6 Jul

We often walk through the gardens and take a different road each time we get to the end. One time, we came upon a Bed and Breakfast called Villa Valenza. We met the manager, Giancarlo,  who told us about the villa and then asked if we were looking for Bramasole. No, we were just walking, but was it close? Not far, he said, so, why not?

I think many of the Cortonesi think Americans come here just to see the house made famous by the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun. Although I read much of her latest book before this trip, finding the Mayes’ house wasn’t really on our agenda. But if we were that close, might as well. We walked a bit more and there it was, on the hill, perfectly lovely. The movie and real life adventures of Frances Mayes are quite different, we are told. But that’s what makes a movie sell. Suffice it to say that she was pretty gutsy to have purchased and restored a 250+ year old major fixer upper almost 20 years ago in this lovely town.

What you might recognize from the film is the little grotto where the man left flowers every day. I must admit, I was happy to see the house after all. She might have been home as a window on the second floor was open, but we were respectful.

For the trivia minded, Bramasole actually means “yearns for the sun” as this house is on the shady side of the mountain. Nonetheless, the setting and landscaping are beautiful and the house appears to have been restored to its old charm.



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