The Tuscan Charm of Villa Lena

  Photo by Frederik Vercruysse

Photo by Frederik Vercruysse

It’s surely not a coincidence that the ethereal Italian region of Tuscany once nurtured what was arguably the most significant art movement in all of history, the roughly 300-year Renaissance (14th – 17th Centuries). So the privilege even now to be inspired by its rarefied air and landscapes is one that should be taken with a certain degree of seriousness.
— Ken Scrudato, BlackBook

If you have never heard about Villa Lena, you might re-think twice about your next Italian holiday itinerary. Located in the Provincia of Pisa, Villa Lena is a countryside retreat offering art residencies to a selected range of artists from all over the world. Founded in 2013 by art consultant Lena Evstafieva and her husband Jérôme Hadey, also musician and producer, the villa has become one of the most acclaimed stays for artists in the twenty-first century. 

  Photo by Wilf Speller

Photo by Wilf Speller

Lena and Jérôme wanted to create an environment where artists from different disciplines, places, and stages in their career could come together. It’s not just about getting the most well-known artists that we possibly can and allowing them to shut up in their studios. There’s a desire to have an exchange of ideas.
— Katy Wesley, director of the Villa Lena Foundation

The particular element of exchange and collaboration is at the core of Villa Lena: if other residencies welcome artists from the same discipline, here you can find a wide range of sculptors, musicians, painters,... and so on. The close interaction between each other and the atmosphere of "Bella Vita" created in the villa - which offers swimming pools, yoga studio, a kitchen and gourmet meals cooked by some of the most renowned local chefs - let artists re-find and re-shape themselves. 

  Photo by Frederik Vercruysse

Photo by Frederik Vercruysse

It just opened me up again, which I really needed. I’ve mostly been at residencies where it’s all filmmakers, or it’s performance- and theater-specific, but nothing like this. Observing other artists approaching their work in a different way helps you see all sides of your craft.
— Filmmaker Malik Vitthal, Artsy
  Photo by Niklas Adrian Vindelev

Photo by Niklas Adrian Vindelev

The selected artists for this year have already been announced: among them Israeli actress Yanni Hen; American writer Julie Iromuanya; Russian painter Vladimir Logutov; American rapper Lewis Hakeem; British artist Florence Peake. 

All resident artists are requested to donate a piece of their work to the Villa Lena Foundation at the end of their stay. The donated artworks are displayed throughout the property, giving the historical spaces a visual memory of past residents’ work and their experience of the place. 


If you would like more information about Villa Lena or simply would like to book your stay, visit them here.