Villa Masini, in Montevarchi, was built out of love: entrepreneur Angiolo Masini, who had co-founded the “La Familiare” hat company, wanted a home for himself and his beloved wife.
The villa was designed by local engineer Giuseppe Petrini; Masini called painters, glass and textile artists, and selected refined stones and marble. In 1927 his palace was finished, but unfortunately the love of his life had died.
Heartbroken, Masini gave up his dream of a home full of love. He dedicated this treasure chest of eclectic decor, with elements from Art Nouveau and Deco, to his family’s business success: the entrance’s mosaic floor reads “In labore vita”, a Latin motto meaning “In work, life”.
A few years ago, Tuscan actor and director Roberto Benigni came across the villa by chance. He was filming “Life is Beautiful”, and part of the crew got lost while looking for a certain location, stumbling upon the palace. They decided it was perfect: now some of the scenes from the famous silver screen masterpiece are set in Angiolo’s bedroom, others in the wonderful conservatory outside.
The story told by Benigni is a dramatic love story, but has a happy ending and, after all this time, it brought some luck back to Villa Masini as well.