Bella Casa

by Editorial
Lila posing in an Yves Saint Laurent suit in the entryway of the villa.

Lila posing in an Yves Saint Laurent suit in the entryway of the villa.

Villa Firenze lies on 15 acres of lawns and woodlands in the heart of Cleveland Park. The home’s half-timber exterior and numerous chimneys are exemplary of the Tudor revival that became popular in the U.S. in the late 19th century.

Villa Firenze lies on 15 acres of lawns and woodlands in the heart of Cleveland Park. The home’s half-timber exterior and numerous chimneys are exemplary of the Tudor revival that became popular in the U.S. in the late 19th century.

Despite her busy schedule, Lila has found time to explore the neighborhood. She particularly enjoys visiting Hillwood, the museum on Linnean Street N.W., that was once home to Marjorie Merriweather Post, who entertained there in grand style throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. “It’s a beautiful house,” she says, “and Marjorie Post had an incredible collection of Russian art and artifacts that she acquired while her husband (Joseph E. Davies) was the ambassador to the [Soviet Union].” As she gazes across the lawn in the direction of Hillwood, one cannot help but see a bit of Mrs. Post in this newcomer to the Washington.

She is abruptly ushered back to the present by “Cocolino Picolino,” a spirited Bijon Frisee who responds only to Italian, only to Lila, and then, only occasionally. She laughs and picks him up. When I’m retired, I have already told my husband that I want to come back here and live in Washington, because I love this country and I believe strongly that the friends one has made along the way will always remain friends.”

Related Articles