I had a study abroad program for Drury, and I started it with a colleague in architecture. We always came to Florence because of the fact that it was kind of in the center for art and architecture for the students. About 10 years into doing it every summer, this little 13th century house came on the market so my girlfriend [who lives in San Francisco] and I took about 10 minutes to decide we’re gonna buy it together. And that was in 2004. It’s been a delight because everyone in the village is really close; we’re all friends.
The gardens here are just incredible. There’s a certain amount of things that you just have to let go wild because otherwise the Italians kind of frown at the fact that you’re trying to curb too much of their nature. It’s against the Italian law to build new construction so everything we have done here has to blend with the old. It’s all completely coordinated and in harmony.
It’s funny because the first time a professor in art history walked into my house in Springfield she said, “Oh, I can tell you live in Italy,” and I looked around and I thought, well, what does that mean? I think it’s because I love art and antiques together and I like contemporary things too and Italians are like masters at design. So, I really love putting contemporary design and then antiques, shapes and furnishings together and blending them and so that’s probably why my house in Springfield looks Italian.