It is buried in the soil deep in the dark where the truth lies, quietly observing us. A forest of Silent Witnesses that root themselves in nature; a nature defined by the rhythm of the seasons. Somewhere, we stumble upon a web of myths and secrets, an enchanted territory divided by two poles— beauty and fear. Fairy-tales grown from the ground, and beside them, traces of quotidian life in the display of natural phenomena.Read more
Music has just as big a part to play on the Villa Lena creative schedule as the visual arts do. This year we’ve made sure that we always have musically talented individuals residing in the villa throughout the season. Catch a DJ set in the newly renovated Fattoria, an intimate candlelit acoustic gig in the Villa, or a soulful jazz performance by the pool. There’s something for everyone here.Read more
Designed by internationally recognised architects Hesselbrand, the new design is set to enhance the social interaction between guests throughout the site, diversify the estate’s hosting capability and improve sustainability. The new Fattoria bedrooms add a deluxe offering to the estate, that perfectly complements the other accommodation options available from simpler San Michele bedrooms to the larger family-style Renacchi apartments.Read more
There was this wooden table, tiny and a little too quirky to exist in that space; one of those tables made with randomly nailed strips. The surface was of an ashy flesh tone, almost shocking – I had never seen wood with a similar nuance – the object was collocated outside, in the large garden of the Villa. Four clumsy stools accompanied the table: little variable parallelepiped made with the same poor material. There were other four or five identical models of the same table.Read more
The Villa Lena Foundation is over the moon to announce an exciting jam-packed schedule for the upcoming season in 2019. We have hand-picked a selection of creative practitioners spanning across all creative disciplines to join us from April through to November to live and create at Villa Lena.Read more
The Venice Biennale is one of the most important dates on the global art calendar, and for the first time ever Villa Lena will be hosting an exclusive Biennale after party!
We invite guests who have spent the busy pre-opening week at the biennale, to wind down over a long weekend at the beautifully wild and peacefully remote Villa Lena, where we will be offering a programme of plant-themed activities.Read more
Q: Kris, what brought you to Villa Lena?
A: I was doing some looking into residencies in the U.S. to start I have always wanted to work on a farm and be able to cook with the ingredients in a locavore kind of way. I was accepted into one residency in upstate New York but as I came to think I continued to do more research on chef-in-residency programs around the world. As I surfed the web Villa Lena show up in my search, I did what anyone would do and I clicked the link: it was “Amore a prima vista”! I was captured immediately I just knew I had to continue to read what this 19th-century Italian villa located in Palaia, Italy was about. Through this research, I put in some work (literally) and actually got in contact with the owner Lena Evstafieva we had a Skype interview and next thing you know I was set for 2018 Aug-October chef-in-residence. The ortos, the pigs, the agriculture, the ethos, land, community, farmers, butchers, hunters, cuisine, artist are what all brought me to the Villa.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
Amaze your friends with this sweet recipe from former chef-in-residence Aaron Tomczak. This cake is the ultimate dessert for al-fresco dinners with your loved ones.
Villa Lena to me is simplicity, made extraordinary through natural beauty augmented by creativity. To draw a parallel to food for me would be ripe strawberries and Margherita cake, topped with a sabayon made from local wine and garnished with herbs from the garden. Very simple ingredients, made memorable by the airy texture of the sabayon and floral aroma of nasturtium and lavender.Read more