Villa Laura | Tuscany, Italy
Situated in the hilltop town of Cortona, an estate featuring endless views of the Tuscan countryside, a pool tucked into garden grounds, billiards room, and an original 17th century fresco in the Limonaia.
Can a Tuscan villa change your life? We think so. And so does Frances Mayes, author of the best-selling memoir Under the Tuscan Sun. In the book – later adapted into a film by the same name, starring Diane Lane and shot right here at Villa Laura – Mayes purchases a charismatic but battered villa in the hilltop Tuscan town of Cortona and organizes its painstaking restoration.
At the time Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed, Villa Laura (called Bramasole in the film) was a perfect setting, with its well-aged patina mirroring the pre-renovation villa in Mays’ story.
Then, post-filming, Villa Laura underwent its own loving restoration, so that others could have transformative experiences within its 17th century walls.
A leisure estate comprised of a refurbished Villa, Farmhouse and Limonaia, Villa Laura encourages a slower pace. A “paring down” of life to just a few essential ingredients: sunshine, time spent in green scenery (dappled vineyards, rolling hills, a mountain ridge, the villa’s fragrant gardens) and, of course, celebrating with family and friends over delectable food and wine.
At Villa Laura, you can stretch out on a lounger by a pool in the gardens, on a hammock suspended between two fruit trees, or on a plush sofa underneath the Limonaia’s original, domed 17th century fresco ceiling.
A hot tub bubbles in full view of sun-dappled mountains, and a game room provides billiards and board games. In-between games, nibble on some pizza fired in the authentic stone pizza oven.
Ten En-Suite Bedrooms – Sleeps 20
Each of the 10 bedrooms features its own en-suite bathroom, sweeping views across the Cortona valley and its verdant olive groves, and plush amenities like pillow-top beds wrapped in the highest thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and fluffy bathrobes and towels.
The Villa sleeps 10 guests in four large, first-floor bedrooms and one bedroom on the ground floor that’s a bit smaller. Each bedroom is infused with the subtle luxury of antique furniture and hand-woven fabrics. Four of these bedrooms feature a bathtub and shower; the other has a shower. All bathrooms boast gorgeous travertine floors and a selection of artisan, all-natural Italian grooming products.
Once a working farmhouse for holding livestock, this re-imagined building now accommodates eight guests in four luxury bedrooms. The carefully curated antique furniture and hand-woven fabrics belie the Farmhouse’s humble history.
Flexible sleeping arrangements include one bed that can be separated into two twins or joined into a queen, as well as two queen-sized beds and one king. Each bedroom has garden views and its own bathroom with a shower; two of these bathrooms have bathtubs as well.
The remaining bedroom is housed with the Limonaia, where the estate used to store its citrus trees through the winter. Take a deep breath and you may catch a hint of lingering citrus fragrance (though it may be wafting in from the garden just outside). A separate entrance, walk-out terrace with views of the valley, and a stunning 17th century fresco on the living room’s domed ceiling make this a Master suite unlike any you’ve ever seen.
Fully Equipped Chef-Style Kitchen
Of course, we give careful attention to the cooking and eating spaces at Villa Laura. The simple yet enchanting dishes of Tuscan cuisine deserve nothing less.
Private chefs are on hand to create culinary magic in the opulent, farmhouse-style kitchen with huge center island. The cupboards are stocked with local, homemade products like jams, passata, sauces, and oils. A year-round organic vegetable garden provides staple vegetables for our guests.
When it’s time to feast, have a seat at the sprawling outdoor garden table underneath lush vines. Or, in the cooler months, tuck into the dining room table next to a flickering fire. In both dinnertime settings, wine from the stocked wine cellar is a must-have accompaniment.
Outdoor Living Areas
Dappled by lush greenery, the outdoor living areas include the estate gardens, fresh-air terraces, a farmhouse-style outdoor dining table, a Jacuzzi, and a sparkling pool. Each of these areas provides top-of-the-hill views of the Cortona valley and its mountain ridges.
The Cuvée travel expert and on-site host can assist with all your wishes, including in-residence massages, personal chef services, daily housekeeping, babysitting and a personal driver.
Cortona captivates with medieval architecture, sacred history, and a hilltop perch overlooking a tapestry of olive groves. The upper part of the hill in Cortona, called the poggio, provides an unmatched vantage point for the endless valley below. Winding streets and steep staircases lead you past centuries-old spiritual landmarks that add an unmistakable sacred air to Cortona. Another perk: the city’s ideal geographical location places it within day-trip distance to several renowned locales like Florence, Siena, Perugia, Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Lake Trasimeno, Arezzo, Assisi, Gubbio, Orvieto, Spoleto and many others. The movie Under the Tuscan Sun—and the memoir on which it is based—made Cortona famous, and Villa Laura presents a chance to stay on the very same estate that enchanted the film’s audiences
Property Details for Villa Laura | Tuscany, Italy
- Price $3,200 - $4,595 / night
- Beds 10
- Style Estate
- Baths 10
- Neighborhood Tuscany, Italy
- Pool Yes