Sacred and profane myths constitute the two polarities of this villa blending in the landscape of the Sienese countryside. A marvellous setting whose realization can be partly attributed to a Cardinal, the nephew of Pope Alexander VII.

The villa was first commissioned by Cardinal Flavio Chigi, a member of the rich and powerful Sienese family of bankers. Eventually the property passed to his nephew Bonaventura Chigi Zondadari (1652-1719), promoter of a widespread ascetic movement in the Sienese area. The construction works which started in 1676 and continued until 1716, were entrusted to the architect Carlo Fontana, a pupil of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. At the end of a long cypress-tree axis crossing the property, the symbols of sacred and profane Virtue face each other: on one side the statue of Hercules, hero of Good and a pagan symbol of Virtue, on the other the Romitoriohermitage with the Cross of Christ on its prospect, affording sweeping views of the entire complex and its beautifully preserved sorrounding landscape. In addition to the main rectilinear path, crossing a very ancient oak wood there is the winding circular Tebaide path (finalized by Bonaventura), which surrounds the villa and is adorned by statues of hermits attributed to the sculptor Giuseppe Mazzuoli, and aedicules depicting the stages of Christ’s life. Lord Lambton, owner of the villa since 1977, has restored the building and recently created an English style garden of herbaceous perennials.