Florence airport Amerigo Vespucci – 95km
|Villa Siena 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 Villa Siena. 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.||Benedetto Giovannelli, a local architect, designed these first works completed between 1651 and 1656. After Fabio Chigi became Pope Alexander VII in 1655, the works came to a halt until 1676, when his nephew Flavio inherited Villa Siena. Flavio wanted to transform the villa in Roman Baroque fashion and hired the architect Carlo Fontana, pupil of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Fontana designed the monumental stair and the marble portal surmounted by a great Chigi coat-of-arms on the northern façade. He projected the chapel, next to which is the "limonaia" (lemon house).||Villa Siena was acquired from the Chigi family in 1978, and occupied by Lord Lambton, who together with his partner Claire Ward, worked tirelessly on restoring the house and its gardens until his death in 2006. The Villa has recently undergone major refurbishment, including a new roof, new plumbing, heating and wiring, as well as several new bathrooms. All of this has been achieved without altering the original character or appearance of the house, which is now available for private rental including weddings.