Written by Thea Lewis-yates for Wylde magazine
Summary Striking the perfect balance between luxury, home-from-home comfort and precious privacy, Thea Lewis-yates discovers what Villa Dasya has to offer.
Villa Dasya, Tuscany
Tuscany’s painterly landscapes, endless sunshine and superlative food captivate Thea Lewis-yates. Based at the stunning Villa Dasya, she drops back a gear and discovers la dolce vita. Photographs by Martin Yates
The preposterously picturesque Tuscan hills are high-end holiday villa heaven. Take Villa Dasya; located on the edge of the opera-set-worthy, ancient village of Lari, this classy home-from-home oozes understated elegance. From its luxuriously appointed public rooms and six bedrooms, to an elegant terrace, perfect for aperitivo-hour spritzers and dining alfresco under the stars, Dasya is synonymous with La Dolce Vita.
Part of its charm is that it has heart and soul and is the Italian family home of our dreams… if only those pesky Euro Millions numbers would come good! The village of Lari is a mere ten minute stroll away along a shaded, gently undulating road. In the ancient cobbled square life runs at a medieval pace; the most taxing task: choosing which avour of artisan gelato to scoop at Lari’s endearing ice cream parlour.
Back at the villa, we sunbathe and dip into our private pool idyllically set in fruit orchards and olive groves. Keen cooks will delight in Villa Dasya’s high-spec, well-equipped kitchen. As a (much) tried and tested risotto is about my limit, my husband embraces the “private dining experience” with gusto. Our native Tuscan chef’s creative twists on old cucina rustica recipes are mouthwateringly memorable. In the land of pizza and pasta, our coeliac guest’s requirements are so imaginatively met, we all consider going gluten free. Broad bean and mint frittata, unctuous local mozzarella, basil and tomatoes bear no resemblance to their abby Islington-Italian counterparts, and the fresh local melon, raspberries, peaches and apricots, steeped in amaretto, become our new fruity fetish.
For the less languid, charming seaside bolthole Castiglioncello is just a twenty mile drive away. But as Lari is surrounded by some of Italy’s best vineyards, our hire car is parked rmly in neutral. Looking for somewhere lively? Try Forte dei Marmi instead. Lari is not about dressing ash to upstage ostentatious Eurotrash.
We’re happy to dress down and kick back. To paraphrase Verdi: “You may have the universe (boutiques, bars and VIP nightclubs included), if I may have Tuscany.”