The Perfect Easter Holiday | Spring Activities at Villa Lena

Published: January 24, 2020

The Easter and Half-term holidays are on the horizon! We’ve been busy here at Villa Lena preparing a jam-packed schedule of varied activities and workshops for the whole family to enjoy…

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

COOKING WORKSHOPS

Pasta & Pizza Workshops
Get creative in our kitchen! Create delicious, fresh and totally-yours homemade pasta from scratch, cooked to perfection by our chef, and share the meal together. Or join our in-house Pizzaiolo and get involved with rolling the dough and assembling your own crazy combination of toppings. Enjoy your creation together with a delicious salad and glass of wine. Great for pizza lovers!

 

Forage and cook | What’s in the garden
Pick what’s best in season in our vegetable orto, crunch on some fresh greens, cook a new recipe and share the meal together.

 

EXPLORE VILLA LENA

Nature Walk and Sunset Picnic
Join our Agricultural team on a special evening trip deep into the forests to see what wildlife live in the land surrounding Villa Lena. Hope to see some deer, wild boars and maybe even muflons during the sunset hour together with a picnic basket and a bottle of wine in a secluded setting.

 

Join a Guided Hike or Get Your Hands Dirty
Explore the area surrounding Villa Lena during a guided 1.5 hrs hike. Secret corners and breathtaking panoramas are waiting to be discovered. Wear appropriate attire and comfortable and closed shoes. Or if you’d prefer a more intimate experience with the surroundings, join everybody’s favourite gardener Donato in the Villa’s vegetable garden. Get to know the land, see how he cultivates our organic orto and help pick veggies for tonight’s meal!

 

FOR THE KIDS

Kids Club
Drop the children off at the daily kids club so you can make the most of your holiday. There will be supervised games, workshops and a movie screening in Fattoria’s cosy screening room.

 

FOR THE ADULTS…

Wine & Olive Oil Tasting Tasting
At Villa Lena we produce our own wine on site. Start your masterclass off with a tour of our vineyard and then sample both our own products, plus some from the local region, and delve into the world of organic, biodynamic and natural wines. Tuscany also produces some of the best olive oil in the world, known for its spicy and flavourful taste. Learn about the traditional and organic techniques used to harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the 2,000 olive trees on the Villa Lena estate and sample the distinctive product we create here in the olive oil tasting workshop.

 

Italian & Botanical Cocktail Workshops
Learn the secrets and techniques behind traditional Italian cocktails such as Spritz and Negroni, with our barman. Or experiment with the flavours of Tuscany, picked directly from our organic orto and inventively worked into your spirit of choice. 

CREATIVE EXPERIENCES

Floral & Clay Workshops with artists-in-residence Sophia Kaplan & Tara Burke
Sophia will be running a variety of floral workshops during her time at Villa Lena, including flower arranging, flower pressing, and fresh flower crowns using foraged flora. Then learn the basic skills of hand building with clay with Tara and incorporate foraged flowers from the estate in your designs.

 

MEET THE ARTISTS


Open Studios & Artists Aperitivo
Pop down to the artists’ studios to see what our current group of residents have been thinking about and creating, and take the chance to enjoy an aperitivo with them in the garden of the 19th century Villa.

To see the full schedule for April see our events calendar.

 

October Half-Term at Villa Lena

Published: September 10, 2019

Autumn is just around the corner and the change of the season brings much to be excited about. Whilst the sun continues to shine in Tuscany throughout the season, the fall brings fresh bounty, milder temperatures and less crowds. What more could you ask for?

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Kids Clay with Keegan Luttrell

Published: August 7, 2019

Throughout the months of July/August 2019, Villa Lena hosts clay workshops in the artist studios and ceramics studio; a fun experimental workshop for kids that focuses on the imaginative qualities of clay!

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REFLECTING ON HIS RESIDENCY | PETER MOLESWORTH

Published: October 3, 2018

Dear Julia,

At this point I am almost certain that I will not be able to give you what you want with my journal entry. The more words I assign to my experience, the less effectively I can communicate it. In fact, it is maddening; to spend so many hours reflecting, writing in search of some grand metaphor, to repeatedly think I’ve finished only then to erase the hundreds of words I have cobbled together and begin another new attempt. Each time I think I’ve finished, I’ll feel a small relief, eagerly reread the piece, realize I’ve failed, and then delete everything in a haste to begin once more and waste another thousand inadequate words.

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REFLECTING ON HER RESIDENCY | JULIE IROMUANYA

Published: August 29, 2018

Julie Iromuanya travelled from Tucson, Arizona in the USA- where she is an assistant professor at the Creative Writing MFA course at the University of Arizona, to come to stay with us at Villa Lena as an artist in residence for the month of June.

She is the author of Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press), a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for Debut Fiction.

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The Stinkhorn of Pisa by David Fenster and Laura Copelin

Published: January 25, 2018

Former residents Laura Copelin and David Fenster, from Marfa, Texas,  spent their residency studying local mushrooms species. They explored the botanical gardens of Pisa and Florence and spoke to scientists there. This fuelled some interesting collaborative work, and helped them realising The Latticed Stinkhorn of Pisa documentary.

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Reflecting on her Residency | Flora Wellesley Wesley

Published: October 26, 2017

In my first few days at Villa Lena I was surprised to find myself feeling waves of emotion  come over me, which I put down to both the beauty of the place and the exceptional circumstances in which I was there.

My responses were romantic and tragic, silly and dark. I developed a multifarious practice over the course of the month that was both playful and meditative. It involved tree climbing, mucking around in the pool, drawing without looking, taking photographs, walking, running and dancing.

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Sweet dreams are made of cheese | Butternutten AG

Published: October 3, 2017

illa Lena, Tuscany

Stimulated by a common passion for food and cooking, Butternutten’s Luki + Oli hosted a four-course cheese dinner at Villa Lena.

Every course featured ceramics made in Butternutten workshop by hotel guests, staff people and artists in residence at Villa Lena; the ceramics are inspired by human body parts.

The individual and unusual tableware invited the guests to interact as well as to enter in dialogue with each other. The “cheese dreams” dinner is a way of questioning what eating can be more than food intake and how our being can be shaped.

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On a body (6/6)

Published: April 11, 2017

garden tuscany villa lena agriturismo tuscany

Lauren Ellis Matthews – 2016 diary by an ex-resident – 6 of 6

29 Maggio

Something I’ve finally learned is, when you can choose, be sure to LIKE ALL PARTS. Everything is ultimately seen – all layers – so choose very carefully, should you disrobe from warmth or they shine through from light. And also if you like each little thing it’s endless hidden presents for yourself. A joyous reveal, claque! claque!, chaque bitty petit pois fois.

We had this mad search hunting for this lonely wolf, visiting artist tells us, through truffle and terrain.
I love visiting artist. Nikki? Are all invitées so pale? I adore such ghosts.

Giugno 4

Jump in my grave, why don’t you! says Laura when Soph confesses she tried on her shoes.
Hugo and Reza waltz up and Reza has truly the most lovely and poetic body I have ever seen.

In terms of nature and inheritance: my grandmother gave me my tempting catching contagious laugh which I call a cackle but others seem to like. My mother gave me my flailing dance moves, incoherent and levitated. People don’t seem to mind them either.

Should we do an angel wing, Cecilia asks before toothbrushing my hair blue on my last night.

Oh yes forever.
Here’s whom I’ll miss: everyone. Everything.

Is the cake dry. Laura
It looks dry. Me
Why’s the cake always gotta be dry? Laura
It’s breakfast cake. Me
Why’s breakfast cake gotta be dry? Her

Last night I dream of 2 nurses telling me the only way to cure my inky yeast infection is by invasive and painful excavation, a long strange tube traveling through my left shoulder, or was it right, no left I can see that curse – burst – nurse, snaking down to my itchy vagina to fix it. I feel dirty and ashamed and upset and confused. Shouldn’t it be easier than this? Did I do something wrong? Am I not just allowed to be with boys and wear wet swimsuits?

But then I’m in the kidnappish van with Paul who stops short to not kill a “big green snake”, to which Laura replies, oh I hate snakes I would banish them OLL from the earth if I could. I don’t want to kill them I just want to banish them.

Ciao Palaia

Cycling and wife roads
Scars on our bellies and hearts
And the clouds the clouds oh what clouds

Good night, we said in italian. Good day, thanks a million, please do, tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow.

It’s not lost on me that it’s all well and good to tout the values of love & happenstance at a Tuscan villa enclave, you know with farm-to-table slow food and yoga and organic natural wine, but it’s a very different exercise in the Pisa Galileo airport waiting for an Easyjet flight to a sunken city.

SUNSET Tuscany

 

On a Body (4 / 6)

Published: March 9, 2017

Richard Lockett Villa Lena artist residency

Lauren Ellis Matthews – 2016 diary by an ex-resident – 4 of 6

7 Maggio
Claire, clairvoyant, is the moon. Wild, translucent feminine. And Carlos the fool. It is not lost on me that when I see him today he has a walking stick just like the man on the card, that he goes everywhere, forgetting his tongue, talking, taking, moving. And his luminous moon, silvery tall like a crescent bent over him and all-knowing through all-feeling. They have a flesh-pet, their dog, and a spirit-pet – a baby soon.

It is not lost on me that as soon as I was at last ready to plonger, the rain had begun in earnest, smattering the terra cotta leopard. Personne à la piscine, except me, Pauline à la Plage. It is the card La Lune, the tarot come true again. All water and a lone female. Water below, a strange lonely pool-dwelling creature, here a floating inflatable horse & on the card a lobster – who mates for life, soft inside their carapace. Water above, from her eyes, exploding. Sipping, sopping, freedom.

It is not lost on me that as I do laps I find in my body the wish cast in West Hollywood: get me out of here, take me further. I think of the War of Art: you get out what you put in. I put in. Even exchange. And I got so much out.

26 Maggio

Richard spent Christmas in the hospital when he was 14. He only could go home for 4 hours. Because of a blood disease, maybe meningitis. I had a rash everywhere. It can weaken you, he says, i’m still getting stronger. I can’t remember it. I remember having to be in this room on my own. My sister coming with her friend. A sickly child. And then my friend visited too. Put on a Michael Jackson cd – Earth Song I think – I had my own tv, though, that was quite good.

Laura had a bike accident, had her spleen out. It also makes you a bit stay-inside as well, never go out & play with horrible children, she explained.

It’s not lost on me that I lost my keys. Now I must engage with the world in a different way than planned. Locked from internal room. You’re enfermé dehors, dit Paul. He understands “lost things” – go back the exact path you walked, he tells me. Jupiter is the biggest closest planet, he tells me also. These are in his repertoire. We will make posters, he mimes. Ok: WANTED, Lauren’s keys.

I hear the wind in my room as I walk past, barred and banned. It’s furious.

I hear Mati and Soph murmuring. Together, I think, but don’t know, twin hearts, he goes into her room every morning still. I look for toilet paper. Jerome leads a meeting in the office and Paul sits at the dining room table dusting his fossils.

Tropical_Doghunt_Flesh_Series

Villa Lena pool tuscany