Passion Points: Escape
When a descendent of the Italian royal house of Savoy decided to make his magnificent 1950s villa in Capri available to paying guests, he entrusted it to trusted friends. The two New York–based Italian natives are the exclusive agents for many of their countrymen who, if not for their total confidence in the duo’s professionalism, probably wouldn’t rent their houses at all. In Capri, Villa Mafalda is filled with Savoy family antiques and artworks and has stunning cliff-top views of the blue Mediterranean. Among other gems in their portfolio of more than seventy villas, castles and estates are the Torre di Positano, a coast-clinging tower owned by the grandson of a Roman principessa, and respected vintner Count Lucio Tasca’s grand villa near Palermo, where Wagner finished composing his last opera, Parsifal.
One reason homeowners have such confidence in the pair is that they take so much care in matching properties to clients’ personalities and wishes. For golfers, they might recommend the Villa Maremmana, a gorgeously restored farmhouse on 2,300 woodland acres with its own twelve-hole course. Wine lovers might stay at the Villa Machiavelli, an estate which produces some of Tuscany’s best Chianti. Depending on a customer’s wishes, they will organize a trip to one villa or to a whole group of them. “We start the process by interviewing the clients,” explains one of the co-founders. “Is this a special event? Are they traveling with family or friends? Do they want seclusion or to be near a village? Do they like old-fashioned or contemporary styles?”
Finding customers the right place to sleep is only part of the service provided. The company also uses the team’s extensive network of local guides and experts to tailor each day to their guests’ desires. For one client’s three-week, three-villa trip with friends, they planned a helicopter ride to Venice, a day cruise on a 160-foot boat and horseback riding in a national park followed by a nighttime bonfire. Last year during truffle season, they arranged for guides and trained dogs to take a group mushroom picking and truffle hunting in a special reserve. The guests then took their bounty back to their villa, where the chef gave them a cooking class. If an art lover has a special fondness for Donatello, they will arrange invitation-only viewings at private homes to see the Renaissance master’s works. For collectors, they’ll find curators to accompany them to the Venice Biennale or to visit appointment-only galleries and dealers. They also employ a wine expert who will set up full-day wine tours in Tuscany’s different wine regions with tastings at invitation-only wineries owned by local aristocrats. Villas from $10,000 to $40,000 a week.
For more information on our preferred Italian villa specialists or to make a booking, contact our bookings department by calling 212-988-2611 or sending an inquiry.
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