Mangiacane is a noble and majestic villa set on a cypress shaded hill, nestled in the heart of the winemaking region of Chianti. Built in the 15th century by the Machiavelli family and bearing the unmistakable hand of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, the original building’ plan for improvements are housed at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Villa Mangiacane’s fortunes rose and fell over the course of two centuries. The estate was damaged during WWII and laid dormant for nearly 50 years. Mangiacane was revived after seven years of renovation and restoration in 2000, and opened as a hotel in 2005 by a Southern African entrepreneur, Glynn Cohen. Upon visiting the Mangiacane estate for the first time, he was immediately convinced by its enchanting character, history and strong architectural lines. “Seeing the Duomo framed by the arches of the Villa’s loggia, in a building designed by Michelangelo, where Machiavelli wrote “The Prince”, was an awe-inspiring moment,” says Cohen. A multi-million dollar renovation and restoration brought Mangiacane back to its former splendor and uncovered an expansive beautiful fresco on the loggia depicting a hunting scene, possibly of the Goddess Artemis.
Located just 7 miles directly south from Florence and set within 600 acres of flourishing vineyards and olive groves, Mangiacane is ideally situated to explore other popular towns in close proximity. The classic beauty of Mangiacane combined with its history, art and idyllic countryside setting create the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable holiday or exclusive private rental. Yes, you can have the entire estate all to yourself if you wish, and the setting could not be more perfect for a wedding. The hotel boasts 26 individually designed rooms that range from the decadent Royal Wing, including a library and expansive private terrace, to more simple rooms with private plunge pools and deep soaking tubs, all of which offer a high standard of luxury and sweeping views over the Tuscan countryside.
Mangiacane opened their Nadushka Spa last year and it offers the ultimate in tranquility and pampering with the most exclusive products from Officina de’ Tornabuoni, a company whose family has been creating personal care products since 1843. Long before it became a trend, they utilized natural herbal ingredients from the Tuscan countryside, and many of the original recipes are still used today. A stunning indoor heated pool perfect for a rejuvenating drip or a regimen of laps, and a state of the art steam room further complements the range of treatments. The villa also features two outdoor swimming pools in fine weather and taking a jog through the vineyards can complete a perfect workout if one is so inclined.
Dining at Mangiacane can be a surprise every day as the locations in which to do so are many and varied. You can begin your day with the most glorious and delicious breakfast in the garden, a variety of items which goes far beyond the typical European breakfast. Later that day you may elect to lunch at poolside and enjoy a simple handmade pasta and salad of ribbons of zucchini and basil. Evening begins with a tradition of a glass of wine on the loggia at sunset, an experience not to be missed as the Duomo takes on the glow of the evening sun. Whether dining in the restaurant, or in the ancient wine cellar, a picnic lunch in the vineyard, or a table for two on the loggia you will not be disappointed by the chef’s selections.
If your idea of experiencing Tuscany leans toward delving into wine, olive oil and cooking classes, you would have chosen wisely. Mangiacane’s Chef Bocus can prepare private or small group lessons where you’ll visit local producers and create meals from the simple to sublime, all using the freshest local ingredients. Mangiacane produces olive oil, grappa, and three award winning wines: a Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Aleah, a wine that is made with 100% Merlot.
This year Mangiacane launched a new rose wine, named Shamiso, whose proceeds support an animal orphanage in Africa that was created and is supported by Cohen and others contributions. Shamiso is named after a baby orphaned elephant that is currently being taken care of and will hopefully be reintegrated back into the wild, a rare but possible occurrence with the team in Africa. Cohen’s efforts in art and conservation are vast and one could almost consider him a modern day Medici. He supports projects from the restoration of the statue of David to showcasing the largest collection of Shona sculpture in Europe. You might ask if this indigenous form of sculpture from Zimbabwe works in the Tuscan setting, and the answer is a resounding yes.
If you travel to Italy to see and experience art, architecture, food and wine, there is no better place that encompasses all of these aspects better than Villa Mangiacane. The environment is relaxed and informal, and a team of gracious hosts await you. You will feel more like you are living in the home of a nobleman and if that is what Cohen was trying to achieve, then he has certainly succeeded.
For more information on Villa Mangiacane, please call +39 055 829 0123, e-mail: email@example.com, or visit www.mangiacane.it