A cold Sunday in December usually calls for a hot chocolate, a book, and a delightful afternoon relaxing. We were far from that reality yesterday. We ventured to Charlottesville, Virginia to check out their estates, wineries, and most importantly, Monticello.
Monticello is the home and final resting place of Thomas Jefferson. Monticello translated into Italian means "little mount". He was not only the homeowner but the architect. Jefferson read extensively about the architecture during the Italian Renaissance and built Monticello in a neoclassical style based off of those readings. The home itself was designed and redesigned to fit Thomas' ever-changing needs and discoveries and took over 40 years to finalize it.
Construction for the site started in 1768 and was not completed until 1808. During this time, there was still much to be discovered in America. Thomas was fascinated with learning and cultures therefore, the inside of the home is a collection of his finest pieces amassed worldwide. In his home you will see the scope of his knowledge with books based on everything from botany, architecture, archaeology, philosophy, and religion.
Monticello also served as a plantation and in Jefferson's later years he considered himself to be an avid farmer seeing what plants would survive in United States soil. He also read, went horseback riding, oversaw affairs at the University of Virginia, and tended to his family and relationships.
The story of Monticello comes to a sad close. Jefferson died deeply in debt and the home was soon sold off. Thanks to the Levy family and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the home and its grounds are preserved today. Monticello has a cemetery for himself and his descendants as their final resting place. It is still used to this day and when you visit you can see his grave and his lineage during your visit.