They say money can't buy you class, but splashing out on a little luxury from time to time sure helps. Villa Ardore is class incarnate – a luxurious gay-owned LGBTQ+ friendly villa found deep within the beating heart of Tuscany´s wine country. This June 23rd – 30th they’re opening the doors of their home-from-home wide open for a singular Pride Month experience – the aptly named ‘Gentleman’s Week’.
Whatever your definition of ‘Gentleman’, the week is the perfect remedy for those seeking something different from the wild parties, heady excesses and packed floats of topless gym bunnies usually associated with Pride Month. Each to their own of course, but there’s more than one way to live loud and proud and Villa Ardore is offering a refreshing alternative Pride Month experience.
From a little TLC and fine dining to poolside opera concerts and a one-of-a-kind festival in Florence, come with us as we look at eight stylish ways Villa Ardore celebrates Pride – the gentleman’s way.
Treating their Guests with Grace
From the moment you book to the moment your stay ends, Villa Ardore will treat you like the distinguished gentleman you deserve to be treated as. A luxury transfer vehicle will pick you up from the airport and whisk you away to their oasis of calm in the Tuscan countryside. Upon arrival you’ll be greeted by Tuscan native Francesco – better known as “Franci”– and his partner, Massimo, for an aperitivo or two. The duo will give you a tour of the villa, hold a drink-filled soiree in your honor and then leave you to explore your new home at your leisure.
Serving Wall-to-Wall Authenticity
Villa Ardore is a lavish establishment built upon the grounds of a 16th century Italian watchtower, which manages to provide an authentic Tuscan country atmosphere without sacrificing modern convenience and luxury. The villa has lovingly restored wood beamed ceilings, handmade terracotta floors ̧ curated artworks and even an enormous country fireplace to snuggle in front of. You’re free to wander – with wonder – the villa grounds, where you’ll find a large dining room, an expansive loggia with stunning views, a stocked wine cellar, antique Parisian bar, rich culinary gardens and more within its ancient stone walls.
A large, heated infinity pool is the immediate initial pull to many visitors and the desire to bask in the Italian sun upon the enormous pool deck – or lay back and gaze up at the stars as the pool romantically illuminates the grounds by night. Taking the indulgence to another level, you are free to venture down into the villa's bona fide roman spa – one of the few in the region. It comes replete with dry and steam saunas, a sensory shower and an 8-person whirlpool – all the better to unwind in and get to know your fellow gentleman guests.
Providing A Gentleman’s Itinerary
Your aforementioned host, Franci, will use his expertise to craft a bespoke itinerary catering to all tastes, while keeping the aspiring gentleman in mind. Your week’s activities will capitalize on both culturally rich Tuscany and the villa itself. Villa Ardore is perfectly situated to take advantage of the region of Chianti – a region that is really on the pulse when it comes to having a more progressive and accepting mindset. You’ll visit LGBTQ+ friendly wineries within ripe local vineyards and take guided tours though medieval towns which have stood forever standing sentinel to the ages. Back at the villa you are free to be as active as you choose with activities on offer such as a traditional Italian game on the lawn's bocce court, or you can simply lay back and soak in the country views with a drink in hand.
Inserting a little More Class into a World of Sass
Parties and sophistication don’t have to be mutually exclusive and at Villa Ardore you’ll attend a poolside opera with – easy-on-the-eye – Italian opera singer, Gianluca Margheri, whose powerful voice goes down well with a good cocktail or three as you socialize with the other guests till the early hours.
Gentleman’s Week is perfectly timed to coincide with the Festa di San Giovanni – an authentically medieval festival in Firenze. The festival is a rambunctious mix of pageantry, medieval costumes and drummer filled parades. Explore the city as it explodes into a sea of color and revelry as the event unfolds. The night concludes with a rooftop group dinner to watch the closing festivities as fireworks light up the river Amo below – all making for a truly individual Pride experience.
Fine Dining and Even Finer Drinking
At Villa Ardore – as you might expect – your belly will never be empty. You’ll feast on fine Italian food courtesy of villa chef, Roberto Miceli. Get an exquisite taste of Tuscany with regionally produced sheep’s milk cheese and jams, handmade pasta with freshly grated truffles, organic vegetables and mouth-wateringly good homemade desserts. All accompanied by the best wine pairings from a sommelier-procured cellar.
When out on the town you’ll feast on authentic Tuscan fare at one of the many inviting local restaurants. No Italian experience is complete without pizza and – if you fancy trying your own hand at baking one – a master pizzaiolo will guide you through the process using a classical outdoor wood-fire pizza oven, with assuredly delicious results.
Making SAGE Donations
A gentleman gives as well as takes – so to speak – so in celebration of Gentlemen's Week, Villa Ardore will make a donation to SAGE, an advocacy group focused on LGBTQ+ elders. Your attendance will mean contributing to the worthy cause of helping the gentleman within a vulnerable population to age with dignity.
Making Room for Everyone
There’s room for everyone at Villa Ardore, both literally and figuratively. Choose between a range of double occupancy suites, such as the cozy Studio Suite, the decadent Fireplace Suite or even the grandiose Master Suite. All are beautifully decorated studies in comfort with ensuite bathrooms and every room comes fully equipped with air conditioning, custom mattress beds and Wifi.
Being a Gentleman is for everyone and Villa Ardore prides itself on being for guests from all walks of life. The owners, Christian and Stephen, have ties to the greater LGBTQ+ community and a commitment to inclusion. As such, the villa's doors are very much open to gentlemen of all ilk.
Whatever being a gentleman means to you, as the sun sets over your stay at Villa Ardore, you will have forged memories with like minded gents that will persevere way past Pride Month.
The article was sponsored by Villa Ardore.