In 1997 the pair purchased a 16th century villa in Tuscany, just outside of Florence, that had fallen into disrepair until they came along, transforming the nearly 900 acre property into their dream home away from home.
It was a huge passion project for the British couple, who in this week’s issue welcome PEOPLE to their Italian estate and open up about why Tuscany has such a special place in their hearts.
“I gave birth to our daughter Coco, in Pisa and it was a wonderful time in all our lives,” Styler says of welcoming their third child together during the first time they vacationed in bucolic Central Italy. It was during a 16-week stay back in 1990 while Sting recorded his album The Soul Cages. Says Sting, “It was such a creative time.”
For more on Sting and Trudie Styler’s gorgeous Italian getaway home, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
After years of searching for a place of their own, they stumbled upon a large estate known as Il Palagio, which once belonged to a noble Italian family. “We fell in love with the land,” says Sting. “There was a certain spiritual atmosphere that was very welcoming.”
And though the property now boasts six guest houses, five lakes, a forest of 8000 trees and acres of grapevines, the couple says being there in the summer and holidays brings them closer together.
“This year we will be clocking 24 years of marriage,” says Styler, 62. “We have celebrated our wedding anniversary here every year since we purchased the property.”
“Everything here is conducive to making things grow and blossom,” says Sting, 64, whose wife works with a team of local farmers and experts to oversee their winery at Il Palagio, as well as their farm enterprise that yields organic produce, honey and olive oil. “It’s good for our health in every aspect,” he says.
When the couple isn’t sharing a bottle of their homegrown wine (some of which are named after his hits), their favorite thing to do is spend time with their six children (including two from Sting’s previous marriage) and four grandchildren. “We have votes for what movies to watch. It can be tricky to please the different generations,” says Styler.
For Sting, who’s often criss-crossing the globe for performances – he’s currently gearing up for his 12th solo album 57th and 9th, due out in November – Il Palagio offers him a chance to just relax and reconnect with his wife and brood. “We have had some of the most beautiful summers here as a family,” he says. “This place feels good.”