March 2, 2016
I roamed around California for a week, from LA to Santa Barbara, up to San Simeon, then San Francisco, up to Napa, back toOakland, then finally down to Woodside, my last destination before heading to the airport. I was in a really bad mood from a fiasco the night before, but I decided to make the most of my day instead of spending it sulking.
Fioli was initially the Gilded Age home (1917) of Agnes Moody Bourn and her husband, William Bowers Bourn II, a California gold mine ownerand president of the Spring Valley Water Company, which supplied San Francisco's water. Following the Bourns deaths in 1936, the home was purchased by William P. Roth and his wife, Lurline Matson Roth, heiress to the Matson Navigation Company. The Roth family improved upon the 56 acre estate's gardens begun by the Bourns by adding additional flowers, the swimming pool and the screened-in tea house.
I wasn't all that impressed with the interior for the house. It's beautiful. There's nothing wrong with it, per se. It's been renovated well, but it's not very furnished and only the first floor is open. The bedrooms aren't accessible and I didn't get a real sense of the family that lived there. The gardens are the main draw here, and they more than make up for any shortcomings of the home, as you can see (below).
The highlights of the gardens:
Look closely (below), there's a woman in a red shirt sitting in the middle of this lovely view. What a life! This is also the view from the back of the house.
The back of the house:
Images provided by Demetria Lucas D'Oyley. All rights reserved.