Restoration of Villa Luisa, Tuscany, Italy
We are two London doctors who restored our first home in the Val d'Orcia 24 years ago. We have had lots of happy times there with family and friends in a wonderful part of Tuscany.
Having been bitten by the restoration bug, we started looking for a larger house in the same area to restore. After 4 years of searching, we found a derelict old farmhouse inhabited by a family of pigs in a fabulous position looking out over the Val d'Orcia, between Pienza and Montepulciano. The pigs had excellent taste because although the house was in a derelict state, it was essentially intact and retained the bones of the beautiful house it once was.
Of course, the restoration took longer than we could have possibly imagined. Seven years later, after what seemed like a lifetime of problem solving and crisis management, the restoration was finally completed. We had a wonderful architect, geometra and builder, and without exception all the work done was of the highest quality, from the plumbing and electrics to the carpentry and decorating, With our garden designer, Nancy Leszczynski, we started work planting the gardens at the outset so they were mature by the time the house was ready to live in.
We have restored the house with our carbon footprint in mind. Photovoltaic panels generate electricity and solar panels heat the domestic water. In the summer excess heat from the solar panels heats the pool. Since we have a supply of renewable wood from our own forest, we installed a biomass furnace to power the under-floor heating system and to heat the hot water when the solar panels need help. There is a back-up gas boiler which can be used instead of the biomass furnace. It can also heat the pool. The roof is heavily insulated and we have used insulating plaster on the walls. In very hot weather, the under-floor heating tubes can be used to cool the house. The system is co-ordinated by a computer which we can access via the internet from anywhere in the world.
Click to check availability and book this luxury Tuscany holiday villa.