Ital­ian re­nais­sance


Nearly 40 years ago, Dede Pratesi moved into Villa Lu­nardi: a 17th-cen­tury stone manor north of Florence. She and her late hus­band, Athos, then head of his fam­ily’s fine linens firm, had fallen in love with the es­tate. At the time, the home was in a state of dis­re­pair, with cracked walls, col­laps­ing roofs, and dam­aged floors. But Dede saw op­por­tu­nity amidst the ru­ins and de­voted the next sev­eral years of her life to restor­ing the property, su­per­vis­ing projects such as the re­fur­bish­ment of the house’s mar­ble tiles and fres­coes. “Tra­di­tion is ev­ery­thing to my mother,” says her son, Fed­erico, cur­rent chair of the fam­ily com­pany. “It would prob­a­bly have been eas­i­est to start fresh with the place, but that’s not her style.”

The elab­o­rate frills of Dede’s draperies help to coun­ter­bal­ance the rus­tic charms of the home’s provin­cial ar­chi­tec­ture.

A coat of sage green paint widens and bright­ens a nar­row walk­way at the Pratesi villa.

An 18th-cen­tury Vene­tian chan­de­lier graces the home’s for­mal par­lor.

Or­ganic el­e­ments help to cre­ate a cheery land­ing. The kitchen’s hearth is orig­i­nal and made of pi­etra ser­ena, a stone fre­quently used in tra­di­tional Tus­can ar­chi­tec­ture.

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