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Why Are Art Aficionados Flocking to This Tuscan Farmhouse?

Owner Riccardo Barsottelli's Locanda al Colle is a treasure trove of rare works from his private collection.

A guest room at Locanda al Colle.

After decades of amassing eclectic artworks and objects, Riccardo Barsottelli needed a place to put them. So he purchased a Tuscan farmhouse—as one does. For the peripatetic proprietor of Locanda al Colle—which opened in 2010 and recently completed the final stage of a years-long restoration—an intrinsic love of art and design has been with him from the beginning. “I suppose being born in Tuscany and near Pietrasanta where Michelangelo came to sign his contract for the statuary marble he used for his works has imbued me with it,” he says. “London has given me the contemporary twist.” In fact, Barsottelli spent 20 years living abroad—in Paris, London, the U.S., and finally Buenos Aires—before returning to his native Italy and purchasing Locanda al Colle using funds he raised by auctioning off much of his collection. He brought both his Tuscan roots and far-reaching worldview to the project, enlisting longtime friend and Viareggio-based architect Marco Innocenti to restore the 12-room structure in Camaiore, a remote village near the coast. The two share a taste for vintage and, during the refurbishment, often visited markets, fairs, and galleries in search of hard-to-find treasures to augment the prized works in Barsottelli’s collection. Ahead, he takes us around the property to view 10 of his favorite pieces. 

Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots 10
Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots
Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots

“The Kebab Lamp by British duo Committee won the Elle Decoration Lighting Design Award in 2005. I always loved their lamps and when I decided to buy one they had sold out and only had this one, fresh from the award, which I immediately loved. I had to do a bit of convincing for them to part with it.”

Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots

“The Tower of Babel is from the installation at the V&A in 2015.”

Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots

“The portrait of a boy is by Peter Samuelson, a British painter who never sold or had a show during his lifetime. I came to know about him through a friend who was left a big collection of his paintings and drawings and consequently decided to show them through art galleries.”

Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots

“The Cocteau plate was bought at David Gill Gallery in London from the Centenary show of ceramics, books, and drawings in the late ‘80s.”

Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots

“The cubist painting by Robert Marc was bought from a private dealer late in the ‘80s, when I was living in London.”

Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots

“I also purchased Barnaby Barford’s ‘Don’t touch my ball’ sculpture from the ‘Beauty of the Beast show.’”

Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots

“The black-and-white nude by Ida Kar was bought at Zelda Cheatle Gallery in London.”

Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots

“The ‘It’s what’s inside that counts’ mirror by Barnaby Barford was bought at David Gill Gallery in London in 2005, from the show ‘Beauty of the Beast.’

Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots

“This triptych of photos shows Palm Beach, Australia, by Paul Ferman. I have quite a few of his works around the house as they are very vivid in colors and mostly abstracts, which I love.”

Riccardo Barsottelli's Snapshots

“The sole print is by Mark Francis, who was one of the artists exhibited in the Saatchi Collection ‘Sensation’ show at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.”

A look inside Locanda al Colle

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(Photos courtesy of Locanda al Calle)

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