A 15th century residence for refined tourism
by Francesco Querusti
In his “Rime” dated 1520, Michelangelo Buonarroti wrote; “La Loggia is beauty, seen or imagined, it is friends with virtue and grace”. Today, the beauty of the Loggia is not to be imagined but to be seen, touched and experienced. Giulio and Cuca Baruffaldi, together with their daughter Paola, bought Fattoria La Loggia at Montefiridolfi near San Casciano Val di Pesa in 1979. La Loggia was born in 1427: the Buondelmonti, powerful Florentine nobles, were the first to plant the initial vineyards and build the first cellar around the ancient stronghold; later came the Medici and houses and stables rose near Villa Patrizia. The Fattoria was conceived as a self-sufficient unit – a small hamlet – where every function and every craft had its place: the carpentry, the oil mill, the cellar and the farmer’s quarters, the farrier and the blacksmith. The large Villa instead was the result of various changes it underwent in later periods. From a medieval tower with walls nearly two metres thick it became, during the Renaissance, a welcoming Villa of the Buondelmonte family: 35 rooms of aristocratic elegance giving on to an Italian garden overlooking the valley and the hills. Thus life carried on for centuries, right up to the twentieth century when social balances broke down and led the hamlet to a slow and progressive dereliction. The rebirth of the hamlet has been a difficult enterprise, truly pioneering which Giulio and Cuca faced with great dedication, ability and passion.
At the end, the doors of Fattoria La Loggia reopened now converted into a charming retreat for a refined and exclusive tourism. At the same time, even the agricultural activities have given their fruits with the bottling of an excellent Chianti Classico, a fine Barrique red and a sparkling wine which honour the prestigious names they bear, Nearco and Ribot, two legendary horses.
Marking out the furnishing and the style of the house are the horses. They are of all sizes and styles in every nook and cranny: rocking horses, valuable miniatures, fine fusions or steeds shown in antique British prints or horses carved in sandstone or wood, bronze or wax. A collection highlighting the great passion the family has whose roots go back to the second half of the 19th century when Cuca’s grandfather trained horses for the Savoy royal family. Indeed, there are mainly silver cups and many trophies won on horseback by all the family displayed on the furniture; from Giulio and mostly his wife Cuca and the following generations: Paola, her daughters Ludovica and Federica and Giorgio, Paola’s present partner. Indeed, Paola and Giorgio continue the family’s horse riding passion by running one of the most important horse riding schools in Tuscany, Scuola Micheletto, only a few kilometres away from the house. Paola’s daughters, Federica and Ludovica are engaged in international competitions.
But horses are not the only passion in this family: spread on the walls of the suites, rooms and in the park are works of internationally renowned artists which make up the collection that Giulio Baruffaldi created in the years. La Loggia is also a permanent museum of contemporary art of great value and a real and true cultural centre which can host various artistic events, exhibitions, concerts, reviews and conventions, also open to companies to organize their promotional events.
Fattoria la loggia
Via Collina, 24
San Casciano Val di Pesa (FI)
Tel. +39 055 8244288