Villa Cetinale: Memoir of a House in Tuscany

By Ned Lambton

After inheriting a seventeenth-century Tuscan villa, Ned Lambton and his wife, Marina, lovingly restored the estate as a retreat for family and friends. With newly commissioned photographs by Simon Upton, Lambton brings to life the rich history of the villa, its redecoration, its raucous history, and, above all else, the dream of owning and renovating a Tuscan villa.

Located just outside Siena, Italy, Villa Cetinale stands amid vineyards, silver olive groves, and wooded hills that have remained largely untouched since the late seventeenth century, when Cardinal Flavio Chigi, a nephew of Pope Alexander VII, expanded what was a modest farmhouse into the villa we see today.

Cetinale was acquired from the Chigi dynasty in 1978, by the charismatic Lord Antony Lambton, the author’s father, who cultivated the villa’s reputation as one of the most beautiful and glamorous homes in Italy, laying out new gardens and hosting fashionable figures from England (Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Mick Jagger, Rupert Everett, Tony Blair, and Kate Moss).

The villa has undergone major refurbishment—all without altering the original character of the house—with restoration work carried out by Bolko von Schweinichen, a Florentine architect known for his reverent handling of historic buildings, and interiors by London decorator Camilla Guinness, a lifelong friend of the family.

9.75" x 11.25" x 1" 

224 pages

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