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Trudie Styler's Tuscany

The film producer tends her rural roots

Trudie Styler on a vegetable tractor at her villa in Tuscany

Jaimie Travezan

Trudie Styler on a vegetable tractor at her villa in Tuscany

My first trip to Italy's Tuscany region was in 1990, when my husband, Sting, recorded an album there. My youngest daughter, Coco, was born there then, and I fell in love with the place. Tuscany is so full of history and beauty — you meet wonders of art and architecture on almost every corner. But I love the region's homier aspects: the special sweetness of the tomatoes, the soft mozzarella, the heady scents of basil and garlic everywhere.

Sting and I eventually bought a former hunting lodge called Il Palagio, to use as a holiday home. At first we wanted to renovate only the ramshackle building. But my dad was a farmer, and I inherited his interest in tending the land without pesticides or other harmful chemicals, so renovating the grounds for organic farming was a natural progression. Now there's a staff who keep the farm running. We planted our first grapevines in 2002, then repaired the olive groves. We also produce five varietals of honey, and we grow vegetables in all four seasons.

I'm always drawn to the monthly antiques market in the nearby town of Arezzo; it's one of the top flea markets in Europe. Browsing in the piazza can take most of the day. I love to buy Italian embroidered linens — the skill and craft are absolutely exquisite.

When we renovated the main house, we discovered a 150-year-old pizza oven. We cleaned it up and have used it ever since. It's made of local stone, and we use wood from local trees, so the pizzas take on wonderful flavors — from the wood and the oven's floor — that taste like nowhere else.

Trudie Styler, 63, directed the 2017 film Freak Show, based on the novel of the same name.

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