Rustic Italian Villas
Classic Tuscan Villa
Architects Marta and Oscar Fisch did a long-distance redesign for their summer residence in Tuscany's Val di Chiana, creating the plans in New York and working with local architect Fabrizio Bardelli to help with permits and red tape. (Renovations in Tuscany are highly regulated.) The result is a refreshed 400-year-old farmhouse filled with modern comforts and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.
Estate in Umbria
In 1994, Count Antonio and Countess Angelika Bolza purchased Castello di Reschio, a 2,000-acre estate in Umbria with 50 homes, which they are restoring for new owners. A British family settled in two houses connected by a short pathway and installed a pool on the far side of the one reserved for guests. The terrace and pool are sheltered by reclaimed-stone walls.
Summer Home on Salina Island
Architect James Cavagnari and interior designer Erin Quiros gave new life to their 300-year-old summer home on the island of Salina. The couple modernized the house while staying true to the local architectural style. Cavagnari softened the walls' corners, built in benches and niches, and laid terra-cotta tiles on the floors. The four-poster in the "mother-in-law" room has built-in seating at the foot to eliminate the need for extra furniture, while complementing the minimalist feel of the decor.
Chianti Region Retreat
In the Chianti region, a couple took on the challenge of converting a deconsecrated church and adjacent apartment into a livable space. With the help of architect Marco Vidotto and interior designer Susan Schuyler Smith, the once-abandoned property was reborn. The garden terrace, planned by landscape architect Nancy Leszczynski, is planted with Italian sage, rosemary, and a pomegranate tree.
Borgo di Vagli Restoration
Architect Fulvio di Rosa restored Borgo di Vagli, a 32-acre village in Tuscany, over a span of ten years. Di Rosa rebuilt Il Salto di Gatto, one of the 11 stone dwellings in the hamlet, with stones and bricks from the town's rubble, taking care to preserve the rural architecture of the building.
Castello di Reschio Farmhouse
Architect Count Benedikt Bolza (son of Count Antonio and Countess Angelika Bolza) restored a crumbling farmhouse on his family's estate, Castello di Reschio, for a British family. The architect used the home's original footprint and materials in the renovation, while adding contemporary conveniences such as a gym and game room. The interiors, decorated by Countess Angelika, feature a muted palette in tune with the pale limestone floors, plaster walls, and limed-oak beams.
Film producer and director Robert Zemeckis's 6,900-square-foot Tuscan farmhouse sits within the ruins of a tenth-century castle. The picturesque property, which includes 22 acres of land, a working vineyard, and an olive grove, is ideal for both indoor and outdoor entertaining. This alfresco dining area offers views of the pool and surrounding countryside.
Villa in Turin
A dilapidated villa in Turin received a historically conscious makeover by Susie and Gianni Ropolo. The welcoming kitchen features tinted-plaster walls and trompe l'oeil baseboards by Giacomo Aimo, a fourth-generation decorative painter whose work appears throughout the home. The terra-cotta floor was salvaged from another room.
Restored Tuscan Home
Builder Nicholas Risley helped a couple turn an abandoned farmhouse with a collapsed roof and no electricity or plumbing into a stunning spot for large family gatherings. The exterior was restored using stones from other ruined homes in the area, and the landscape architects Euroambiente took cues from neighboring properties to make the grounds blend in with the surrounding landscape.