Nestled high in the hills between the Chiana and Arno valleys, the tiny hamlet of Barbazzano was authentically restored to an exacting standard. Once home to about thirty contadini, or peasant farmers, Barbazzano was abandoned in 1969 and fell into disrepair. The restoration took six years using salvaged and reclaimed materials wherever possible.  Click or scroll over the images to see a slideshow of the restoration process.

Demolition

Demolition

The corner of the southwest wall lost large portions of its interior face and was unstable.

Demolition

Demolition

The wall was demolished to the ceiling of the first floor and rebuilt.

Ceiling Joists and Brick Replaced

Ceiling Joists and Brick Replaced

This centuries-old method of construction gives Tuscan interiors their distinctive appearance.

Ceiling Joists and Brick Replaced

Ceiling Joists and Brick Replaced

Old brick and salvaged joists were used throughout the house.

Roof Beams

Roof Beams

For added structural strength, the beams were poured in a reinforced concrete ring, or cordolo.

Roof Poured in Concrete

Roof Poured in Concrete

Reinforced concrete added strength to the roof.

Front Façade - Before

Front Façade - Before

Large sections of the roof collapsed before the restoration, such as the central portion in this photo.

Front Façade - After

Front Façade - After

Front Façade - After

Front Façade - After

Alley View - Before

Alley View - Before

This central road connected Barbazzano to a portion of the Roman era Via Cassia.

Alley View - After

Alley View - After

Second House - Before

Second House - Before

A portion of this building was once the church of Santa Maria di Barbazzano. An intervention was required to stabilize the structure.

Second House - After

Second House - After

Once fully restored, this house will feature five additional ensuite bedrooms plus a caretaker's apartment.

North Façade - Before

North Façade - Before

The ground floor housed various animals. The rising heat from their bodies was a source of warmth for the occupants living above.

North Façade - After

North Façade - After

Flanked by a split level lawn and arbor covered eating area to the left (not pictured), this side of the house offers spectacular sunset views over the Arno valley.

North Façade - After

North Façade - After

Salone Quattro Archi - Before

Salone Quattro Archi - Before

This large room once housed cows.

Salone Quattro Archi - After

Salone Quattro Archi - After

Furnished with comfortable love seats and armchairs, this is a great room for gathering any time of the day.

Sala da Pranzo - Before

Sala da Pranzo - Before

This was the stable.

The antique mahogany table and chairs upholstered in Busatti fabric from Sansepolcro offer elegant dining indoors.

Studio - Before

Studio - Before

A wine fermenting vat was found in this room. Through the small doorway in back was a chicken coop.

Studio - After

Studio - After

The earliest foundations are exposed beneath the glass floor - this room is a great spot to write a postcard or read a book.

West Façade - Before

West Façade - Before

Two families shared this house, using separate entrances. This exterior stair is a common feature of Tuscan farmhouses.

West Façade - After

West Façade - After

Five bedrooms catch the light from the setting sun.

West Façade - After

West Façade - After

A path leading around the house winds past bay, wisteria, lavender and rose.

Il Giardino Exterior - Before

Il Giardino Exterior - Before

The stalls on the ground floor were accessed by exterior doors.

Il Giardino Exterior - After

Il Giardino Exterior - After

Occupants of this bedroom can enjoy the sunset from a semiprivate terrace.

Il Giardino - Before

Il Giardino - Before

A collapsed ceiling and roof provided a fertile spot for vegetation to grow inside the house.

Il Giardino - After

Il Giardino - After

This cozy room features a queen bed and three piece ensuite with shower.

Il Giardino - After

Il Giardino - After

Cucina Principale - Before

Cucina Principale - Before

These low rooms housed pigs.

Cucina Principale - After

Cucina Principale - After

This half of the main kitchen features a Lacanche range with pasta boiler, stainless island and counter with sink, and professional pastry refrigerators.

Cucina Principale - After

Cucina Principale - After

In this half of the kitchen are an oven and cooktop, side by side refrigerator, commercial high speed dishwasher, two sinks and an island with seating.

Salone Carriola - Before

Salone Carriola - Before

Salone Carriola - the carriage room - was once used to store wagons and other farm implements.

Salone Carriola - After

Salone Carriola - After

Carriola is now a comfortable gathering spot for impromptu meals. Satellite television and a videocassette library offer entertainment and news.

La Rosa - Before

La Rosa - Before

The roof and ceiling collapsed before we arrived.

La Rosa - After

La Rosa - After

Before becoming a farm Barbazzano was the site of the church of Santa Maria di Barbazzano. La Rosa, together with Il Giacinto next door, originally comprised the rectory. The outlines and charred brick of the hearth are still visible in the wall behind the bed. And the original ceiling height is outlined in brick on the pictured wall.

La Bella Vista - Before

La Bella Vista - Before

The western wall of this room was demolished and rebuilt.

La Bella Vista - After

La Bella Vista - After

This large bedroom features a king or two double beds, sitting area and three piece ensuite with tub/shower.

La Bella Vista - After

La Bella Vista - After

With south and west exposures, La Bella Vista is bright and airy.

Salone Camino - Before

Salone Camino - Before

The kitchen-the first room one enters in a traditional farmhouse-was the center of domestic life. Note the 1950s era terrazzo sink in the right corner.

Salone Camino - After

Salone Camino - After

A carved sandstone sink was restored to its original position.

Salone Camino - Before

Salone Camino - Before

The large hearth in this room was the only source of heat for the family, apart from heat rising from the bodies of the animals housed on the ground floor. Food was cooked in the hearth on grates laid over coals. Once or twice a week, the large oven opposite the house's main entrance was lit to roast meats and bake bread.

Salone Camino - After

Salone Camino - After

The restored hearth, with its traditional chimney, or cappa.

Salone Camino - After

Salone Camino - After

Salone Camino is furnished with comfortable armchairs and is a relaxing retreat.

Il Valdarno - Before

Il Valdarno - Before

Originally reached by exterior stairs, this was formerly the kitchen for the western half of the house. Note the stone sink suspended on brick piers.

Il Valdarno - After

Il Valdarno - After

With west, north and east exposures, this room is very bright and features a king or two double beds and three piece ensuite with shower.

La Loggia - Before

La Loggia - Before

The loggia was a shady spot to catch the evening breezes.

La Loggia - After

La Loggia - After

This space is now a quiet retreat on the third floor.

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