Interior Design

Villa Cetinale: Memoir of a House in Tuscany

After inheriting a seventeenth-century Tuscan villa, Ned Lambton and his wife, Marina, lovingly restored the estate as a retreat for family and friends. With newly commissioned photographs by Simon Upton, Lambton brings to life the rich history of the villa, its redecoration, its raucous history, and, above all else, the dream of owning and renovating a Tuscan villa.

Located just outside Siena, Italy, Villa Cetinale stands amid vineyards, silver olive groves, and wooded hills that have remained largely untouched since the late seventeenth century, when Cardinal Flavio Chigi, a nephew of Pope Alexander VII, expanded what was a modest farmhouse into the villa we see today.

Cetinale was acquired from the Chigi dynasty in 1978, by the charismatic Lord Antony Lambton, the author’s father, who cultivated the villa’s reputation as one of the most beautiful and glamourous homes in Italy, laying out new gardens and hosting fashionable figures from England (Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Mick Jagger, Rupert Everett, Tony Blair, and Kate Moss).

The villa has undergone major refurbishment—all without altering the original character of the house—with restoration work carried out by Bolko von Schweinichen, a Florentine architect known for his reverent handling of historic buildings, and interiors by London decorator Camilla Guinness, a lifelong friend of the family.

About The Author

Ned Lambton inherited the seventeenth-century Villa Cetinale from his late father and former member of Parliament, Lord Antony Lambton. He lives in London and Tuscany with his wife, Marina Lambton, and their four children. John Pawson, CBE, RDI, is the architect and designer behind such high-profile projects as the West Hollywood Edition and London’s Design Museum. Simon Upton travels the world capturing people and their homes on behalf of major publishing houses and magazines such as World of Interiors, Vogue, Architectural Digest, and Elle Decor.

  • Publish Date: September 05, 2023
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Architecture - Interior Design - General
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9-1/2 x 11
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $75.00
  • CDN Price: $100.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-7334-0


"Inheriting a house with a history poses unique challenges. Ned Lambton shares the story of refurbishing the 17th century Tuscan villa bought by his father Lord Antony Lambton in 1978. Villa Cetinale sits outside of Siena among vineyards and olive groves. Lambton and his wife reveal the fruits of redecorating while allowing the original character to shine through. In addition to a family retreat, the estate has hosted celebrities, politicians and royalty, which only adds a few more chapters to the villa’s history." —MANSION GLOBAL

Author Bookshelf: Simon Upton