... "If a house can have a life, then few have older bones than the Villa Albizzi. It’s part of a small cluster of buildings in the Tuscan hills dating back almost a thousand years. Once a remote staging post on an ancient Roman road, the hamlet of the Borgo Montefienali was all but abandoned in the 13th century; and for centuries was lost to the encroaching forest, deleted from existing maps, its historical memory all but wiped clean. But at the turn of the millennium enthusiastic walker Alessandro Polvani, director of local building contractors Germana Construction, stumbled across the remains of the hamlet; instantly he saw the potential.
Since the year 2000, Alessandro, along with his son Thomas and daughter in-law Ilaria Pianigiani, has painstakingly restored the hamlet and its main house, the Villa Albizzi Montefienali. “The last occupant of these buildings was a shepherd, and he fled 40 years ago,” said Thomas Polvani. “In the four decades since, nature took its toll. All that was left of the buildings were the outer stone walls, the window openings like black eyes. The original plants and cultivation were gone, lost to a thick green mantle of weeds. All that remained of the ancient landscaping was a single cypress tree, marking the entrance to the ruins of a church dedicated to San Domenico.”