It is as though the past and the present meet like old friends at Via Parco della Rimembranza on the plateau a couple of kilometres to the north of the old walls of the medieval town of Lucca.
World war memorials sit enthroned from the edge of the Serchio river and up the mountains, blending in beautifully with the sound of modern Tuscan life in the winding avenue, the name of which can be translated as the Park of Memories.
There is therefore also some symbolism in the fact that this is exactly where you find Villa Pacini, which binds together old and new. The classic Tuscan villa has stood here for generations, in this vast and undulating natural space with an olive grove and rows of vines, but the villa now appears new and modern following a comprehensive renovation focusing on Nordic design and Italian traditions.
The Danish Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis once lived here together with the handball star Anne Dorthe Tanderup and their children. Today, Villa Pacini forms the framework for an exclusive gastronomic experience for companies, private individuals and cycling tourists.
Bjarne Riis and Anne Dorthe Tanderup’s former residence, Villa Pacini, has been transformed from a classic Tuscan home into an exclusive gastronomy and cycling destination outside Lucca. Multiform has played one of the leading roles in the transformation and is behind the unique kitchen that is the heart of the home and was created in accordance with Anne Dorthe Tanderup’s wishes.
The heart of Villa Pacini
The heart of the villa and the most important room in the house is the large, open Multiform kitchen on ground level. This is where local ingredients and specialities become food and taste experiences for the guests of the house, who can enjoy meals under the shadow of the pergola on the other side of the double glass doors. Anne Dorthe Tanderup refers to the kitchen as the gathering place of the villa.
“The kitchen is the heart, not only of Villa Pacini, but of all the experiences we aim to create, based on the villa and the local area. The right food is important to a cyclist about to spend hours in the mountains. And for companies and private guests, the gastronomic experiences all start in the kitchen, whether the food is prepared by a chef or the guests themselves. The kitchen is a place to gather,” she says and continues:
“Villa Pacini combines Italian traditions and gastronomy with Nordic craftsmanship and design traditions, as well as combining the modern with the classic. We sell unique experiences and Multiform fits in perfectly here. Our ultra-modern kitchen has been made from exquisite materials and is tailored for the villa, whilst taking its long history into account and has also been created using traditional cabinetmaking. It is a story that fits the villa perfectly.”
The framework creates creativity
The large kitchen is especially important to Anne Dorthe Tanderup. Even though it is completely new, it brings back memories of the time during which she and the rest of the family lived here. At the same time, the kitchen space plays a large part in her life now. Following a career as a handball player, the 47-year old mother of four boys has trained as a dietician and is also a passionate foodie.
“At home, I am often the one in the kitchen and I enjoy that. The kitchen is perhaps where I spend most of my time,” says Anne Dorthe Tanderup.
“I have never really considered myself to be particularly creative, but over the years I have discovered that my creativity comes to life in the kitchen. I love working on new combinations, new colours and new flavours. And the surroundings are crucial to the creative process. I feel inspired when I am in the kitchen here in the villa. It is functional, it is beautiful and it has an exquisite finish. You can cook anywhere, but the setting is important when it comes to creativity.”
The large kitchen has been fitted out with the design classic Form 1 in oak and Gaggenau appliances. The work top is made from solid oak with a handcrafted sink and LOT faucets from Dornbracht. The kitchen island is the awardwinning Form 45 design in blackened steel with drawers made from solid oak.