Violet Paget, writing as Vernon Lee, was a brilliant, eccentric, auto-didact who lived from 1856 to 1935. Her essays and books on aesthetics, art, music and history are highly personal, idiosyncratic and engaging. Her novels and “ghost stories” are intriguing if a bit wordy. In 1894 or thereabouts, she purchased “Il Palmerino”, a 15th century villa in the Florentine hills (half of the property is actually in Fiesole), and there she wrote, lived and loved, and entertained her illustrious guests. I was privileged to stay at Il Palmerino in late June, 2019 (see photos below). The extensive property is owned and managed by the descendants of the family who bought the estate in 1935, and is run as an artists’ and writers’ retreat and residence, in honor of the previous owner’s love of the arts.
Click here to read a fascinating article about Vernon Lee in The Paris Review.
View of the Main House from the Back Garden
Fresco in the Main House
Artists’ Studio in the Main House
The House Victrola–you wonder what records Violet listened to!
Violet’s Dining Room, in the Main House
Hills of Fiesole from the far back garden
The Cottage, where we stayed.
The Cottage dining room
The Cottage Bedroom
Cottage study, upstairs
Lunch in the Cottage Dining Room!