The Gettys in Tuscany


Mark and Domitilla Getty’s summer retreat outside Siena is comprised of six rough-hewn houses centered on an ancient olive oil press. Divided into a main house, several guesthouses, a playhouse for the kids and a design studio for Domitilla, the rustic borgo has become a magnet for much of the far-flung Getty clan.

Photographer: Simon Watson

For Mark Getty, who was born in Rome, Tuscany has always been a second home. The estate is actually in walking distance from the farmhouse in which he and his siblings grew up after his mother’s divorce from Mark’s father, Sir Paul Getty. Here, a view of the veranda, with a Twenties-style sofa designed by Domitilla.

Photographer: Simon Watson

The living room of the guesthouse. Its palette of blue, red, brown, black and white is inspired by the Palio, the famous horse races that take place every summer in Siena’s main square.

Photographer: Simon Watson

The dining room in the main house was originally a stable. The chairs are covered with a vintage Twenties stripe.

Photographer: Simon Watson

A view of the Getty estate. In 1986, when Mark and Domitilla first ventured to buy the hamlet, they discovered that although it had been abandoned for decades, the houses and land belonged to a multitude of heirs from a few old local families. It took 15 years for them to trace all the heirs and persuade them to sell their property.

Photographer: Simon Watson

Like Mark, Domitilla also grew up in Rome. Her mother descends from a powerful papal dynasty, the Lante della Roveres. (It was a della Rovere pope, Julius II, who commissioned Michelangelo’s frescoes for the Sistine Chapel.) Here, Domitilla and Mark in the old kitchen, which is now a passageway. The travertine marble sink dates back to the late 19th century.

Photographer: Simon Watson

The facade of the main house.

Photographer: Simon Watson

A guest bedroom in the main house, with beds dating from the 1920s that Domitilla found in a market in Arezzo.

Photographer: Simon Watson

Domitilla’s bathroom, with original late-19th-century wall decoration and a chandelier dating from the same period.

Photographer: Simon Watson

In the guesthouse, a collection of plates by artist Tristano di Robilant hangs above a Seventies Italian lamp.

Photographer: Simon Watson

This early-18th-century desk once belonged to the Villa Lante and was handed down to Domitilla Getty. The murals in this room—one of several living rooms in the main house—date from the 1890s and depict pastoral scenes in Tuscany.

Photographer: Simon Watson

Domitilla’s boudoir.

Photographer: Simon Watson

A bedroom in one of the guesthouses, with a four-poster bed designed by Domitilla and dressed with linens found at the local market.