Living Area
Living Area

Located in San Miniato, a town in the same hills where Leonardo Da Vinci was born, UMAMMA is the Airbnb sensation that leaves its guest astonished with an industrial take-over of an ancient Tuscan villa.

The house is configured on two stories. The first level presents two large interconnected open-spaces: one living area with panoramic views on the Tuscan hillside; while the other space serves as an intimate bedroom with an en-suite bathroom on the side. Right between the two wings, a hidden staircase takes you downstairs to what it used to be the most ancient part of the building. Here you can find a private spa with an award-winning underground pool and a rain-shower room under vaulted masonry ceilings.

UMMAMMA Owner and Creative Director Giovanni Settesoldi is a quick-witted and utterly-creative globetrotter with a passion for challenge and a true connection with his territory.

Dining Area
Dining Area

 How was UMAMMA born and what does the name stand for?

UMAMMA is a typical Tuscan expression that encapsulates a moment of amazement. It is expressed verbally when the unexpected happens and leaves us open-mouthed.
UMAMMA was born from a renovation process on a 16th century Tuscan villa. I found the building in a totally different layout: the amazing view of the hillside was hiding behind a wall and the warm-colored stones were totally covered. My idea was to bring back the original atmosphere of the building. So I went on with the complete demolition of all superfetation from the 19th and 20th century in order to find and restore authentic structures and artefacts.

Hillside View
Hillside View

 What kind of feeling do you intend to deliver to your guests?

UMAMMA is intended to riconciliate people with nature and realness. When entering the building you will find a very relaxed and true vibe, with a mysterious twist. My renovation work on the house has been done by keeping in mind the need of a genuine and soothing link with the surroundings. I also wanted the building to surprise the guests; therefore the secret staircase that leads you to the underground pool, a clear nod to ancient Roman baths.

Secret Staircase
Secret Staircase
Underground Pool
Underground Pool

 How did you come up with the idea of a contemporary space in a historical context?

The Tuscan hills are full of beautiful traditional Tuscan style houses, which mostly represent the idea of the idillic countryside life. UMAMMA, on the other hand, is clearly a more urban and contemporary space embedded in a historical context. My idea of expressing a different contemporary living in an ancient setting mainly comes from my need of conveying both a sense of modern humility and comfortable living. Overall, the effect escapes any preconceived style or etiquette. The final result aims to deliver a sense of peace and reconciliation.

Bedroom
Bedroom

How do you relate to the surrounding landscape and territory?

I have lived in Milan, Paris, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Dubai, but I knew that sooner or later I would have come back to San Miniato. This side of Tuscany still has many aspects to be discovered. Many small villages are not touristic, so it is perceivable that the quality of many activities is still very high. The scents and the view of these hills are breathtaking. I want my guests to feel and perceive the same exact feelings of bonding with nature and live a true genuine moment.

Kitchen
Kitchen

 How did your presence on Airbnb influence the exposure of UMAMMA?

Airbnb was the first platform I utilized and I realized that it had a good response right away. Well, I had taken some pretty amateur pictures at first, but I was still in my last period of work in Dubai. Then I recruited a professional photographer. I had the pictures taken 3 times, I am a bit picky about these things, as it is also part of my job. I was careful to try to bring out the interesting sides of the house while trying to be as natural as possible. Very often you end up with very different environments from the photos you get to see online. Airbnb has certainly paved the way for many other opportunities.

What’s next for your and for UMAMMA?

The future of UMAMMA looks very bright. I am planning to expand the experiences both for my guests and for anyone who would like to join. I really think of my spaces as a mean of conveying true emotions. UMAMMA has already seen various events, such as private live music sessions.  I can’t wait to show you more of my plans, hopefully here on The Mansionist!