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Common Rooms


Each of the downstairs parlors-one more formal, the other more clublike-has a working fireplace, original wideboard pine floors, and many original windowpanes gleaming from within period plaster mouldings. Obvious places to settle in for conversation, a quiet read, or that first cup of morning coffee, the parlors bring a mix of decorative elements-hand-woven silks, 17th-century art, oriental rugs, and modern leather couches by Frau-as well as people together. Guests may play a selection of cd's, from jazz or opera, on our Bose music system, and the floor-to-ceiling bookcases in both rooms are filled with history, travel, wine, and art books, as well as fiction, in several languages.

portrait of Arturo Grisi

a corner of rear parlor

furnishings blend the modern...

with the 18th century

Dining Room

Entertaining was from the beginning an important part of life in the residence that is now MCH, as the generous dimensions of this room attest. Its focal point is a long 18th-century table, lit by a Florentine chandelier; a window gives onto the rear gardens. Family portraits, including one of Tommaso Benassi, and botanical prints cover the walls above wainscotting that slopes with age. Here breakfast and Friday night dinners are served during autumn and winter (in warmer weather, we often move outside at mealtime).

dining room

Central Halls