Monday, May 28, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Pepita

Dear Il Chiostro friends, family and staff alumni from Le Lodoline days,

We got the news that our Contessa Pepita passed away 2 weeks ago and we wanted to share some photos and memories of her with you.

Her passing marks the end of an era for sure. It is because of her and her beautiful Lodoline that Il Chiostro ever began.

Maria Giuseppina Radicati Di Brozolo Hamilton yes, Hamilton. She married the love of her life Major Hugh Hamilton just a few years before he passed away.  He was a legend in Chianti for bringing tourism to this beautiful area and even though they had been together for many years, she was still married to her Italian husband and divorce was not legal unless she claimed he beat her. Pepita refused to lie about the relationship so she and Hugh waited until the laws changed to finally tie the knot.

A British Equestrian magazine wrote an article about her describing her as a small, fragile looking woman made of steal.... that was Pepita for sure!

We went up to Lodole a few days ago to say goodbye. There was no one there so we snuck in the way we always did, jumping over the fence from Cipressaia, and paid our respects to her in her chapel.

As Michael and I sat up on that hill overlooking the rich valley of vineyards and olive groves, the golden light causing Siena to sparkle in the distance, we realized that even though we will never have those days again the joy we felt there was what inspired us to shape the experience of Tuscany we want to share. It will always be special place for us. We are filled with gratitude for having known Pepita and Le Lodoline.

Pepita shied away from the camera saying she wasn't the looker she used to be but here are some pix I managed to capture when she wasn't looking.

Thinking of you all,
Baci from Tuscany,
Linda and Michael

Le Lodoline from my kitchen window
Pepita in 2008 with her trusted dog Prince
P.S. Did we mention she was 100 years old in March!?