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The gardens at Villa Cetinale are renowned as being amongst the most beautiful in Italy

Villa Cetinale

TUSCANY

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Villa Cetinale is a 17th century villa in the Ancaiano district near Siena, Italy. Designed by the architect Carlo Fontana, in the Roman Baroque style, the villa was built in 1680 by Cardinal Flavio Chigi for Pope Alexander VII — Fabio Chigi. The gardens at Villa Cetinale are renowned as being amongst the most beautiful in Italy. Within easy reach of Florence, Siena, Pisa, Rome, 

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TUSCANY

It is said that Cardinal Flavio Chigi was ordered by the Pope to climb the Santa Scala, (Holy Stair) on his knees each day, in order to atone for his crime. Locals suggest that Flavio, a very worldly and wealthy man, may have managed it once a year on foot, but there is is no historical evidence that such a crime was ever committed. Nevertheless, the atmosphere in the Thebaid (Holy Wood) reeks of repentance and religious contemplation.

Cetinale was originally a farmhouse, built on ruins from an Etrurian settlement in the 9th century BC. Only at the end of the 19th century, was it rediscovered by foreign visitors exploring this remote area of the Tuscan countryside. By then it had become one of the most appreciated Italian gardens. The first works of transformation of a small villa are recorded in 1651 when Flavio Chigi's uncle, Cardinal Fabio Chigi owned Cetinale. The house, a modest building surrounded by farm dwellings, was enlarged on the southern side with two wings that flanked two storeys of open loggias. The garden was enclosed by an escarped wall, along which small towers gave it the appearance of a miniature fortress.

Villa Cetinale

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Along the lines of these last two villas, Cardinal Durini had the Villa del Balbianello built on the adjacent hill of Lavedo which he purchased for this purpose. This was the heyday that lived the villa of Balbiano on Lake Como.

Villa Balbiano

COMO LAKE

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The facade of the villa has simple and sober lines punctuated by ornamental motifs in gray stone with a rusticated portal. Durini built a lighthouse tower for mariners in the body of water in front of the house, which was however destroyed in the last century. The beautiful garden is full of statues and foundations built by the cardinal. 

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COMO LAKE

it was built in Ossuccio at the behest of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio on a pre-existing building at the end of the 16th century using drawings by Pellegrino Tibaldi, known as Pellegrini (1527–1596), commissioned by the Giovio family before he ceded the property to the cardinal who in 1586 obtained the "Tre Pievi" county (Gravedona, Sorico and Dongo) on the shores of Lake Como.

After ups and downs, the villa returned briefly to Count Giambattista Giovio, from whom Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini bought it in 1787. The latter transformed it into his new villa of delights where he moved his celebrated literary cenacle leaving the villas of Monza Mirabello and Mirabellino from which he transferred his rich library and his art collections.

Villa balbiano

We have an original laboratory specialized in author printing, conservative framing, limited edition printing, exhibition preparation and artistic installations.

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enchanted view of Lake Como. This elegant, romantic 18th century mansion and its magnificent garden have hosted writers, scholars and travelers, including Count Guido Monzino, the last owner of the Villa.

Villa del Balbianello

como lake

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Villa del Balbianello was bequeathed to FAI by Guido Monzino in 1988.
Perched on the edge of the wooded peninsula of Lavedo jutting out over the Lake Como, the Villa offers a wide panorama, which makes it one of the most spectacular estates in the area.

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COMO LAKE

Villa del Balbianello was brought back to its original vocation in modern times, when Guido Monzino, entrepreneur, collector and passionate traveler, chose it to preserve the memories of his adventures, which include being the first Italian to climb Mount Everest, with impeccable order and exquisite taste.
Maps, travel tools, books, furniture items, as well as precious and peculiar collections of ancient and primitive art objects, evoke the life and deeds of their owner: everything is still arranged according to his will, including the relics and souvenirs of his mountaineering exploits displayed in the fascinating Museum of Expeditions.
In accordance to his wishes, FAI has been managing the Villa since 1988, preserving its spirit and taking care of its magnificent garden. Trees pruned into unusual shapes, romantic views, avenues lined with statues, panoramic terraces and abundant blooms surround an ascending path leading to the 18th century Loggia Durini, which crowns the whole Balbianello complex and offers the visitors two different panoramas of the Lake.

Villa Del Balbianello

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Masseria Potenti

Within an estate of about one hundred and thirty hectares and, in the countryside of Manduria, rises the sixteenth century Masseria Potenti, originally belonging to the rich and powerful family of the Imperiali. It is located in a smooth landscape which gently rolls towards the enchanting Ionian sea, amongst endless olive groves, vineyards and Mediterranean thicket.


The first inhabitants in the area were a small group of Benedictine monks, who founded a monastery there in 1361 and dedicated it to San Girolamo. The monastery soon grew in size and power, and it even subjugated other similar institutions to its authority.

La Cervara

Santa Margherita Ligure

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The abbey of Cervara, or abbey of San Girolamo al Monte di Portofino, is a former monastic complex, a place of Catholic worship, located along the provincial road 227 that leads from Santa Margherita Ligure to the village of Portofino. The abbey is surrounded by various gardens, including an Italian garden overlooking the sea which gives it a unique aura.

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Santa Margherita Ligure

The prestige of San Girolamo della Cervara and its magnificent position made it the preferred destination of illustrious personalities whose visits are recorded in local journals. These people included poet Francesco Petrarca, Saint Catherine of Siena, Pope Gregory XI (1376) and John of Austria, the famous leader who defeated the Turks at Lepanto (1574).

Cervara was also visited by scholar Alessandro Piccolomini and scientist Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the wireless telegraph. Some unfortunate individuals even found themselves forced to stay at Cervara against their will. For example, King Francis I of France, who was defeated by Charles V of Spain at Pavia in 1525, had the singular misfortune of being imprisoned in the small tower rising steeply from the beach (where, ironically enough, he could enjoy a splendid view of Portofino bay).

La CERVARA

BUILT IN 1741, RESTORED IN 2013
One of the finest landmark homes in Positano, Villa San Giacomo was built by wealthy merchants looking for a suitably sumptuous place where to discuss business and from where they could observe their ships coming in from the sea.
Today this historical villa in Positano has been completely renovated and offers an elegant and spacious home for vacationing or holding esclusive events. The entire property can be reserved for weddings and other private events.

Villa San giacomo

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positano

Mary and Gianluca, 
Thank you soooooo much for these photos. They are more beautiful than I could have imagined and brought me to tears again with so much happiness. You have no idea how happy they have made me. I have had to move across the country away from my husband for veterinary school, so being able to look at these memories while we are living apart for the next four years really helps with the distance.  Thank you again! We could not have asked for more wonderful photographers :)))

Monique + Josh

Oliver and I cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work on Saturday. You both captured the day so perfectly and exceeded all of our expectations. My family was talking all day yesterday about how wonderful you both were. I feel so lucky to have been able to work with such talented photographers for our wedding who are also such nice people. The photos I have seen on Instagram so far are so beautiful and I can't wait to see the rest!!  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!

Ashley + Oliver

 Alex + Tim

Hi Gianluca and Mary,
We are absolutely thrilled with our photographs! Thanks you so very much, you've done a brilliant job in capturing the day and creating the most beautiful memories to look back on.
Thanks again,


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Hi-tec objects, as smartphones and tablet, are hardly entered in our lives, they are an essential part of our living, almost an extension of ourselves. Of course these are extraordinary objects that let us comunicate without barriers. It is incredibile the fact that we can bring with us whole archives of memories that we can browse whenever we wont to

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SINCE 2001