History of Villa Michaela

DSCF5022

Villa Michaela, previously Villa Nottolini, and belonging to the Rhode family, is situated at the foot of the Zano mountain, only a short distance from the “pieve” of Vorno.

The building has 3 floors and basement. The original building dates back to the 15th century, but through the years there have been many changes and the actual aspect of the Villa is that of the early 1800’s when it was purchased by the Nottolini family. The main façade is the one facing north, which has a large door with architrave and stone frames. There is also a similar entrance on the south side of the building where there is the flower garden, a pond, flowerbeds, rose gardens, paths and pergolas. The estate also includes other buildings such as the Limonaia, the building where the lemon trees were traditional stored each winter, now a beautifully decorated full service kitchen often utilized for cooking school demonstrations, the Stables (Coach House) where our wine cellar and wine tasting room is located, and the “Annunziata Chapel”, now consecrated for Anglican wedding ceremonies, which is of historic and artist interest.

The chapel dates back to the 13th century. The “Annunziata” has been owned through the years by different families; the Giglis, the Macariuis, the Simibaldis, the Carbolanes, the Lucchesinin and at the beginning of the 18th century it passed on the hand of the Nottolini family who restored the house, and between 1860 and 1870 rebuilt the chapel to a public chapel where mass held every Sunday and until the 17th century had its own priest. Each year on the 25th of March big feast were held with luminary processions and food was given to the poor people of Vorno. The chapel has a fine neo-classic façade, with an arch on the upper part of the building portraying floral motives and the Annunciation. You arrive at the chapel by a driveway built in 1910 after the old road of Valle (that used to pass in front of the “Annunziata”) was made private by the Capannori commune.

In the last century, Villa Michaela has been owned by the Basttananis, the Ciurlanis and the Rossis. The current owners have greatly restored the Villa and all its frescoes, transforming it into a modern and luxurious property without spoiling its original beauty.

DSCF5020