Villa La Pietra – 4 Sides To a Villa

October 2, 2012 / Places
Florence, Tuscany
All of us view villas and their gardens with different perspectives. After visiting Villa La Pietra, a four-sided country villa built during the Renaissance, it dawned on me that each façade of the villa has a different style and a different corresponding garden. The front side, with its noble entrance decorated with statues and an avenue of cypress trees leading up to it, could be considered its Formal Side.

The opposite side of the villa is still quite formal and it is from here where, from the 15th century onwards, guests would view the elaborately designed gardens. I would call this the Garden Side.

The right side of Villa La Pietra is a less formal façade, with roses ambling up its walls and double French doors leading outside from a parlor. The gardens here are simple box hedge and I would call this the Family Side.

Then there is the left side of the villa that faces the fruit orchard (pomario) and the vegetable garden (orto) where lettuces grow alongside flowers. Due to this façade’s easy access to the herb garden and lemon trees, I would call it the Kitchen Side.

The four sides to a villa – formal, garden, family and kitchen – much like the facets of a person.

Villa La Pietra – Via Bolognese 120, Florence. 39-055 – 5007210

Jean Tori

by Jean Tori

Artist- Art website: Art blog: Design company: Jean also rents holiday houses in her medieval hamlet in Umbria at

8 Responses to “Villa La Pietra – 4 Sides To a Villa”

  1. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    What an interesting view, thank you ,yet I would love to see the fifth side…the inside. Any fotos?

  2. Rosalyn DellaPietra

    I believe this villa belongs to New York University. Would love to see the entire estate, including the inside. My mother’s maiden name was “LaPietra”. Wish I could claim a connection!

  3. Jean, Simply Elegant!!! Your writing and your observations yet simply stated evoke deeper emotions on how homes and villas are very much like their owners, multifaceted.I love elegance but the rose garden family side and the kitchen side is where you would probably find me most often. Again thanks for the article.

  4. Hello everyone, so glad you liked the note – a bit out there, but evocative! It does belong to the New York University, and I too would have loved to see inside, but we were attending a garden book (The Best Gardens in Italy) launch and, therefore, my friend – who included the garden in her book – was given permission to use the Limonaia (greenhouse where the lemon trees are kept in winter) and so, although we didn’t get to go inside we were allowed to wander freely around the garden, which we did thoroughly! It was remarkable how different each of the gardens were that faced each side too. Ciao a tutti e grazie mille, Jean


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