While the doors of the beautiful Villa Borgo Santo Pietro in the Tuscan countryside are closed for the chillier winter months, resident artisan Nathan Wyper is quietly at work restoring hand-painted walls, furniture and signs, ready for the return of guests in early summer. Meanwhile co-founder of the boutique hotel and designer, Jeanette Thottrup, is scouring antique markets across Europe for furniture and decorative pieces to add to the already impressive collection adorning the villa.
The villa was built in the 13th Century and has a rich history but it was ‘nothing more than a crumbling hamlet amidst fields of mud’ when current owners Jeanette and Claus Thottrup stumbled upon it and started upon a heroic restoration journey in 2001. The villa today is sumptuously decorated with its main colour palette drawn from the tones of mellow stone from which the villa is built—pale chalky greys melding into taupe and putty—and the whole effect is astonishingly cohesive and harmonious.
Each of the rooms is individually styled and features antiques, exquisite beds, stone fireplaces, hand-painted frescoes, rich textiles and, in the case of the Il Vecchio Forno suite, even an 800-year-old bread oven. Velvet and silk are used generously and add opulence and texture along with crystal chandeliers and gilt headboards and mirrors which add sparkle and excitement. Some of the rooms even open onto the immaculately manicured green gardens and have their own private terraces for dinners à deux by flickering candlelight.
The gardens are scented with lemon and antique roses and you will find hidden seating areas and burbling fountains around secret corners. Inside and out, this is a place of romance and magic for the senses . . . —Louise