The villa of Cosona is situated in the countryside near Pienza, on a hilltop between Val d’Orcia and Crete Senesi – a Unesco heritage territory – offering a timeless panorama as far as the eye can see.
The origin of the name dates back to the Etruscans (Cusna, kusunias), the first recorded inhabitants of the area.
The oldest written document belongs to the Carolingian era (828) in which Cosona is mentioned as a hamlet and a castle. In the Middle Ages Cosona belonged to the powerful Sienese family ‘Tolomei’ who had conspired against the Republic of Siena and consequently were subjected to the destruction of the castle (1393).
The parish church, Santa Maria in Cosona, situated along the road which connected the Via Francigena (toward Rome) to the Via Laurentana (toward Loreto) was disputed by the bishops of Siena and Arezzo.
In 1465 Niccolo’ Forteguerri, native of Pistoia and related to Pope Pius II, bought the castle, which in the meantime had been rebuilt as a fortress, from the King of Naples Ferdinand of Aragona: it has since then belonged to the same family, today Bichi Ruspoli Forteguerri.
The master building (house) was restored to its present state at the beginning of the 1900s by the Sienese architect Arturo Viligiardi.
Until the 1960s the farm was based on the old sharecropping system and was the center of a community of about 300 inhabitants. It included a school and a parish church dedicated to the Sts Laurentino and Pergentino. It was famous for its dancing celebrations which attracted people from the surrounding area.
In 1996 partial views of Cosona were made famous by the film “The English Patient” by Anthony Minghella, winner of 9 Oscars.
THE PROPOSALS OF VILLA COSONA
Ilaria Bichi Ruspoli, owner of Villa Cosona and professional tour guide, offers guided tours all around the province of Siena, in particular in the five chief towns of Val d’Orcia and in Monetpulciano. She will lead you to the discovery of her homeland, its history, its art and food and wine products.
Ilaria is ready to collaborate with you to the creation of itineraries that catch your interests. The added value of this tours is given from her capillary knowledge of the historical context and of the private historic houses of the region. She is indeed able to offer the rare opportunity to include each time, the visit of a private park, garden or historic house.
Some of the experience that she offers are:
– Tour of Pienza, form the parish church of Corsignano to the papal renaissance encoded into Palazzo Piccolomini, with the first Italian hanging garden.
-Tour of San Quirico d’Orcia, ancient stop on the Via Francigena, from the Romanesque churches to the 16th century splendor of the Horti Leonini and the Baroque ones connected to the Chigi’s family
– Tour of Castiglion d’Orcia and of Rocca di Tintinnano, massive scenic ramparts dominating Val d’Orcia.
– Tour of Radicofani, medieval village of volcanic rock dominated by the tower that once belomged to Ghino di Tacco
– Tour of Montepulciano, the Pearl of the 16th century, from the San Biagio temple to the palaces of the old town.
– Tours on famous movies set (The Gladiator, The English Patient).
– Unique tour of Siena and its contrade (districts).
The farmhouse includes 7 independent apartments, all equipped with a kitchen and a outdoor space, where we can accommodate up to 33 people.
In summer (from the end of May until the end of September) apanoramic swimming pool common is available for the guests.
– La Quinta: Apartment for 2 people on the 1st floor, ideal for a romantic stay. It is surrounded by a small private garden, where dining is possible. A little terrace, in front of the entrance, has a nice panoramic view over Pienza and the Val d’Orcia.
– Casa Leoncini: Apartment on the ground floor, suitable for a couple, a family with two kids, or 3 adults. It is made up of a big living room with a fireplace and a dining area, a kitchen, a double bedroom, a second small bedroom and two bathrooms. In the good season dining outside is possible in an equipped area just in front of the apartment.
– La Scuola: Apartment for 2 persons, once the old country school house in Cosona. The ‘terracotta’ floor and the vaulted ceilings are typical of the rustic Tuscan tradition. It has a terrace with panoramic views over the ‘Crete’ of the ‘Val d’Asso’.
– Casa Bruna: Apartment for 4 people on the first floor, once the residence of the school teacher in Cosona. The bedrooms look onto the ‘Crete’ of the ‘Val d’Asso’.
– Guidoccio: Apartment for 4 people on the 1st floor. It includes a large living room with a fireplace and a dining area, a small kitchen, two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a quaint ‘Loggetta’ (vaulted terrace) where dining is possible.
– La Cappella: Apartment for 6 people on the 1st floor. It includes a living room with fireplace and a cooking area, 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms . It has a small independent panoramic garden where dining is possible.
– Il Poggiolo: It is the biggest apartments of the farmhouse and it hosts up to 11 people. There is a large courtyard with a view on Montalcino, once the farmyard of the house, where you can dine leisurely. It is very close to the swimming pool.
Ilaria TELLS US ABOUT Pienza
Pienza (2.000 inhabitants, located in Val d’Orcia, in the province of Siena) maintains the identity of an ideal city, on a human scale. Ancient Etruscan village, called Corsignano from Roman times, is mentioned in a novel of Boccaccio…
ILARIA BICHI RUSPOLI
“I have had the privilege of growing up among Pienza, Montepulciano and Siena, unique towns full of history, art and above all natural beauty which have become for me the basis for a true profession. I work as a tour guide in the province and will be more than happy to make suggestions and guide you personally in the discovery of the numerous treasures of my territory.”
This is how Ilaria Bichi Ruspoli, one of the owners of Villa Cosona, describes herself, she is a professional tour guide and art historian, she is also an advisor of ADSI (Italian Historic Houses Association), delegate for the province of Siena.
By virtue of her deep connection with this corner of Tuscany, she propose herself as a “guide of historic – artistic atmospheres).
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