Versilia is a part of Tuscany that Europeans have known and loved
Unlike Chianti, Florence and Siena, which tempt the visitor
to rush from one renowned artistic treasure to another, this coastal region
invites you to slow down and relax. Those who love it dream of it on dreary
northern days, feeling the warm breezes as they waft through the pine
forests, picturing the sun-drenched Liberty-style villas and hearing the
lazy buzz of crickets.
Versilia is a uniquely European type of resort
area, a tranquil combination of beauty, culture, history, nature and great
food that has been the beloved retreat of many fine artists beginning
with maestro Giacomo Puccini, who built a home you can still
visit today in nearby Torre del Lago.
Another artist who made his home here was
You may never have heard of this Florentine, nor seen any
of his works, but you have witnessed the effects of his talent all over
In the early part of this century, Chini was largely responsible
for introducing the art nouveau style into Italy (where it is usually
referred to as "Liberty").
He founded a ceramics factory that
created colorful objects which soon made their way into thousands of homes,
he painted canvases that were hung in museums ranging from the Uffizi
to Rome's Modern Art Gallery, and he designed sets for his close friend
Puccini. Chini's stage designs for Turandot are pure Liberty style;
perhaps because of them he was asked to paint frescos in the
Royal Palace of the King of Siam.
Chini lived in Thailand for two years.
When he returned to Italy he built a vacation retreat in Versilia and
called it Villa Chini. Its large sunny rooms, delightful ornamentation
and century-old park were the height of luxury.
Today the estate is a charming small hotel
where guests return faithfully year after year to enjoy warm family-type
Many of Chini's paintings, frescoes and decorations, such
as a colorful stained-glass fruit basket, are displayed throughout the
common rooms where guests can congregate in several sitting areas.
His furniture and personal belongings are everywhere, including in the simple
guest rooms, all of which have private bathroom, telephone and television.
Some also have balconies overlooking the spectacular garden, whose towering
trees and profuse sweet-smelling flowers make it a tranquil oasis completely
protected from the bustling seaside resort town of Lido di Camaiore.
At Hotel I Pini, each day
starts with a good buffet breakfast. Afterwards, you can stroll a short
200 yards to the broad sandy beach, which stretches for miles in each
direction. I Pini's private beach has all the amenities
you could desire. Or you might take a pleasant hike through the pine forests
that line the shore.
If you're ready to travel farther afield,
jump in the car and drive inland to the Apuan Alps (a breathtaking spectacle
few people know about) or through the Garfagnana Mountains and into Lunigiana (one of the last remaining
off-the-beaten-path parts of Tuscany).
Or drive less than an hour south
to the quasi-deserted, pristine nature reserve beaches between Castiglioncello
and Punta Ala.
Also within an hour's drive are Lucca, the Cinqueterre
and the marble quarries of Carrara.
If you're here in the summer, be sure
to take in an outdoor opera performance at the home of Giacomo Puccini.
Or stop in at a night club, discotheque or cocktail lounge in the neighborhood.
Loretta Degl'Innocenti, chef of Villa Chini, has been a professional cook
since she was young, in different restaurants in the region.
Her recipes rediscover the tastes of traditional cuisine.
Dinner and Breakfast in the garden on request
Galileo CHINI was born in Florence on December
2nd 1873 and died on August 23 rd 1956
As his father died when he was 13, he began to work with his uncle
who was a decorator and restorator.He attended evening lessons at
a school of art, and in 1896, he funded "The Art of Ceramics"
(later called "Factory Fornaci S.Lorenzo), a small factory where
he created beautiful objects & thanks to them he introduced the
Liberty style in Italy.
As a painter he took part at the"Biennale di
Venezia" from 1901 till 1936. He worked, as a stage-designer,with
Sem BENELLI and Giacomo PUCCINI .
This cooperation brought to the creation of the scenes
for "Gianni SCHICCHI "and "TURANDOT"
In 1911 he was in Bangkok to decorate Siam King's palace.
He remained there till 1913: it was a triumph! Back in Italy, he taught
at the "Accademia di Belle Arti"in Florence. Some of his
beautiful works of Art can be found at the Modern Art Gallery in Rome,
at the Uffizi in Florence and at the Modern Art Gallery in Palazzo
During the last years of his life, he lived mainly
in Fossa Dell'Abate ( today
Lido Di Camaiore ) where he had a beautiful villa (built in the
Liberty style), which is now the "Club I Pini Hotel where you
can still find some of his paintings and works of art. The hotel,
which is 200 mt. far from the beach, is in the centre
of Lido Di Camaiore
(between Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi).
Sterling prices per night per room B&B
July & August         £155
Rest of the year     £ 95
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