23 January 2015
an artist’s retreat
In Tuscany, a pink palace, dating back to the 18th century, offers a wonderful experience to adults and children alike, at the heart of nature, in the middle of 500 hectares of cork-oaks, olive trees and vines, total immersion in an artist’s retreat, which acts as either a home or a solitary and contemplative retreat. This original reinterpretation of luxury revolves around creation, nature and art, which prompt meetings and enchantes, offered by Kuoni.
Open to the public for the past year, Villa Lena takes the name of its owner, Lena Evstfieva, rising from the ashes, having fallen into ruin and restored by the family of this young lady since 2007.
Looked after and managed today by gallery-owner Lena and her husband Jérôme Hadey, entrepreneur and music producer and Lionel Bensemoun of Le Baron and la Clique, the property has been transformed into a place of encounter, like an “anti urban remedy” as described by Jérôme, which bridges the gap between a Foundation and an artist’s residency, a hotel and guest suites for family holidays, a retreat that allows you to dislocate yourself from city life, in search of fresh air and tranquillity, or even a family home filled with friends, who live their chosen “dolce vita” and revel in poolside parties in the summer.
Proffering a wonderful mix of genres, each guest can do as they please, such as this Financial Times journalist who came here to take refuge from the world and pen his debut novel, or musician and singer Benjamin Clementine, whose first album came out last week in France, having written most of his tracks in this very residence.
Here is Lena, in the shape of an artist’s residency.
Artists of every kind can make this place their home for two months, and one in particular, having been chosen by a jury comprising of Caroline Bourgeois, French exhibition/gallery curator, Barbara Casaola, rapper and RZA producer and Philippe Zdar, producer and member of Cassius.
Here Travis Broussard, American industrial designer who is based in Amsterdam created his colourful ceramics, wooden and marble tables and his bed on stilts.
Jay One Ramier was born in Guadeloupe and lives in Paris. Part of the underground graffiti scene in the 80s and hip hop star, today he communicates through a poetic, minimalistic and colourful language, translating this onto paper, impregnated with hip hop culture, of course.
Artists can live in renovated former farms buildings. Studios and workshops are placed at their disposal, in amongst the olive trees.
Here multidisciplinary Yue Wu, Beijing-born Paris dweller, produced understated drawings on marble, testing its lines without paper or pencil, by non-traditional means.
The restaurant proposes a French-Italian cuisine, with products from the Villa’s own vegetable patch and agricultural cultivations. When the season strikes, guests may accompany Yoni and his dog companion Pan Pan in search of the house’s signature white truffles, exploring 500 hectares of forest.
Kuoni is the first partner of Villa Lena, which is part of their luxury brand called “Emotions” and offers personalised journeys with a brand-new service: experience a private transfer pick-up service from your door (as just one option), be greeted at the airport by a hostess, insuring the use of the fast-track channel and accompanying you all the way up until boarding.