Softly lit chick-flick fans, rejoice: the romantic Cortona villa featured in Under the Tuscan Sun has recently been gut renovated for real, and is now available to rent for your next Italian getaway. While mentorship and mothering from Diane Lane are sadly not included, you can host a wedding there.
The 17th century estate located on the border of Tuscany and Umbria known as "Villa Laura"—called "Bramasole" in the 2003 romantic comedy—has recently been redesigned and completely renovated, while still maintaining the centuries-old character and charm that made bestselling author Frances (Diane Lane's main character) swoon.
Featuring 10 bedrooms and 10 and 1/2 bathrooms, the nearly 400-year-old villa sleeps 20 people comfortably—making it ideal for an intimate, destination Tuscan wedding, honeymoon, or family reunion. (Just like in the film, but hopefully without all the emotional baggage.)
For anyone who, like myself, loved both the book and the film, the most striking feature of the redesign from the Villa Laura booking website might be to the outdoor spaces: notably, the addition of a swoon-worthy stone swimming pool and jacuzzi, and the significantly more manicured surrounding gardens and landscaping. (Please make sure to pack that white dress and have your portrait taken while reclining on a nearby lounger. Preferably while waiting for your own dreamy David Sutcliffe to magically appear with a glass of vino.)
Inside the main house, farmhouse, and conservatory (or "Limonaia"), there are also much-appreciated improvements—and not just to the plumbing, years of neglect, and storm damage.
In very Frances-esque style, several of the bedrooms still maintain wire bed frames, but thankfully the walls have been stripped of all their decaying plaster layers to reveal gorgeous exposed stonework. Using an original 17th century fresco for inspiration, all three of the buildings on the estate (which itself dates back to 600 AD) feature neutral, organic-inspired furnishings and fixtures in "soft pinks, turquoise, and cream" according to the Villa Laura website.
Additional and welcome improvements come in the form of gut-renovated eating and entertaining areas—central to that idyllic Tuscan way of life. The chef's kitchen features a wood-fired pizza oven, and the dining room has been better incorporated into the floor plan (for recreating those heartwarming end-credits dinner party scenes). Visiting groups and families will love the bocce court, home theater, games room with ping pong and billiards tables, and a wine cellar.
But to get the full Under the Tuscan Sun experience, book your stay during one of Villa Laura's special events weeks—with guided tours of the local trattorias, truffle hunts and olive harvests, cooking or painting classes, and more offerings like adding optional horseback riding and pilates/yoga classes on the property during your stay.
By car from Cortona, Montepulciano and Arezzo are just over 20 minutes away, Perugia and Siena are 45 minutes away, Florence is only an hour away, and Rome is only two hours away, making Villa Laura an ideal hub for taking in the entire region while you're in Italy. Nightly rates range from approximately $2,200 in the shoulder seasons to about $3,800 during peak travel times. Owner Sophie advises guests not to count out Tuscany's "magical" winters, including the local ski areas not too far away.