It’s been nearly 3 years since I wrote a blog post about Villa Valguarnera. I remember back then, I was trying to research online about this magical place in Sicily and I couldn’t find much information or photos apart from an article in Spanish magazine Telva. I recently stumbled across a great feature about Villa Valguarnera in Condé Nast Traveler and I thought it was only fair to share more images of this magnificent home.
The current owner of Villa Valguarnera, Princess Vittoria Alliata di Villafranca (a title bestowed on her family in 1609 by the King of Spain.)
The Piano Nobile of the Villa is available to rent, although Vittoria allows guests to use the entire house (except her bedroom and study) and the gardens ( this is all I could wish for a dreamy Italian stay!)
Researching about the Spanish Royal Palace of Riofrio (a place that I love and you should definitely visit when in Segovia) I stumbled across another place with the same name but in Setubal, Portugal. I instantly fell in love with the stunning blue and white tiles so I did some investigation about the place.
This manor house (now open as Bed and Breakfast) was built at the beginning of the 20th century and at the time the Herdade de Rio Frio was one of the biggest estates in the country mainly producing wine. The tiles in the house depict rural communities at work, in particular, the wine harvest.
The beautiful azulejos were painted by renowned tile artist Jorge Colaço, (1848-1942) His work can also be seen at the Palace Hotel of Bussaco, the Sao Bento railway station in Porto and even at Windsor Palace in England.
Hotel Palacio de Bussaco
Sao Bento Station
I hope you have enjoyed my first little discovery of the year!
Photo Credits: Palacio de Riofrio – Booking.com | Hotel Palacio de Bussaco – Luxury Dreams Hotels | Sao Bento Station – https://www.instagram.com/bmseventh/
Intaglios were intended to preserve the arts and culture of ancient times, which had been lost throughout the centuries. Images were carved into stones and used to impress into wax seals. These carvings depict portraiture, renowned architecture, and celebrated scenes from ancient Rome and Greek mythology. In the 19th century, reliefs of these carvings were being reproduced in plaster form and became collectables
Plaster intaglios became to be used as mementoes for the Grand Tour travellers. these small carvings were collected during their travels. They would mount the intaglios into books and then make notes corresponding to each one as to his adventure that resulted in his buying or obtaining that stamp. By the end of the trip a traveller would have books filled with intaglios and notes that would last a lifetime.
I find framed Intaglios a highly effective way to decorate walls and they seem to always work well with both contemporary and traditional homes. Old or new, white or coloured, a simple framing or a playful one. Whatever is your choice, here are a few ideas on how to make the most of your collection.
As a lover of classical architecture and art, there’s no surprise that Alexa Hampton often decorates with Intaglios. She makes them look uber chic in both her own bedroom and her guest bedroom.
The framed intaglios compliment beautifully the wallpaper pattern in this bedroom designed by Todd Richesin
It’s all about the contrast in this elegant space designed by Katie Ridder. The framed intaglios are from KRB. House Beautiful
From Intaglio-filled lamps to decoupage trays, Bridie Hall loves intaglios and she uses them in the most clever way.
If you’re are looking for unique framed intaglios, Parvum Opus is the place to go. The main designer and creative mind, Erika Stafanitti, also shares her ever-growing collection on Instagram – a must follow account for any Intaglio-Bindery lover.