kilometres from Siena near
Berardenga, on the top of a hill covered in vineyards, stands
villa di Geggiano, belonging as of 1527 to the Bianchi Bandinelli
Renovated between 1780 and 1790, it forms, together with the surrounding
garden, a very unusual complex, both from the historical and the
landscaping point of view.
Adorned with century-old cypresses and potted lemon plants and
carefully-clipped box hedging, the garden boasts a unique Green theatre
- where Alfieri, a family friend, staged some of his tragedies -
equipped with two masonry proscenium arches in a late Baroque style
embellished with statues and a vegetable garden decorated according to
the canons of topiary art with a vegetable garden and a terraced
fish-tank from which one can admire a wonderful view of the countryside
opening out towards Siena.
The beautiful driveway, lined for a stretch with cypresses and another
with ilex, enters the garden through one of the gateways opening into
the boundary wall adorned with terracotta statues.
The villa, which dates back to the 13th century, houses a hall frescoed
in 1790 by Ignazio Moder, a travelling Tyrolean painter. Five other
rooms ('the Light-blue Room', 'Vittorio Alfieri's Room', 'the Green
Drawing-Room', 'the Cardinal's Room', 'the Chat Room') still boast the
original furniture in Venetian country-style; the decorations are from
the French Cards or the Toile de Jouy fabrics covering the walls. Inside
the building but giving onto the garden there is a veritable work of
art, a small consecrated chapel.