Villa La Massa is a fascinating Medici dwelling of the 16th century on the outskirts of Florence. It was turned into a luxury hotel in 1948. After a complete renovation by the Villa d'Este Group in 1998 it reopened and its five hundred years of history live on, telling us tales of Renaissance splendour and the lifestyle of Florentine aristocrats in every nook.
During the Renaissance in Tuscany many noble families built new homes. Among these are the wealthy Landinis, successful publishers, who decided to commission the construction of two houses on the banks of the Arno.
A widow of the Landini family sells her home to three brothers of the Rinuccini family, very well-known at the time, having had children who were ambassadors, writers and senators. These are Carlo, Giovanni and Alessandro, a marquis, an abbot and a cavalier, who transform the two houses into a single villa, called "La Massa".
Alessandro's son, Pier Francesco, having inherited the Villa, carries out important works of refurbishment and enlargement. In particular four towers are built onto the corners of the villa and a sophisticated hydraulic system is installed in the attic, with a copper tank from Germany, to supply water to the baths in the towers. This is also the time when the little Chapel next to the villa was built.
Caterina Margery Hombert Ruffie Planche purchases the villa. It is she who is said to have had the frescoes painted on the ceilings of the bedrooms and on the ground floor.
The Margery heirs sell the property to Countess Giulia Belinska, widow Bobrinky, daughter of grandmarshal Count Gounosza. The Bobrinkys belonged to the highest Russian aristocracy, who came to live in Tuscany at the time of the Lorenas.
The Bobrinky heirs sell the villa to Ugo Socini. This is the beginning of a series of passings of the property from hand to hand between Italian and foreign owners: Salvi, Brunicci, Perkins and Mason, Goldsmith Procter and finally to Searl, who in 1948 turned it into a luxury hotel.
In the '70s and '80s Villa La Massa becomes one of the five best hotels in Florence. A prestige due to its elegance and the high quality of its service, but also due to its strategic position, so close to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Jean Marc Droulers, President & CEO of Villa D'Este S.p.a. till 2011, buys the hotel. Under the supervision of Roberta Droulers all of the rooms, baths and public spaces are completely renovated according to the Tuscan and Florentine traditions. Thanks to the know-how of the management of Villa D'Este, renowned throughout the world for the quality of its service, today this five-star villa is one of the best hotels in Italy.