Did you know that rustic southern Tuscany is a surprising destination for design lovers? Amongst its hills, vineyards and coastline, you can find contemporary buildings and original parks created by famous designers, architects and artists!
Design Wineries in Maremma Tuscany
Located near Castiglione della Pescaia, Le Mortelle Winery features a design wine cellar with organic architecture with rocks that allow for natural thermoregulation. For the most part, the cellar lies underground to reduce the impact on the environment to a bare minimum. The particular architecture enables the use of the best technologies for winemaking. The entire productive cycle follows the force of gravity, from high to low, beginning with the arrival of the grapes in the raised part and continuing with the winemaking processes at the intermediate level before being refined in the underground areas. This winery is owned by the Antinori’s, a historical family from Florence who has been in the wine business for 600 years.
Designed by architect Piero Sartogo, Tenuta dell’Ammiraglia is another beautiful and eco-friendly winery in Maremma. Gravity is harnessed to pour off the wine, and renewable energy is used. The roof is covered with vegetation to ensure integration with the local area and to create the ideal microclimate in the barrel cellar below. Located near the medieval town of Magliano, this winery is owned by the Marchesi Frescobaldi family, which has been devoted to Tuscan winemaking for more than 700 years.
One of the most famous architects in the world, Renzo Piano, is behind the realization of Rocca di Frassinello in Gavorrano. The winery is essential in its design. Here too, the architect paid particular attention to the use of the force of gravity in the vinification process to ensure the highest quality for the wines. Usually, the design of wineries follows the cycle of the productive process order: from the spaces for the reception and grape selection to the fermentation room and the barriquerie, to the warehouse. Piano has revolutionized this concept by placing the barriquerie at the center. It is an ample square space with a vast roof that stands without any supporting columns. The production cycle functions take place in spaces around the barriquerie.
Design Gardens in Maremma Tuscany
Near the medieval village of Capalbio and the Aurelia Road, is a magical world that you do not expect to find in rustic Southern Tuscany. The Giardino dei Tarocchi (Tarot Garden) is an esoteric artistic park featuring gigantic statues representing the Major Arcana, or trump cards, in the Tarot deck. It was conceived by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle and built between 1979 and 1998, when it opened to the public. Its construction involved many contemporary artists like Rico Weber, Sepp Imhof, Paul Wiedmer, Dok van Winsen and Niki’s husband Jean Tinguely. The 22 majestic statues were built with steel and cement covered with glass, mirrors and colored ceramics. Niki’s concept was inspired by Antoni Gaudi’s Parque Guell in Barcelona and Italy’s Bomarzo Monster Park in Viterbo. The park is open from the 1st of April to the 15th of October.
The Giardino di Daniel Spoerri is a lovely sculpture garden created by Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri in the early 1990s and opened to the public in 1997. It is located in Seggiano, near Monte Amiata. The estate features 103 installations by about 50 artists in an area of 16 hectares. Of these, 79 bronze artworks are by Spoerri himself. A relaxing and entertaining walk of about 3 hours is required to see all these art pieces. At the entrance of the park, you will find a Latin motto that reads “Hic Terminus Haeret”, which can be interpreted as “the end sticks here” as well as “the frontier/transition sticks here”. In fact, the word “Terminus” has ambiguous meanings. The verb “haeret” means “to stick like glue”, a fundamental material in Spoerri’s work. The Garden is open from Easter to October, and only by appointment during fall/winter. The setting next to the luxurious vegetation of Mount Amiata is simply dreamy!
Giardino Viaggio di Ritorno – literally “garden of the return trip” – is a path of contemporary sculptures made by bio-architect Rodolfo Lacquaniti. The installations were created with scrap and secondhand materials and are a fantastic example of recycling art. This attraction is located in the former marshes of Buriano, near Castiglione della Pescaia, within the grounds of Agriturismo Podere il Leccio. For information on visit times contact rodolfolacquaniti.com
BotanicalDryGarden® extends over 40.000 m² near Orbetello. As its name suggests, it is a dry botanic garden that hosts more than 1.500 species and plants that can survive in a Mediterranean climate without being watered. The space is dedicated to experimentations, research and awareness generation towards the environment. It also features an open-air theater and an itinerary of contemporary art focused on the union of nature and culture. For more information, visit botanicaldrygarden.com.
Il Giardino dei Suoni di Paul Fuchs (The Garden of Sounds by Paul Fuchs) is in Boccheggiano (Montieri). In an isolated garden of 2 hectares, you can find more than 20 works in iron, bronze and copper: they are arranged in particular positions and create sounds in complete harmony with the surrounding environment. Eccentric Bavarian artist Paul Fuchs created them. You can only visit by appointment by contacting tel. 0039 / 0566 / 998221 firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit paulfuchs.com.
Il Giardino di Piero Bonacina – Arte a Parte (Piero Bonacina’s Garden – Art Apart) is located in Montegiovi (Castel del Piano). It consists of an outdoor Atelier rich in sculptures made of wood, metal, cement and local stones, including pietra arenaria di Manciano and travertino di Saturnia. The sculptures blend perfectly in the landscape. For more information visit museidimaremma.it.
Located in the neighboring region of Lazio, just 100 km away from Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort, is the mysterious Sacro Bosco (Sacred Wood), also known as Parco dei Mostri (Monster Park) in Bomarzo. This Manieristic monumental complex was created during the 16th century in the gardens of condottiero and art patron Pier Francesco Orsini. The design is attributed to Pirro Ligorio, and the sculptures to Simone Moschino. The park’s name stems from the many larger-than-life sculptures, some sculpted in the bedrock. For more information, visit bomarzo.net.
Design Hotel in Maremma Tuscany
Maremma Tuscany also treasures a design hotel: Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort. The dragonfly-shaped property features a limestone façade, while on the inside, interior designer Andrea Fogli has created a contemporary style with retro and extravagant touches.
An eco-conscious philosophy, meticulous research of materials, and modern décor are the ideas behind a new vision of the rustic and traditional Maremma Tuscany. At the Argentario Resort, the main symbol of this identity is the majestic entrance hall, where the intense colors of the sky and the Mediterranean vegetation stand out through enormous glass windows and contrast with the tabarca-stone pavements, the arched counters and the opaque black structural elements.