Last weekend we drove about an hour and a half North of Rome to the charming town of Viterbo to tour a peony farm and have brunch at a countryside bed and breakfast. The farm, Centro Botanico Moutan, is the largest peony producer in the world, with over 600 varieties spread out over 37 acres of gardens. We learned from our tour that the word ‘Moutan’ comes from the Chinese word for peony (Mu Dan), and all peonies originally came from China. Peonies are one of my favorite flowers, not only for their incredible beauty and stunning shades of pink, but also because they were the main flower in our wedding arrangements. And their heavenly scent–I wish I could bottle it as perfume (minus the pollen though, because after sticking my face in them all afternoon, it started getting to me!)
After Centro Botanico, we went to brunch at Relais Villa Rossi Danielli, an estate that’s been in the same family for over 300 years. From the homemade vegetable lasagna to the fruit crostate for dessert, everything we ate was absolutely delicious. The owner/hostess of the bed and breakfast, Maria Renata, is known here as the ‘Italian Martha Stewart’ and I can certainly see why after touring her beautiful home and seeing all of the country-chic decor, which has given me serious decorating fever. How gorgeous is the wisteria, too? It’s peak season in Italy for this purple flowering vine, and I just love the romantic appeal it lends to everything it touches. I’m not sure I’d ever leave the property if this was my home!
We just added a new ‘Travel Map’ page so check it out here to see exactly where our photo shoots have been, as well as some of our favorite spots in Italy. The map centers on Rome, but if you zoom out, you’ll see everywhere we’ve traveled so far. Click on individual icons to see a thumbnail photo and the links inside will lead you to the post–some places even have the capability for you to take a virtual tour if you use the street view, which is really cool! Have fun exploring!
For outfit details, see this post