Built in the Palladian era, the villa underwent a number of remarkable improvements in the 18th century. In 1889, the English poet, Robert Browning – an enthusiast for all things Florentine – bought the property. Under his ownership, the villa acquired its noble Tuscan appearance, which blends perfectly with the gentle hills of Asolo. His son, Robert Wiedemann Barrett Browning, inherited the property and settled permanently in Asolo.
It was then sold in 1902 to a wealthy Venetian family, who used it for many years as a holiday home. Later, it was rented out and converted into an inn.
In 1962, the property changed hands to Rupert Guinness, the second Earl of Iveagh – of the famous Irish brewing family – who kept it as an inn. A well-known businessman, politician, philanthropist, generous supporter of scientific research, Chancellor of the University of Dublin – and then a landowner in Asolo, too!
Iveagh decided in the 1960s to transform it into Villa Cipriani, commissioning Giuseppe Cipriani – founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice and inventor of the Bellini cocktail – as manager. Thus the picturesque inn was transformed into the small jewel of the countryside that guests enjoy today.
In 1974, Villa Cipriani became part of the Ciga Hotels chain. In 1995, it joined the Sheraton group and then Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
Massimo Zanetti, owner of the Segafredo coffee group, bought Villa Cipriani in 2012. He has been instrumental in giving the villa back its family charm, without losing any of its polish and sophistication.