Villa Vignamaggio ★★★

An elegant agriturismo (farm stay) on a wine estate in the Chianti region of Tuscany with an artistic pedigree that dates from the Mona Lisa to Kenneth Branagh

The gardens at agriturismo Villa Vignamaggio in the Chianti region of Tuscany.
A room at the agriturismo Villa Vignamaggio in the Chianti region of Tuscany.
The Russet-orange villa surrounded by cypress and elegant gardens called Villa Vignamaggio will look oddly familiar to Kenneth Branagh fans. This is where he filmed Much Ado About Nothing—but the 14th-century villa's fame goes back much further; this was, after all, the childhood home of a young girl who would grow up to pose for a painting by Leonardo da Vinci and become known as the Mona Lisa.

Now the joint's owned by a Milanese former banker, who has revived the wine making —and turned most of the out buildings in a rather chic agriturismo (farm stay operation), with four-star rooms—and a few stony cottages for rent—all of them scattered around the property in various ancient outbuildings.

Other amenities include two swimming pools and a Jacuzzi, tennis courts, a playground, a gym, a spa (where you can sign up for "wine therapy"), and horse-back riding (with golf nearby).

The restaurant—open to guests only, Mon-Fri—also offers Tuscan cooking lessons with chef Christina.

Book ahead at least a week ahead to tour the wine cellar and those famous, ornate gardens (Tuesdays and Thursdays only).

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★★★ Villa Vignamaggio
Via Petriolo 5, Vignamaggio, Greve in Chianti
tel. +39-055-854-661

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