Seriously, I must have spent as many hours trying to find the perfect honeymoon escape as I did planning the wedding. With romantic notions of the movie Swept Away, I found myself on a mission to find the perfect Tuscan farmhouse. With the help of Bellini travel, I came across the Mianis. Mrs. Ilaria Miani is Italy's answer to Lauren Hutton. Stylish, chic, super-smart, and quite the celebrity in Italy. For the past 30 years she and her husband, Giorgio, have renovated six Tuscan farmhouses to their original rustic former glory. Frustrated at not being able to find the perfect furnishings for each, she started creating her own, all of which are now sold at ilariamiani.it
THE HOUSE: La Macchia, one of the farmhouses owned by the Mianis, sits on 21 acres of forestland, atop a Tuscan hill in the village San Casciano dei Bagni. The dusty private road leading to the house is 600 meters long. The house itself, built 300 years ago, is straight out of a storybook — perfectly uneven walls and stone floors with views of the rolling hills as far as the eye can see. It's wonderfully under-designed. Everything you see is exquisite, and everything has a function; nothing is for show. It's the art of understatement.
Terra-cotta floors run throughout; walls are brushed with lime wash in pastel shades of lilac, pistachio, and lemon. Sofas, curtains, and soft furnishings are a mismatch of checks, florals, and stripes. The honest furniture is robust, with farmhouse dining tables, four poster beds, and writing desks in every bedroom. Not one piece makes a big statement. It all just works together in the nonformulaic rustic mix.
The house has seven bedrooms, (even newlyweds need their space!), each with a bathroom and snugly kitted with delicious fluffy robes. The house is stuffed with exquisite details like fresh-picked flowers in plain vases, painted wicker baskets and chairs, baskets of logs, and armoires. We enjoyed the most delicious treats: cheese, prosciutto, fresh veggies, and herbs that we plucked straight from the garden, and delicious homemade wines.
An average day consisted of picking vegetables from the garden, cooking (well, watching my husband cook), lying by the 30-foot private pool reading Edith Wharton's short stories, eating berries and fruit, listening to Yo-Yo Ma, and playing backgammon. We spent countless hours sitting on the vine-covered pergola, sipping Banfi, dining on delicious local Chianina steak, local Parmiganio, and rustic bread whilst gazing out onto the Tuscan hills. I couldn't imagine starting married life in more idyllic surroundings. The Holy Grail indeed.
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