Villa Ardore: A luxury Tuscan villa in the heart of Chianti

While eight suites, wine country views and a heated infinity pool all make Villa Ardore undeniably luxurious, it’s features like a Roman spa, stunning culinary gardens and hand-picked artisan furnishings that give this reinvigorated 15th-century Tuscan farmhouse a touch of something extra special. Set amid a forest, olive groves and vineyards, Villa Ardore’s aesthetic showcases Tuscan authenticity, from its expertly cultivated wine cantina to its fine art collection. Combined with modern amenities that today’s luxury travellers demand, Villa Ardore exudes a comfortable elegance, where every aspect of your stay is exclusively curated.

With comfort in mind, spouses and owners Christian and Stephen have created a Tuscan paradise that reflects the serenity and beauty of Chianti. And when you want to experience the region’s heritage and culture, Villa Ardore is on the doorstep of medieval towns that include San Gimignano and Castellina in Chianti. Usually rented out in its entirety, Villa Ardore’s suites become available to individuals during events such as Tuscany Pride in June, when Christian and Stephen have a few treats of their own in store to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

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Villa Ardore was created to provide guests with a place to be who they truly are in their own luxury Tuscan farmhouse in the heart of a world-renowned wine region

A luxury villa in the heart of Chianti

Villa Ardore was created to provide guests with a place to be who they truly are in their own luxury Tuscan farmhouse in the heart of a world-renowned wine region. While modern amenities provide the comforts of day-to-day life, Villa Ardore retains its Tuscan character. As co-founder Christian Scali said: “we have created that luxury home experience without sacrificing any part of what makes Villa Ardore special—its deep roots as a farmhouse in one of the world’s most storied wine regions.

Of course, you needn’t venture beyond the villa’s grounds to take in the famous Tuscan landscape and get a sense of its traditions while immersing yourself in luxury, but those who want to discover the wider region’s gems have plenty of options. The Historic cities of Siena and Florence can be reached via a 40-minute drive. If you prefer quaint medieval towns, you can drive to Castellina in Chianti and San Donato in Poggio in 15 minutes. For a look at Tuscany through a local’s lenses, join a tour with Francesco, the villa’s experience curator, who can arrange vineyard days plus outings ranging from guided tours of Florence to countryside adventures in a vintage Fiat 500.

Photo: Villa Ardore

Photo: Villa Ardore

Tuscan tradition meets modern luxury

Describing Villa Ardore as a paradise is not an understatement. Its historic buildings are in an idyllic setting reachable via a gravel path that’s two miles from the nearest country road, surrounded by rolling vineyards and the Tuscan forest. When you pass through the regal-looking gate and tree-canopied driveway to the luxury villa, you’ll be taken aback by the sweeping views of the Chianti wine country. From the neighbouring hill, you can take in panoramic views of the UNESCO-listed San Gimignano medieval town.

The villa began as a lookout tower in the 15th century before attaining the status of farmhouse in the following century. Since then, various families renovated and extended the house until it reached its current size, which includes eight suites plus an office that can be converted into a ninth. Seven suites are situated in the main villa, while two more occupy the converted barn. In total, Villa Ardore can keep 18 guests comfortable and pampered.

What makes this place a truly unique blend of new and old are amenities like a large infinity pool complete with a hydro-massage area and waterfall, all surrounded by a stone patio adorned with handmade deck chairs. Flowing drapery partly encloses the covered gazebo, which shades a marble-topped poolside bar. Moving inside to the converted barn, you’ll find a private spa with a steam room, sauna, sensory shower and whirlpool embedded into the stone floor. There’s also a kitchen suitable for large events including weddings. Upstairs, two modern suites offer unparalleled views of the countryside. Climate control, blackouts, bedside USB ports come as standard, as they also do in the suites of the main villa – an impressive feat given the need to retain an authentic Tuscan look in an ancient building with meter-thick stone walls.

Photo: Villa Ardore

Photo: Villa Ardore

The property

Located just 50 minutes from Florence Airport (FLR), Villa Ardore provides a multitude of modern conveniences while retaining its rustic elements. Expect LED lighting, state-of-the-art electronics and a well-outfitted chef’s level kitchen, plus decorative touches ranging from custom furnishings and sculptures to design elements sourced from regional artists. The second-floor farmhouse suites feature terracotta tile ceilings with exposed Tuscan wood beams hanging above terracotta floors adorned with Persian rugs. After a day of exploration, you can tuck into Yves Delorme luxury French linen sheets on custom-made mattresses. The restored main villa features six suites as standard plus an office that can be converted into a bedroom. The restored dependence features a grape-covered terrace, kitchenette and private entrance. Spacious living areas feature works of art from local talent. The Parisian bar and wine cellar houses a selection of boutique selections, while the gourmet chef’s kitchen neighbors a dining room that’s ideal for corporate presentations, weddings, artisan workshops and a range of special events.

Besides indoor dining, there’s an alfresco dining area with a loggia overlooking the Tuscan landscape. And in addition to the infinity pool with vineyard views, there’s an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven and a bocce court. To put the cherry on top of your day of serene relaxation, the spa features a wellness area, Turkish bath, dry sauna and a whirlpool tub.

Photo: Villa Ardore

The owners

Spouses and founders Christian Scali and Stephen Lewis have injected true passion into the creation of Villa Ardore. After all, Ardore translates to ‘loving passion’ in Italian. It’s a place where everybody can enjoy the region in luxury while being free to be themselves, as Stephen Lewis explained: “We wanted to create a place where everyone—including the LGBTQ+ community —has the luxury to be who they are and feel like it could be their own luxury home.

Lewis’s spouse, and Villa Ardore co-founder, Scali talked about how his Italian and American roots along with values of inclusivity, togetherness, family and equality have all played a fundamental role in the creation of Villa Ardore.

I grew up in Cleveland, in a very tight-knit Italian-American family. We all got together for big things, of course, like holidays or birthdays, but sometimes it just happened on a random Sunday for no reason at all. But over time, those gatherings became more difficult to organize and less frequent; my grandparents died, several family members moved to other cities for work.

When I graduated from law school, my cousin Angela, who is like a sister to me, and I separately but at around the same time, moved to California. Stephen and Angela and I visited Italy together, along with one of my aunts. I absolutely fell in love with Italy. For the first time I could see where all that family togetherness that such a part of my early life had come from; it was the culture that my grandparents brought with them when they emigrated from Italy.

We wanted to create a space where our LGBT+ community can have their weddings and other milestone events. When he was counsel for the City of West Hollywood, California, Stephen was really involved in making the precedent that legalised gay marriage in California in 2008 and, due to Prop 8 and the delay it caused, we were ourselves deprived of a proper wedding and reception with all of our family and friends. So, in addition to being a luxury, high-end family-friendly place, we are committed to it being a place where our community can celebrate and have the luxury to be themselves.

Photo: Villa Ardore

Photo: Villa Ardore

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Curated experiences are offered to make your stay extra special at Villa Ardore

Curated experiences at Villa Ardore

Villa Ardore is more than just a place to experience the luxury of Chianti, Tuscan tradition and the ultimate in comfort. It’s a place to experience something new, which is why curated experiences are offered to make your stay extra special.

The Wine and Cheese Tasting Experience gives you the chance to sample local cheeses with cured meats and a range of seasonal treats, all prepared by a master local chef. You can make this tasting experience extra special by pairing it with a wine tasting. For a meal tailored to your palate, attend Private Chef Dinners and Classes, during which you’ll prepare and eat dishes made using handpicked ingredients from the villa’s culinary gardens. For a true adventure go back in time and, on horseback, travel to a 14th century castle, complete with drawbridge, and dine in the castle’s walled courtyard with an elaborate banquet fit for royalty.  When you need well-deserved pampering, book a custom in-house villa massage. You can also host pool parties. Villa Manager, Francesco, is more than happy to bring the fun in with a variety of DJs, bartenders, or singers.

Photo: Villa Ardore

Photo: Villa Ardore

Tuscany Pride – June 23-30, 2023

Villa Ardore usually accommodates one group at a time, but during Tuscany Pride, you can book a stay in one bedroom and mingle with likeminded people. As part of Villa Ardore’s 7-Night Pride Package, you’ll get transportation to and from Firenze-Peretola Airport (FLR), complimentary parking, plus a driver and a van for excursions and much more.

While the itinerary is subject to change depending on the weather and unforeseen circumstances, the roster so far includes pool parties with special guests, trips to places including Florence, San Gimignano and Pisa, fashion events, museum visits, Pride Parties, private chef’s dinners, wine tasting, and much more. If you want to celebrate Pride in luxurious style, we can’t recommend booking a stay at Villa Ardore enough.

Photo: Villa Ardore

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