Renata and I both lived and worked in Milan in the telecom and information technology industry. We were living in the fast lane and ready for a change.
In 2001 we were enjoying a relaxed weekend in Chianti when in front of a sunset Renata looked at me straight in the eyes and said: “Promise one day you will bring me to live here” …and I promised!
Chianti has always been a second home for me as I used to come here very often growing up with my parents. My father was an architect and used the old terracotta tiles and floors for the villas he designed. This is where he asked my mother to marry him and for sure they transmitted their love for this region to me.
Renata and I started coming here every weekend in search for a place we would fall in love with where we could make our dream come true. We wanted to build a new life for ourselves in a unique, special place. A friend from Siena told us we absolutely had to see a one thousand year old abandoned parish church near Radda in Chianti. When we walked up the drive way we were utterly speechless. It was love at first sight.
The soul of San Fedele spoke to ours. It was a once in a lifetime experience, a fatal attraction that started resounding in our within like a heartbeat, like a perpetual fire, like a mantra. From the moment we encountered San Fedele we could not stop thinking and talking about it. Our search had come to an end. In fact it is San Fedele that chose us and not the contrary.
In 2002 we began this monumental adventure of restoring this romanesque parish church and bringing it back to life. A labour of love that took almost seven years and involved over one thousand people. Many artisans who worked here were baptized or married in the church and had deep personal connections to the place. Renata and I were blessed with a common vision and dream which gave us the strength and endurance to survive the many difficulties and challenges we were confronted with during these years. From 2007 we have the blessing and privilege of calling San Fedele “Home”. We consider ourselves as the care takers of this inspiring and magical place where the walls are filled with a thousand years of prayer. It is our duty and ongoing responsibility to ensure that San Fedele’s new life is worthy of its past.
Today San Fedele is no longer a parish church. Renata, I and our son Filippo live here year round and we open the gates of our hearts and of this historic residence to a number of art and lifestyle workshops, private and corporate events, weddings and family gatherings.
San Fedele’s history, location and atmosphere make it an ideal destination for groups seeking for a totally private and exclusive space for a special event. It is off the beaten track, intimate and informal. A home away from home where groups spend quality time in the company of like minded people, colleagues, family and friends. A place where you can unplug from the busy world and reconnect with yourself, in the tranquillity of the enchanted Chianti countryside but close to all of Tuscany’s major art cities, treasures and attractions. Every event is tailor made around our guest’s requirements and wishes.
All our staff are locals, our neighbors are friends. The many activities and excursions we offer involve Tuscan people and places in the area and allow an authentic full immersion in the Tuscan lifestyle and traditions. We have stepped off the fast lane. We used to travel all around, now the world comes to us. This is a dream come true and thanks to our kind guests and friends it stays alive and grows year after year. This dream has given meaning to our lives and strength to our spirits.
Nicolò & Renata