Dominating the garden is a spectacular old elm tree, which the family often dines beneath during the summer. For the Cavallis, the garden is a connection with the earth
landowners, who used it as their country retreat. The main house measures about 16,000 square feet, not including Cavalli’s 3,800-square-foot private apartment, which occupies the south wing of the original building.
It took four years to renovate, with Cavalli drawing on her and her husband’s degrees in architecture instead of employing outsiders. Keeping it in the family, her furniture designer father, Luigi, produced some bespoke pieces for the house, and her mother, Anne-marie, oversaw the site while Cavalli and her young family lived in Turin.
Many historic elements were restored, such as the ancient stones in the wall and the original wood on the ceiling, especially in the living room, which Cavalli says has a “special light that surrounds it.”
Her favourite room is the kitchen, which she says is at the heart of the home. “We love not only cooking there, but also reading, chatting and working, if necessary.”
Expansive French doors in the kitchen lead out to the family’s private garden of approximately 4,300 square feet, which in turn leads to a communal park of about one hectare. “I love tending my plants, from English roses and jasmine to Italian rosemary. We also have a small vegetable plot nearby in the garden,” says Cavalli.
Dominating the garden is a spectacular old elm tree, which the family often dines beneath during the summer. For the Cavallis, the garden is a connection with the earth, which they consider to be essential for their children’s intellectual growth and emotional well-being. “Contact with nature is very strong in this place at the foot of the Apennines. Early in the morning or coming home from work in the evening, you can sometimes encounter deer, wild boar, pheasant, or porcupine along the sides of the road.”