For more than 10 years Il Colombaio has been home to Valeria Bottazzi and her family. Despite being let for the last years, the house retained its character of being a primarily a private permanent home. In June 2014, Valeria sold the House to Michael Semler, born 1946 in Munich/ Germany. Michael grew up in Germany and the UK. As a trained lawyer, specialized in international tax-law he became an international investment consultant and opened companies in Munich and St. Louis/Missouri. They accompanied many European companies, largely mid-sized family held companies, on their ways through mergers and acquisition in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentinia, Europe and Africa.
In 1987, Michael sold the companies to one of the major international consulting firms. Michael returned to his great love, Africa, and tried for two decades to bring peace and prosperity to this rich continent, working for private organizations as well as for the UN on peace making and peace keeping missions. Michael continues to travel to Africa, today specialized in legal issues on land ownership, protection against land grabbing and better justice in land ownership.
From the age of a toddler Michael came to Italy, every summer for at least six weeks, to a house on the island of Elba, where the family rented an old napoleon villa near the sea for almost two decades. Through his close friendship to imminent art-history professor Bernhard Berenson (Harvard) Father Semler became a hobby-art-historian. Trips to Italy therefore were never holidays only for Michael; they were often extensive tours through the history and art history of Italy. For decades there had been a strong desire in Michael to own a house in Italy, preferably in Southern Tuscany. Michael is a keen cook and loves the wine. But he equally loves the art, and the Muisic. All his life, Michael has been travelling extensively, often to the least desirable, hot, dirty places. Michael felt that time had come to sit down and dig deeply into the art history of Italy. A multi-lingual library will soon grow in La Colombaia. Italian literature and Film during the last three decades might well, be one of the most interesting in the world. This will be another area of intense research. But Michael also feels that there is such a mass of experience, positive and negative, he has enjoyed during his life, that he hopes to be able to put this into one or more books in Il Colombaio.
Il Colombaio will therefore remain a house almost permanently lived in. Valerie offered all her extensive experience in letting the villa when not needed, and thus Michael agreed that the house can be let during times he continues to travel somewhere around the world, or not needed by his two daughters. This implies that Il Colombaio will never be a sterile Hotel but it will breathe the spirit and taste of those loving, ownig, and living in it. It will breathe the individuality of the owner and we would be grateful if, to the extent possible, you will respect this individuality. Then, Michael enjoys the opportunity to share the beauty of this place with you.