18th century Villa Centofinestre


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Trouvais Villa Centofinestre

Last September we stayed at Villa Centofinestre for several days.. an early 18th c villa in the remote Le Marche area of Italy. A long winding drive down from sunny and well farmed Tuscany, through the huge misty Apennine mountains and into the remoteness of Italy’s eastern coastline. Let me just say we were primed for the bustle of Rome after a few days in this quiet wilderness. The Villa was 15 miles from the beaches and Roman ruins of Ancona, and the coastline drive was infinitely less touristy than all that we had experienced from Portofino to Amalfi in previous trips. Back at the villa, it was magical to be the sole inhabitants…besides the caretakers…having the entire top floor to ourselves. In the photos below you can see the dawn slowly breaking as viewed from our balcony. In the formal rooms below, the Venetian glass chandelier took center stage in a fabulous ground floor ballroom…under it’s incredible coffered ceiling with inset gold rosettes…my favorite feature. IMG_4310More photos on the Villa Centofinestre website here as well as a montage at the end of the post of my own favorite views of ceiling frescos, architectural features, the beautiful robin’s egg blue of their painted doors and even some lovely ruins in the Villa’s own backyard, covered in wisteria. The major ground floor rooms are opened up for wedding parties and curious villa guests. 

I am keeping very busy this Summer, up to my elbows in closets inside, and shoulder to shoulder with the bees outside as I clip more than 50 lavender bushes. As much as I love collecting, I enjoy resorting and letting go. In the garden as well, sometimes the wild tangle of beauty needs to be pulled back. With the drought in California, I am prioritizing:  Lavender, antique roses, the espaliered apple trees, and a 12 year old Gardenia topiary tree that offers me 2 or 3 blooms a day. More on my lavender crop soon!

Happy Weekend


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18th century silk textiles Trouvais IMG_7565 IMG_7597 IMG_7603 IMG_7604 IMG_7605 IMG_7611

A quick post to say Happy Weekend….and to let you textile nuts know I have a Tumblr site here Je suis Trouvais that I have created as a sort of running antique textile diary. The silk above was part of a deconstructed gown…10 full selvedge to selvedge 42 inch long panels (and two half panels) of beautiful brocaded French silk taffeta. I came for the silk, and stayed for the prospect of the reconstructed the gown. I’m torn. I can see a froth of this at a dressing room table. Or valanced over a bed. The bodice is tiny…25 inches around at the bust line and 15 inches long. The red roses scattered across the celadon field enchant me. Not all my textile finds are in the practical category. Some just stir the imagination. I will blame this on being raised on Masterpiece theater! Which is airing a bit of 18th century tonight…Poldark

And the lavender…is in full swing. My favorite varieties are lavender augustifolia “Provence”, with a bit of “Grosso” and “Hidcote” thrown in. Rushing this out…before the weekend ends!