As it stands prominently on the hill top at Borgo alla Collina, Villa Mondello enjoys extensive and expansive views in every direction.
This small village has origins at least from the middle ages and probably much earlier, has experienced a glorious history - and a tragic one, for it was extensively bombed during the first world war.
The village was a fiefdom under the Guidi Counts and was annexed as part of Florence. The nearby castle was presented as a gift to Cristoforo Landino by the city of Florence in recognition of his humanitarian work and his appreciation and support to the divine comedy.
The villa is protected by two other local castles, the more prestigious of these, The Castle of Poppi differs visually and structurally from others in the valley and was eventually used as a model for the future Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
Another local castle with an illustrious history is Castle Romena which was mentioned by Dante in the Inferno. We trust that since then, people have considerably improved.
This Church of Orgi, which is not even known to Google is well over 1000 years old and can be found on the valley floor below the villa.
We suggest that you stroll there on foot, the walk is through beautiful countryside and if you are lucky you might be welcomed by one of the monks who live on the site and they will open the church for you and explain the history of the place.
On the way back, maybe a little fishing and certainly return with a little more knowledge of the Tuscan countryside.
As you enter through the gates of the villa, you immediately feel that you are in a different world - one of peace and tranquility.
Everyone notices the palm tree which spectacularly grows to the rear of the house.
The parkland, shaded by the green canopy of trees is a comfortable place even in the heat of high summer - a tranquil and perfect spot to take a siesta after a good italian lunch ( and maybe a little red wine).
The villa is surrounded by 7000 msq of parkland which is planted with mature trees - many of them rare or unusual varieties.
On entering you see the traditional box hedged italian garden - elegant and refined and making a pleasing frame to the lawned area.
At the centre of the Italian garden is the fountain of Villa Mondello - the gentle tinkling of water joins the sound of the song birds which inhabit the park.
Leading down into the park is the double stone staircase which will take you into a different world - one of peace and tranquility.
An orchard can be found to the rear of the villa and there, depending on the season, guests can find and enjoy a wide selection of home grown fruits - cherries, apples, pears, nuts - just pick and enjoy.
A great idea is to pick plenty and have a picnic by the pool.
On warm evenings, the spacious and private outside terrace is a wonderful place for ‘al fresco’ dining.
Wherever you go in the grounds, one can find peace and seclusion and our terraced garden is one of our favourite places.
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