Having first fallen in love with Italy during a post-college tour, Michael L. Cioffi, our founder, returned to Tuscany and the Val d’Orcia region during a birthday celebration in 2003. During this visit, he discovered Castiglioncello del Trinoro and reignited the love affair. “It was like stepping back in time,” he recalls, “like coming back to rediscover your lover, albeit a little tarnished. I had found this place of quietude – an ideal place for thinking, for conversation, for the arts and the humanities.”
Visiting Castiglioncello was not enough for Cioffi. Beginning in 2005, he began to purchase and renovate villas, starting first with Villas Amiata and San Pietro. This passion grew into a collection of exquisitely restored villas and a boutique hotel named Monteverdi Tuscany. Named not only for the lush, green mountains surrounding the village, Monteverdi was also inspired by Claudio Monteverdi, one of the greatest humanists and artists of the 16th century.
Ever a curious mind, Cioffi continued to make Monteverdi more than just rental properties, albeit gorgeous, plush and authentic villas and hotel rooms. Monteverdi now includes a spa, contemporary art gallery, fine-dining restaurant, wine bar, sleek lounge and privately sponsored archaeological dig.
In keeping with his pursuit of a greater understanding and appreciation of the arts and humanities, Cioffi created the Artists and Scholars in Residence program. Each year, Monteverdi invites several accomplished men and women from the world of the performing and visual arts, culinary arts, literature, philosophy and science to visit and reside at Monteverdi to perform, lecture, lead seminars and book discussions and to generally engage the guests.
Cioffi has breathed life into this magical village, and created his own Renaissance movement for the 21st century. “My vision for Monteverdi was to create a place unlike any other,” explains Cioffi. “A place of incomparable beauty, stunning architecture and design, all further complemented by the cultural amenities of art, music and the humanities. A place that ignites both the physical senses and the intellect.”
As a partner in the international law firm of Blank Rome, LLP, Cioffi manages the Cincinnati office, representing small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. His areas of expertise include general corporate advice, corporate and commercial litigation, and environmental law.
Besides practicing law, Cioffi has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law for more than 25 years, teaching a wide variety of courses such as Evidence, Trial Practice and a course titled Law, Literature & Philosophy, which explores the foundations of the concepts of justice and law and the relationship between these concepts and the larger culture.