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Simona welcomes those who arrive at Villa Zelma, inviting them to reappropriate of their time, to deep themselves in the sounds and scent of nature and to rediscover the flavors of the ancient Tuscan tradition. Simona grew up in the beauty of these authentic places. She always wants us to say that she is lucky, because those born in the midst of beauty, develop an aesthetic sense in an almost completely natural way.
Simona loves her land and her traditions and is a profound connoisseur of that ancient memory that is still alive in this area of Tuscany.
Villa Zelma is somehow his daughter, born to make guests live the elegance of authentic things. For this reason, she oversaw the architectural restoration of the Villa, the careful search for vintage furniture in all the traditional markets of Tuscany afterward expertly restored by Master Craftsman, organized the spaces and the guests area to make them feel at home, in a unique, elegant but at the same time simple and familiar environment, as commanded by the ancient unwritten rules of hospitality in this wonderful land.
The Chefs of Villa Zelma rediscover the good smells and flavours of traditional home cooking, bringing back to life the old recipes cooked following the secrets of kneading and mixing seasonal ingredients, with the products of the garden of the Villa and nearby companies which they personally selects. Popular dishes of the Tuscan tradition, some simpler, others very complex, but all slow cooked for the long hours that they used to be cooked for, which, as Villa Zelma says, restaurants today can not afford.
One of its specialties are the “sedani alla pratese”, ancient popular dish, a very complex, which, when done according to the rules of tradition, takes a very long time and for this it is almost impossible to find it elsewhere. But Villa Zelma is a place to take back time. Also for recipes.
The Pistoia area was already famous in the Middle Ages for the quality of fruits and vegetables and for the lushness of vegetation.
In 1859 the Faculty of Agraria in Florence began to grow some flowering plants for important Florentine villas. It was immediately noted that the plants of Pistoia had a superior quality and vigour. In a short time, the Pistoia area became a large single nursery-garden with thousands of cultivated species and varieties.
Stefano Zelari, entrepreneur operating in different business areas, always with a passion for hospitality, decided, with the wise help of his family, to carve out a corner of relaxation in his beloved Tuscany in a place fruitful of the values with which he directs his companies: tradition and innovation.
Aldo Angiolini worked for many years in the Zelari Nursery, first learning and then passing on to the young people the ancient secrets of cultivation. A life spent with plants and for plants, a passion, he says, more than a job. Today Aldo expertly takes care of the property of the Villa, looking after the olive trees, the vineyard and the vegetables garden. Every day he prunes, plants, collects. And he brings the fruits of his land directly to the table of the guests of the Villa, never failing to tell them the secrets of the cultivation while accompanies them proudly to visit its fields.