Just outside Florence, in Lastra a Signa, Irene Berni has transformed her childhood home into a wonderful place made up of poetic details and touches of charm, attracting creatives and artists from all over the world in search of peace and beauty.
In the most panoramic part of Lastra a Signa, Valdirose is the realm of Irene and Paolo, partners in life and in “crime”, who have given life to an intimate B&B with only 4 rooms. Here you can rediscover the authentic warmth of a cozy home and immerse yourself in a suspended world made of so much beauty and a truly exceptional hospitality.
The story of Valdirose begins in 2008, when Irene and Paolo decide to take the helm of the management of the B&B, opened about a year earlier by Irene’s father in the historic family home in Lastra a Signa, a small village on the outskirts of Florence. Today Valdirose, with an Instagram page managed by Irene herself which has more than 120k followers, has become an international lifestyle icon as well as an authentic dream destination.
We wanted to give life to a refuge for creative souls from all over the world, an open house where to get together, meet up or to find inspiration.(Irene Berni)
Known as the “city of stone” due to the numerous quarries of pietra serena from which the sandstone “slabs” were obtained, Lastra a Signa is known for its rich cultural and artistic heritage. Among the countless historic villas there’s also Villa Bellosguardo Caruso, the Tuscan residence of the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso with the museum dedicated to him, and the imposing ancient walls by Brunelleschi.
The building that houses Valdirose looks like a typical late 19th-century residence, subjected to a conservative restoration that has preserved its authentic soul, maintaining original elements such as the ceilings, the wide stone staircases, the period fixtures and the taste of home so dear to Irene. The two floors of the building contain 4 large bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a kitchen area where, every morning, Irene and Paolo prepare breakfast for their guests.
The interior décor was taken care of by Irene who, before Valdirose, had a furniture and home accessories shop, her great passion. Brushstrokes of dusty pastel shades and wooden furniture, some made by Paolo himself, characterize the four rooms, softened by textural fabrics such as stone-washed linen and dried flower arrangements. The house is dotted with objects recovered from antique markets, brocanterie and antiques shops which, like clues to a story to be unveiled slowly, reveal Irene’s soul, her taste for contaminations, for traveling and the bucolic atmospheres.
But the real coup de théâtre, as well as the heart of this place with a special energy, is undoubtedly the very bright glazed veranda overlooking the garden. Furnished with recovered work furniture, it is the convivial area where everything happens, from breakfast in the morning to creative workshops, after-dinner chats, as well as the set of the beautiful reels created by Irene for the Valdirose Instagram page.
In addition to the passion and innate talent for décor, Irene also has a “past” as an author who, from her first successful blog, has seen the birth of two cookbooks published by Guido Tommasi Editore where she shares her favorite recipes. It goes without saying that the breakfast ritual at Valdirose is truly exceptional, starting from the heavenly chiffon cake with homemade jams, up to the yogurt with fresh fruit up to and an excellent coffee made with the moka, just like at home.
For those wishing to take a tour of the surroundings, the nearby suggestive town of Artimino offers a truly exceptional panoramic view for having an aperitif at sunset or for a dinner “under the stars” in the restaurants located in the central square.
If you want to stay informed about the many creative workshops organized in Valdirose, from photography to flower design up to artistic ceramics, just to name a few, we suggest you follow Irene’s Instagram page where she publishes everyday inspirational contents about Valdirose’s world.
The veranda was entirely furnished with original work furniture from the antique laundries of the Terme di Montecatini, such as the large central table and the crockery cupboard, made by skillful carpenters of the time. By doing an ad hoc search, Irene even found a black-and-white photo from 100 years ago that portrays the ironers at work right on the table that has now become the center of Valdirose’s creative activities.
Rooms starting from 140 euros (low season), on request it is possible to rent the entire villa