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Renaissance Garden in Val d'Orcia

Listed under Gardens in Tuscany, Italy.

  • Photo of Renaissance Garden in Val d'Orcia
  • Photo of Renaissance Garden in Val d'Orcia
  • Photo of Renaissance Garden in Val d'Orcia
Photo of Renaissance Garden in Val d'Orcia
Photo by Donna Dawson
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In San Quirico d’Orcia, a little walled village, we visit the Renaissance Garden in Val d’Orcia: the Story of diomede Leoni and his Horti Leonini The Horti Leonini gardens are a splendid example of giardini all'italiana: they were designed in about 1540 by Diomede Leoni and periodically host temporary It took a writer from New York who has chosen to divide her time between the States and San Giovanni d’Asso, the Landscape Architect Patricia McCobb, to tell the story of Diomede Leoni, too long omitted from the historical studies of the Val d’Orcia. In her new book, A Renaissance Garden in Val d’Orcia: the Story of diomede Leoni and his Horti Leonini, she writes about Diomede Leoni and the mystery of the building of his splendid garden in San Quirico, one of the singular pearls of the Val d’Orcia. The building of the Horti Leonini in the late 1500s began with the story of this man from San Quirico. Leoni, while still young, left his birthplace for Rome, where he lived amongst the elite of the artistic world. An official letter written by the secretary of the Grand Duke Francesco I de’Medici in 1580, shows that the Medici had repayed Leoni for the construction of the Horti. The same letter brings to light certain details of the life of Diomede Leoni: he was an illegitimate son of a notary, inherited a piece of land in San Quirico from his father, and he built his ‘horti’ for the comfort and convenience of travelers and, in particular, the nobility that passed through the town on the Via Romea. Further research shows that Diomede Leoni was one of three friends at the bedside of Michelangelo when he died. In fact, Leoni was the only one to write a testimony about the last minutes of life of the artist. The book about Diomede Leoni and his Horti Leonini is available here.
San Quirico – called one of ten villages untouched by time. Paper mills are here and so are autochthonous cinta senese pigs.

Written by  Donna Dawson.

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