1 double bedroom, 1 twin bedroom and 1 shower room
Location: Chianti Villas Tuscany
This property rents Saturday to Saturday
Set high on a Chianti hillside with views of vineyards, a rolling landscape and the largest cypress woods in Europe, Bacco, named for Caravaggio's god of wine Bacchus, is a charming apartment for a couple or small family interested in exploring the region so valued by tourist and wine-lover alike. Located in an ancient hamlet once surrounding a Roman villa, Bacco is in one of the stone farmhouses that, along with a watchtower, a small church, a well and a bakery, formed a community that withstood the centuries. During the Middle Ages this area was hotly contested real estate fought over by Florence and Siena and it is not surprising that castles and fortresses sat atop many of its hills. As warfare ceased and valleys were cleared and cultivated, vineyards and olive groves produced the red and gold liquids that have become prized the world over.
The restored houses in the hamlet now belong to various Italian and English owners and with its beautifully maintained grounds and quiet lanes, the hamlet has less a sense of bustling village than an air of respectful relaxation. With a shared swimming pool and tennis court set among the olive groves on the terraced hillside, guests may encounter others, but happily the houses are sheltered by shrubbery encircling their private garden spaces, wide paths separating them or, in the case of Bacco, with uninterrupted views of the wide valley below.
On the sunny corner of the hamlet farmhouse a short staircase leads up to the front door and entrance into the large main room. To the right armchairs and a small sofa create a cosy siting area, while the rest of the room is dedicated to kitchen and dining facilities. While a guest cook is provided with a microwave oven in lieu of the traditional option, the kitchen is otherwise well equipped and the generous table for 4 expands to seat 8 when required. A door off the main room accesses a stairway to the upper floor on which are located two bedrooms and a shower room. The double bedroom is the larger of the two and has a sweeping uninterrupted view of the Chianti hills. The smaller twin bedroom adjacent can be set up as a double bedroom with prior request. Furnishings in the house utilize attractive country antiques suitable to its farmhouse origins.
A generous flagstone patio at the side of the house is furnished with a BBQ and a marble-topped table for meals al fresco and an umbrella to provide shelter from the sun in the heat of the day. Steps from the patio lead down to a small garden area whose sun loungers are provided with a measure of privacy thanks to the flowering shrubs which border the garden.
Located in the heart of the Chianti and surrounded by vine-covered hills, quite understandably an early excursion might be to tasting rooms in nearby vineyards. Turning either west towards Poggibonsi or east towards Castellina in Chianti, the nearest are only 3 km in either direction. Sampling the renowned Chianti Classico can mean easy drives to the picturesque towns that populate this area: Radda in Chianti, considered the unofficial capital of the region and host to the “Radda nel Bicchiere” festival in early June; Greve in Chianti, whose wine fair in early September and famous Antica Macelleria Falorni butcher are only part of the reason to visit this ancient market town; Panzano in Chianti, whose autumnal Vino al Vino tasting event in mid-September allows visitors to sample olive oil and live jazz alongside their glass of red. Yet Castellina in Chianti is not to be overlooked – so prized by the Medici that they commissioned a fortress to protect it, this lively market town is full of shops and worthy restaurants.
For an extra dose of culture and a few more kilometres, consider the famed ‘City of Towers’ San Gimignano. Whether for its medieval stone skyscrapers, its world famous gelateria (Dondoli’s), or evenings of outdoor music enjoyed from the cathedral steps, this UNESCO city is on many a visitor’s itinerary. The winding stone-cobbled streets of medieval Siena is only an hour away. Its beautiful shell-shaped piazza, Romanesque-Gothic art and architecture or Palio horse race are reasons to visit, but simply wandering around a city whose status as a hospital city protected it from wartime damage, allows you to slip back through the centuries and savour life in one of Tuscany’s most ancient and beloved cities. To take all this in and then return to the quiet of a green hillside is indeed a holiday worth the trip.