How the Ruin Used as Bramasole Became a Stunning Luxury Villa

In 2006, I received a call from a favorite customer to say she had been offered a villa that was for sale near Cortona. She wondered if I might take a look at it on my next trip to Italy. I was just leaving for Tuscany, so I was able to visit almost immediately — and there the adventure began.

A Ruin with Fabulous Potential

Villa Laura

As I made my way through the brambles to the ancient, crumbling villa, I felt like I was stepping into a fairytale. The villa lay in ruins, but it was easy to see its marvelous potential. The location was fantastic, close enough to Cortona to be able to hike up into that beautiful hill town. And, perhaps best of all, this was the very villa that had been used in the filming of "Under the Tuscan Sun." I called my client from Italy and advised her to come right over and buy it — and she did!

The Renovation Begins

Under Construction

From 2006 - 2010, the family that owns Cline Cellars Winery in Sonoma, California, lovingly and painstakingly renovated the villa and its accompanying farmhouse. Whenever I had been passing through the area, I stopped by to take photos and see how the work was progressing.

Kit and Nancy Cline

Finally, in June of 2010, the renovation was finished, and the family went to Italy to spend the summer. I visited them in late June to see the final results, and walked around the property with the owners, stars in all of our eyes.

Villa Laura Then

Villa Laura Then

Villa Laura Now!

Villa Laura Now

It has been astonishing to watch this.

Diane Lane Walking to Villa

Transform into this!

Villa Laura Facade Now

To see the beauty in what's old.

Beauty in What's Old

Made fresh and new.

Made Fresh and New

This is the living room in the film.

Living Room in the Film

The living room transformed. 

Living Room Now

The kitchen from the movie.

Kitchen From the Film

That same kitchen today.

That Same Kitchen Now

Diane Lane's bedroom in the movie.

Diane Lane's Bedroom in the Movie

That bedroom today.

That Bedroom Now

The fresco looks old.

The Fresco Looks Old

But it was really painted just for the film.

But It Was Really Painted Just for the Movie

And the room that was the bathroom in the film.

Bathroom In the Film

Wasn't a bathroom at all. 

Wasn't a Bathroom At All

But the beautiful view.

View From the Film

Is still the same. 

Same View Now

Today the villa is slightly more formal in decor than the adjacent, more rustic farmhouse.

The Villa's More Formal Decor

Both are beautiful, with furnishings sourced from Italy and Europe by designer Jane Thompson.

Both Are Beautiful

Kitchens and bathrooms in both houses were custom made by local craftsmen.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

The beds in the villa were made by an artisan iron worker in nearby Spello. Mattresses and pillows are Italian, and linens are from England.

Beds Made in Spello

This is your chance to step into a movie set.

Step Into a Movie Set

And have a Tuscan adventure of your own.

Welcome to Villa Laura!

Join the Adventure!

Villa Laura is available to rent through Doorways. This stunning 10 bedroom/10.5 bathroom property sleeps 20 and is only rented as a whole to large groups, the minimum rental period is 1 week.

If you have a smaller party and want to be near Cortona, consider renting nearby Villa Grazia. If you like Villa Laura and it is unavailable, consider Villa Bellissima in nearby Umbria.