Niccolò Machiavelli’s Villa in Tuscany has opened its doors to those with the ends and means to afford it.
Located halfway between Florence and San Casciano, in Sant’ Andrea in Percussina, Villa Mangiacane was built by Cardinal Francesco Maria Macchiavelli – the renaissance philosopher’s uncle – with the help of funding from Pope Urban VIII, also a relative.
In the mid-17th century, the Machiavellis sold the villa to the Mazzei family, which owned it until the mid-20th century. It eventually fell into ruin until it was rescued in 2000 by South African entrepreneur Glynn Cohen. The villa has now opened as a luxury agriturismo – a working farm offering tourist accommodation.
The villa’s estate includes 250 hectares of land, 41 of which are taken up by vines.
Made under the direction of Tuscan winemaker Alberto Antonini, Villa Mangiacane Chianti Classico is made from Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino grapes grown on vines that range from 12 to 30 years old. Although wine has been made there for some 400 years, the first ‘new’ vintage – 2001 – yielded 17,000 bottles, of which 4,000 were Riserva. The estate also produces olive oil.
Written by Maggie Rosen