In 1926 the Countess Elena Castelbarco and her husband Fabio Sanminiatelli, moved to Vignamaggio, where they lived for many years, breathing new splendour into the villa, restoring the gardens and inviting illustrious guests to cultural and social events at the villa.
Fabio, known as “Bino” Sanminiatelli (Florence, 1896-1984) writer, journalist and artist, dedicated a significant part of his writing to the Tuscan countryside and to the changes which took place in agriculture, recording the end of the sharecrop system. In his novels and letters, Bino Sanminiatelli describes the Chianti landscape with accurate elegance and realism, losing himself in the forests, following Greve’s springs and being enchanted daily by its fragrances and by the ways of the peasants.
Bino’s study still imbues an atmosphere of profound tranquillity and familiarity. The writer’s notes, cuttings and memories emerge from the bottom of a drawer or on paging through a book.
Quiet moments we would like to share with you, through the words of the writer himself.
“The farmstead incorporated into the villa lies upon massive, fortified walls.
The exquisite vegetation that surrounds it, pines and holm oaks, once pruned into hedges, is all that is left of the Italian style garden that had wanted to edge closer to the forest with its avenue of cypresses. Hiding in pockets of vegetation are gnawed-at old statues and a small temple where the Gods were.
The mountain on which the villa and farmstead rest, rises up from the valley where a brook babbles and mists gather. Massive walls, courtyards, chapel, store, stable, cellar, oil mill: all enclosed to see the long winter through, as if in a Noah’s ark. And rooms and cubicles for the vinsanti wines, cheese, jars, coal: and vaults and little steps engraved into the rock. On Winter evenings the little colony sets sail for the night”.
La vita in campagna, Longanesi, 1980.
Scrittori del Chianti, Centri Studi Chiantigiani Clante, 1998.