variety of crops. This steady agricultural pattern remained unchanged until the early 20th century. With the quickening pace of modernisation linked to technological change and the increasing pressure for productivity, the farm's survival was threatened. Marie-Blanche Viviani Della Robbia recognised the need to adapt her family estate Villa Le Barone to more up to date methods. She shares her story of the property’s slow transformation into a modern wine estate in her book “A Farm in Chianti.”
The Second World War again brought sociological and technological changes to Italy strongly hitting agriculture. To survive in this time of global challenge, there were very few choices. One could have chosen to concentrate on wine or olive oil production but Marie-Blanche’s daughter, Duchess Franca Visconti decided to explore the new and emerging tourism trends taking place in the Chianti region. In 1971 she bravely considered another transformation for the Villa - to turn it into a small inn – making her one of the ﬁrst Chianti tourism entrepreneurs. Maintaining its original authenticity and charm she opened her family country home in 1976 to paying guest and her vision of “A hotel in Chianti” became a reality.
Today Villa Le Barone has become one of Chianti’s leading charm hotels, faithful to its original family values of hospitality, reﬁnement and “buon gusto”.
Jacqueline and Corso Aloisi de Larderel