Villa La Tanelle

Few things say relaxation like your own private villa on a Tuscan hillside.
Toss in a million-dollar view of vineyards, olive groves, oak trees and a castle or two; total privacy and a private infinity pool and it’s not a far stretch to say Villa Le Tanelle is a slice of heaven right here on earth.

Text and Photo By Julia Bayly

Fifteen minutes by car from the villages of Radicondoli and Castelnuovo, the 18th Century villa has been lovingly restored to its original glory by owner and architect Peter Woerner.

The 69-year-old first came to Italy when he was 19 and fell in love with the Tuscan countryside and its people. That love affair never dimmed and in the late 1980s he began a quest for a villa to call his own, finally settling on one that was, at best, a fixer-upper. “I looked at this place and, when I stood up on the roof, I could see what the view looked like beyond the trees,” he says. “That’s something I do: I find really interesting sites and see the potential of the land.”

Hard to imagine now, but Woerner says that back then the villa was in near total ruin and he spent the next two decades restoring it to its original glory, often with the help of his student interns.

The old cattle stall is now a gourmet kitchen, the old wine closet has been transformed and upstairs a massive walk-in fireplace stands watch over the sitting room where guests can end their Tuscan day sipping local wines or over a steaming macchiato. When the day is done, any one of the four bedrooms beckon for a night of dreams infused by the soft sounds and smells of the Tuscan countryside.

“All of the plants you see around us here are indigenous to the area,” he says. “I wanted to work with the landscape and I knew what would grow here.”

So successful was Woerner in his restoration that the villa has been featured in Architectural Digest magazine. And now it’s a place you can call home, temporarily: The entire four-bedroom residence is available for week-long private bookings.

The grand city of Florence is about an hour-and-a-half drive away with the smaller, yet equally spectacular towns of San Gimiganano, Volterra and Siena about an hour’s drive away. When you are done exploring–assuming you can tear yourself away from La Tanelle–your privacy from outsiders is ensured and after only a few hours on the terrace overlooking the Pisan Alps, it’s easy to imagine you are the only people in the world.

Nothing makes Woerner happier: “This [villa] needs people to enjoy and love it,” he says.


Odds of Encountering Children: Zero, unless you bring some along. Families have booked the villa for a stay, but since the villa is a private four bedroom, three bath residence, adults are free to reserve it as a couple looking for a romantic getaway or with a group of friends as part of a modern day European Grand Tour.

Rates start at $3,500 for the week. For more information, click here or email Woerner directly at pwoerner [at] sbcglobal [dot] net.

Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.

Bayly testJulia M. Bayly lives in Fort Kent, Maine—as far north as possible before needing a passport to enter Canada. She tends to jump right into adventure. A print journalist for more than 25 years, her work appears regularly in The Bangor Daily News, Mushing Magazine and other titles. When on her farm, Bayly divides her time among training a small yet sincere team of sled dogs, tending honeybees and wrangling chickens. More often than not, she finds adventure right out her back door.

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