As a birthday gift, Daniel's mother gave Daniel and me a tour of Ca'toga, a villa in Calistoga that belongs to the artist Carlo Marchiori.
We drove up to Calistoga early Saturday morning to pick up our tickets at the Ca'toga gallery. I couldn't resist taking a few photos of the ceiling murals.
We drove up to the villa and spent a few minutes wandering around the property. Carlo Marchiori leads the tours himself and he took a group of 16 of us through the villa and around the grounds. He's quite the character- burly and gregarious with a closely clipped white beard and wire rimmed spectacles. He told us a little about the history of the property and his own background as an artist, introduced us to his dogs, and let us poke around the house to see all of the wildly painted rooms.
He requested that we not take pictures in the house, but I did of course take some photos of the property.
The place truly is a labor of love- Marchiori disclosed that it had taken him 23 years to make the house what it is today- and it's unlike anything I've ever seen. Daniel and I wandered around with wide eyes, checking out the Temple to Diana, the shrine to Bacchus, and the pond with sculptures of Narcissus and Echo. All of this, in Calistoga- what a discovery (thank you Cathy!!)
After the tour, we treated ourself to an Italian-inspired lunch at Redd Wood in Yountville.
We tucked into cured meats and an asparagus pizza with taleggio and prosciutto cotto. And of course, some Italian wine. A lovely way to spend a Saturday.