Overview of the Villa Gioli
Impressionist’s summer residence
In the summers of a century ago aristocrats and academics from the ancient University of Pisa, as well as naval officers from the nearby port of Leghorn retreated to their patrician country residences rising on the gentle hillsides shouldering the city of Pisa. One of these, the Villa Gioli, was built in the 1700’s. Originally a hunting lodge, villa Gioli acquired its present style and dimensions in the second half of the 1800’s when the brothers Francesco and Luigi Gioli, descendants of a wealthy aristocratic family from Pisa, whose life was dedicated to the arts, added the tower which was to become the artists’ atelier at their country house villa in Tuscany.
This was the golden era of Italian impressionists, known locally as the “Macchaioli”, derived from “macchia” which means as much as dot or stain and is a reference to the impressionistic stroke of the brush. This powerful, though at the time controversial, movement embraced some of the leading painters of the day, many of whom had studied in Paris. This was a time when artists were venturing beyond the confines of their studios into nature and the constantly fluctuating light and colours of the surrounding countryside, breaking with academic traditions, seeking new frontiers. There was a pressing urge to congregate among fellow artists to exchange ideas and derive strength from each other’s inspiration. Matilde Bartolommei Gioli, wife of one of the two artist brothers, offered these striving artists a haven. Intelligent, cultivated and well-read, she flung open the doors of the Villa Gioli to the most avant-garde artists, intelligentsia and writers of the time. Among these Fattori, Lega, Signorini, Kienerk and Cecconi came and stayed in the villa Gioli for many a long summer.
The present owners, the Marquis Cerrina Feroni family, are direct descendants of the Gioli brothers. The spirit of those times has remained to this day.
HOUSES ON THIS ESTATE AVAILABLE FOR WEEKLY RENTAL
Number of beds : 12
Lucca: At forty five minutes by car from Villa Gioli, Lucca is one of the most enchanting towns in Tuscany. Whether you stroll along the wide avenues cresting the top of the ancient city walls or wander through the narrow streets punctuated by its ninety nine churches, visit one of the richly endowed museums or browse among the old-fashioned little boutiques, sip a cappuccino at one of the many traditional coffee houses and sample some of the best ice cream in Tuscany, this is a sheer delight.
- Villa Gioli lies near Pisa, on the western coast of Tuscany
- The closest village is Fauglia at 2 km – 5 min
- Pisa 25 km – 30 min
- Leghorn/Livorno 30 km – 30 min
- Viareggio 55 km (beaches) – 40 min
- Bolgheri 65 km (area famous for its wine) 50 min
- Lucca 60 km – 45 min
- Florence 75 km – 1 hr
- Volterra 55 km – 1 hr
- San Gimignano 60 km – 1 hr 10 min
- Siena 125 km – 1 hr 45 min
Activities & Places of interest
- Lucca: At forty five minutes by car from Villa Gioli, Lucca is one of the most enchanting towns in Tuscany. Whether you stroll along the wide avenues cresting the top of the ancient city walls or wander through the narrow streets punctuated by its ninety nine churches, visit one of the richly endowed museums or browse among the old-fashioned little boutiques, sip a cappuccino at one of the many traditional coffee houses and sample some of the best ice cream in Tuscany, this is a sheer delight.
- The celebrated villas around Lucca: Some of these historic villas are open to the public and a few have internationally renowned gardens, offering an inimitable glimpse of gracious living which has endured until the present day.
- The seashore: the nearest sea resorts are at approximately 20 minutes from Villa Gioli. At a 40 minute drive north are sandy beaches along the coast of Versilia at turn of the century Viareggio and fashionable Forte dei Marmi with their trendy bars, designer shopping and some of the best seafood restaurants in Italy. You will find amore natural coastline in the Maremma, which is at a 40 minute drive to the south.
- Carrara: visiting the marble quarries of Carrara are a fascinating excursion. After having been up the quarries, stop at Pietrasanta, a charming town between mountains and the sea where many sculptors have come to work.
- The Puccini festival is held every summer in July and August at Torre del Lago, the summer residence of Giacomo Puccini, at 45 km from Villa Gioli.
- 3 tennis courts in the near village of Perignano
- Riding as from the age of 4 at a nearby riding club
- The Cosmopolitan Golf & Country Club in Tirrenia (18 holes) is a 30 minute drive from villa Gioli.