il Mulino Torrigiani cont.

Il Mulino Torrigiani is located in Tofori (pronounced: Tow’-for-ee) 15 kilometers from the historic walled city of Lucca. Nestled in its own valley, the house is surrounded by woods, a brook, olive groves and vineyards.

Tofori is an ancient village, famous for the cream-colored church and belltower that sit prominently on a hill and is visible from any approach.

Tofori and the surrounding villages of Petrognano, San Andrea in Caprile, Camigliano, Gragnano and 

Hand-drawn 1836 site map which shows roads and structures that existed at that time. Frantojo Buttoni (later called Mulino Torregiani) is in the upper left quadrant over the river Dezza.

San Gennaro are all located on the Strada del Vino, a scenic, winding hillside road that takes you to many of the local wine-producing vineyards and olive groves. Tour their cantinas, sample and buy wine and olive oil. Many of these towns have small, family-run restaurants offering lunches and dinners that feature local and seasonal specialties served in a lovely, scenic setting.

 
 
Villa Torrigiani

The first mention of the villa dates back to 1593 as belonging to the Buonvisi family. It was later purchased by Nicola Santini, into whose family it passed for a few generations. 

 

Santini rebuilt the south facade in the Baroque 

style at the end of the 17th century, probably in

imitation of the architecture of Versailles where he was the ambassador to the Republic of Lucca. The rebuilding involved the addition of two wings to the villa, and the reorientation of the villa's main entrance from the northern facade, to the southern.

Santini also laid out multiple new gardens in the style of the time. At the front, parterres were arranged around two pools. At the rear, a fountain was built as the focus of the garden, and another sunken “garden of Flora” was laid out to the east.

In 1816 Victoria Santini married into the Torrigiani family, who uprooted the existing garden to make an “English style” park. Only the “garden of Flora” survived. Currently the villa is owned by the Colonna family from Rome and they have retained the Villa's former name.

 
restoration projects

Set in a private valley in the hills of Lucca, il Mulino is built on its own bridge with a trail to a waterfall just 100 meters behind the house. Be lulled to sleep by the serene sound of the spring-fed bubbling brook, natures own air-conditioning, as it flows beneath the house from the hills above.​

Set in a private valley in the hills of Lucca, il Mulino is built on its own bridge with a trail to a waterfall just 100 meters behind the house. Be lulled to sleep by the serene sound of the spring-fed bubbling brook, natures own air-conditioning, as it flows beneath the house from the hills above.​

 

The first mention of the villa dates back to 1593, as belonging to the Buonvisi family. It was bought later by Nicola Santini, into whose family it passed. Santini rebuilt the south facade in the Baroque style at the end of the seventeenth century, probably in imitation of the architecture of Versailles where he was ambassador to the court of Louis XIV for the Republic of Lucca.

Set in a private valley in the hills of Lucca, il Mulino is built on its own bridge with a trail to a waterfall just 100 meters behind the house. Be lulled to sleep by the serene sound of the spring-fed bubbling brook, natures own air-conditioning, as it flows beneath the house from the hills above.​

 

In April of 2011 former AncoraItalia Tour guests who have been with us on a number of our Tours, Mike & his wife Jane from the Minneapolis area, came to il Mulino to help me restore part of the old mill-works in the olive milling room. I had cut down an old chestnut tree in the back yard the year before so that the wood had some time to dry before shaping it.

Mike and I worked for the better part of one week designing, shaping, and assembling the main gear and drive shaft for the giant stone that crushed the olives in the first step of the olive oil making process. As you can see from the photos, we used many of the hand tools that the original builders of the millworks would have used.