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“Italy's link to Brideshead Revisited - complete with gardens stuffed with stuffed”
Review of Villa La Pietra

Villa La Pietra
Reviewed July 6, 2012

This Villa has to be pre-booked and the administrators need to know the names of visitors and get clearance for them to visit because this old Villa is now part of NYU and is very security concious.
The unusual name comes from the milestone at the gate, which shows that it is exactly one mile from the centre of Florence.
The Villa was bought by Anglo-American couple Harold and Hortense Acton in the days when Villa's were going for a song around Florence and the family invested a lot into re-developing a full Italian garden with parterres, a sacred wood, it's own outdoor theatre and every space filled with a statue that was probably once for sale though Harold Acton's antique trade business. The link to Brideshead comes through their second son Arthur who is reputed - though he himself disputed it - to be the model for the infamous Anthony Blanche in Evelyn Waugh's famous novel.

5  Thank penny_howard1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 - 12 of 17 reviews

Reviewed February 10, 2012

The home of Sir Harold Acton, the British art historian who lived here for most of his life and then bequeathed his estate to New York University in 1994, this is one of the most stunning of the Florentine villas, set amid olive groves in a spectacular position only 5 km from Piazza della Signoria. The house and the grounds have been lovingly restored by NYU, right down to the vegetable garden at the side of the house. The tour guide assigned to us by Villa La Pietra (Carlotta) was extremely well informed and professional, and we spent a delightful afternoon here. The admission charge was 20 euros each, but it is well worth it. You need to book in advance as it is only open on certain days. The NYU students who spend a semester here walk up the very steep hill (Via Bolognese) but you can also get here on the bus that goes to Trespiano (bus no 25), the monumental cemetery a bit farther up the hill. Otherwise it is a short taxi ride from the city centre. Highly recommended except perhaps during the hottest summer months (July and August).
More details at: http://www.nyu.edu/global/lapietra/ e-mail: villa.lapietra@nyu.edu

2  Thank WilliamJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2011

We have visited Italy many times and without doubt one of the highlights of any visit has been a guided tour of Villa La Pietra. Set in 57 acres of Olive groves and a 20 minute or 10 euro Taxi ride from the centre of Florence this Villa must be seen to be believed. Now owned by the NYU the Villa and gardens are open to the public on Friday afternoons by appointment. Do yourself a favour and go visit.
The Villa itself is as Sir Harold Acton left it and is just fascinating to explore. Many of the rooms are devoted to collections while the salons have welcomed the rich and famous including Princess Margaret, Charles and Diana, Somerset Maughan, Evelyn Waugh, the Sitwells, Bernard Berenson etc.etc.
But it is when you step out into the garden that you are hit with the WOW factor, indeed several WOW factors. They are magnificent beyond description. Wherever the eye looks there is a stunning aspect including a glimpse of Brunelleschi's Dome through the trees. And the statues, all 120 of them, are incredible and did I mention the outdoor garden theatre that has hosted Dame Judith Dench and the RSC?
Villa La Pietra is an amazing place and well worth a visit on any trip to Italy, especially if you are visiting Florence..

8  Thank LordByron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2011

Villa La Pietra is unbelievable. It is centered on a valley where olive trees are grown and olive oil is harvested. Walk around the property and find the art museum and limonaia and take tours of both in addition to the gardens behind the house. The gardens are really unbelievably beautiful! This is a quiet place to relax on a nice afternoon!

4  Thank italyandbeyond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2017 via mobile
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Thank Susanna A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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