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Villa Vignamaggio: the legend of Gioconda

23 November 2017

A Renaissance villa immersed in the tranquility of the Chianti region, surrounded by magnificent Italian gardens, vineyards, and olive groves. This is Villa Vignamaggio, a property of more than two hundred hectares in the Chianti Classico area, halfway between Florence and Siena. 
All around, a landscape among the most fascinating of Tuscany, made of stone farms and romantic cypresses. In autumn the colors explode in a symphony of yellow, red and ocher that makes the vision of this enchanting place even more impressive, marrying with the pink color of the Villa. 
Currently, Vignamaggio is a prestigious farmhouse and a farm that still produces an olive oil and a Chianti wine celebrated all over the world.
 
But Vignamaggio is not just (though it would already be enough) one of the most beautiful places to visit throughout Tuscany: a mystery is hidden between these walls.

The Villa that hosted Monna Lisa

The whole world knows and loves the mysterious "Gioconda", the painting made between 1503 and 1506 by Leonardo da Vinci. As is well known, the portrait represents a noblewoman in the background of a typical Tuscan landscape and owes its reputation to the famous enigmatic smile that ripples the girl's lips. 

The protagonist of what perhaps is the most famous pictorial work in the world is, at least as Vasari said, Monna Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo.

Villa Vignamaggio was built in the 14th century by the family of Monna Lisa, the Gherardini. Legend has it that Monna Lisa, born in 1479, has lived here for a period of her life. Indeed, the Villa was sold by Gherardini to Gherardi's cousins in 1421, so it is certainly possible for Lisa to have spent time in this magical place.

An autumn walk for the Gioconda

What we know for sure is that Lisa was born in Via Maggio, in Florence, and then moved to near Santa Croce, where she lived near the father of Leonardo da Vinci, Ser Piero. In Chianti, the Gherardini family also owned a small country house in San Donato in Poggio, not too far from Villa Vignamaggio.

Although there is no evidence of Monna Lisa’s passage, just look at the background of the "Mona Lisa" painted by Leonardo and compare it with the countryside around the Villa and let your imagination flow to picture the Florentine noblewoman walking in the Italian garden, perhaps just in the fall of autumn, lost in the beauty of the landscape, while around her a vortex multicolored leaves make her look even more beautiful.

Villa Vignamaggio is one of the many steps of our Holiday Packages in Chianti: book your weekend at the Albergo del Chianti, which overlooks the beautiful, ancient main square of Greve, a perfect base to explore the area. Our packages will make you travel to discover all the magic of Chianti, from the historical and artistic treasures to the food and wine!


 Book your Chianti Holiday!

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