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Villa Palagione in the heart of Tuscany


Villa Palagione and the mountain "Monte Voltraio", in the background Volterra
Villa Palagione and the historical Monte Voltraio

Villa Palagione is located seven kilometres east of the 3000 year-old cultural centre of Volterra, on the southern slope of it's historical mountain "Monte Voltraio". Here the impregnable fortress "Kastell Monte Voltraio" as well as a densely populated village, located below the peak, were once located. First mentioned in 967 A.D., on the event of the visit of the Emperor Otto the Great, this commune was at it's zenith in the 12th /13th centuries and was once an independent township. In the following centuries, however, it was completely destroyed by innumerable military power struggles. Numerous archaeological findings, remains of walls, pillars and capitals still present today give an idea of the dimensions and importance of this place.

Fresco in Villa Palagione, View of "Kastell Mounte Voltraio"


Villa Palagione built 400 years ago for luxurious living in exquisite surroundings

The recorded history of Villa Palagione starts 400 years ago, in 1598, at the height of the Florentine dynasty of the Medici family. A plaque names the original owner as Girolamo Minucci. He was a knight and cupbearer of various Medici Grand Dukes of Tuscany. Over the centuries the Minucci family represented the interests of the Medici in this region. The area's vast mineral resources were the source of great wealth and power, but also the cause of numerous power struggles. Since the times of Girolamo the appearance of the estate has changed several times over the centuries, bowing to the tastes of past generations and the dictates of fashion trends. The villa has numerous large rooms and halls. The "Lords and Ladies" lived on the central floor, or "Bel-Etage", where today you can still find the most beautiful murals and frescoes.

 


Villa Palagione saved from destruction

The decline of Villa Palagione began at the turn of the 20th century. The estate was abandoned and stood empty for many years. Vaulted ceilings and rooms collapsed, frescos were damaged, and vandals and plunderers had easy access. By chance, we (a circle of friends from Germany and Italy) heard about the overgrown residence and were able to buy it in the first months of 1986, when it was still in a partially-ramshackle condition. Although the task at times seemed nearly impossible, we started to renovate it with the help of friendly artists and craftsmen.
We took great care in preserving the historical structures, and at the same time introduced necessary modernizations, all the while using traditional techniques to reconstruct the vaulted ceilings, frescoes and gates. In addition we designed amenities and technical infrastructures so they would be environmentally-friendly and accessible for persons with disabilities. The extensive refurbishing work took more than ten years and taught us a lot about architecture, art and stamina!
Our first years weren't easy but we never lost our courage or our energy. And one thing we know for sure: there were many kind spirits on our side to help and support us along the way.


Villa Palagione filled
with new life


Today Villa Palagione has evolved into an internationally renowned centre of culture and study, a place of encounters, learning, enjoyment and creativity.
We offer accommodation for up to 65 guests, seminar and conference rooms, as well as beautiful gardens and a pool for recreation and relaxation.
Our in-house Tuscan cuisine varies according to the seasons and includes a breakfast buffet, and a midday or evening meal (a set meal with several courses) featuring regional specialties.

With our international culture and study centre we experiment new ways of getting to know one other, as well as looking at foreign ways of life and mentalities.
One of our primary objectives is to encourage multicultural encounters that allow for a greater understanding between people from different nations.

We regularly host international artistic events as well as renown exhibitions on topics of European history, such as the influence of the Emperor Otto I on European history (www.ottone-il-grande.org), or the history of the Longobards in Italy.

Villa Palagione is also involved in various European exchange programs as a registered association and is also a member of the "EBZ - European Centres for Culture and Communication Association".







At Villa Palagione you can

* take a holiday that is a perfect combination between relaxation and learning

* take part in courses such as: Italian language, cultural treasures of Tuscany, painting, alabaster, music, singing, walking, riding, Tuscan cuisine...

* simply enjoy your holiday and join in the activities on offer

* come as a group, attend a conference or organise a seminar

* let yourself be pampered with regional culinary specialties

* meet friendly, interesting people and relax in a warm, sophisticated and sociable environment