La Pensione: the classic, traditional Italian hotel’s name – quite the contrary: this Pensione is irreverent and colourful. Soft colours, relaxed lines and linear furnishing characterise the 19 rooms of the hotel in the heart of Panzano in Chianti.
The literary inspiration behind the “La Pensione” project is Boccaccio’s Decameron: a collection of 100 tales told by 10 characters in a magnificent garden, a tale a day each, over 10 days. The characters, had escaped to a country villa near Florence to take refuge from the plague.
The analogy is simple: in much the same way, La Pensione becomes our colourful, velvety refuge, for a pastoral yet seductive retreat.
Far away from the city, seduced by the dolce vita, our guests can enjoy nature in the garden and still take advantage of the hotel’s central position to make the most of the picturesque hamlet’s lively atmosphere.
We asked Clelia, one of the architects involved in the project, if she could think of any other interesting parallels between La Pensione and Boccaccio, and just how Boccaccio became such a source of inspiration.
- 19 rooms, 19 stories by Boccaccio. What influenced your choice of tales?
“We based our selection on the theme we chose; Love, a theme that offers a multitude of décor ideas and endless possibilities for the project. Boccaccio’s portrayal of love has little in common with that of Dante, it is instinctive, raw human nature, a force that could dissuade any soul, even the most virtuous: no vestment nor vow would matter. Without sacrificing any of love’s value and depth, he renders it earthly, sincere, laic (and a lot less annoying than Catullo!)
- Love in the Decameron is anything but platonic. In your opinion, has Klemke been able to portray Boccaccian eroticism in his work?
“With one key image, Werner Klemke is able to capture the theme of each tale with the same irony and open mindedness as the author, with full abandon, no constraints, limitations nor reserve. Klemke’s talent combined with his empathy render perfectly what he illustrates.”
- How would you describe the interior style of the of the Pensione?
“50-60s fashion, POP, soft and colourful, like the theme we chose”
- A room or an area of Sangiovese/ the hotel that you are particularly fond of
“Room 10, above the little church, with the loft and a provocative tale chosen especially. You can see by the cross on the window that it was once part of the church! One can sense that it has its own mysterious story and so we decided to put a slightly sacrilegious tale in there, definitely in keeping with the theme: Third Day, Eighth Tale.”