It is spring and the hum of bees vibrates constantly, giant black balls bundling themselves through the air. Everything is a little unruly; a little overgrown in a beautiful way, sitting in contrast with the clean and simple style of the rooms and the neat rows of the vegetable garden. These are the contrasts of Villa Lena, both in its life and its design, serenity and wildness in equal measure, whichever you require.
What strikes you is the silence. There are rumours of summer parties, a sure side effect of being an artists’ hub, but at this moment there is only the wind, the leaves, and the sounds of birds, insects, and small lizards rustling through the grass. Villa Lena sprawls across 500 hectares of Tuscan hillside, a mix of nature, apartments, artists’ studios, and the majestic old Villa. The estate belonged to Lena’s family and had sat empty while they wondered what to do with it.
Seven years later, Villa Lena was founded by art consultant Lena Evstafieva, her husband, musician Jerome Hadey, and the man behind famed Parisian nightclub Le Baron, Lionel Bensemoun. Now it is not only Lena and Jerome’s home but, along with Lionel, they have created a space where their considerable creative experience could come together and facilitate collisions between other artists. Villa Lena is a place for work, for artists, and for vacations, all in one. Visitors to the estate are families and travellers, renting a room or an apartment to enjoy Tuscany and the uniquely artistic life at Villa Lena.
Truly unique, it is clear why the estate is popular with travellers who are looking for a place to holiday. Perfectly located within easy reach of Tuscany’s sights, there is everything you could need – elegant accommodation, swimming pools, a restaurant serving produce grown on the estate, the extraordinary nature and views, and a taste of artistic life for the curious. By our final day, none of us want to leave, so taken are we with the tranquility and beauty of life on the estate. The unique blend of creative, agricultural, and hospitality life makes this a very special open house. We can’t wait to return.
Read the full story in Issue 3