A large Family villa and pool within walking distance to a charming Chianti village
2 twin bedrooms and 5 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 4 ensuite shower rooms
Location: Chianti, the wine region
This property rents Saturday to Saturday
Docciole was designed by the owners to accommodate visits from their large family - it manages to provide large communal spaces as well as give private areas to various parts of the building, together with individual kitchens. Everybody can congregate upstairs in the enormous living room or kitchen, but if you'd like a little quiet time just make your own breakfast and re-join the fray when you've charged your batteries. Together with its proximity to a fantastic village in Chianti, Radda, with excellent restaurants and cafes, this makes it a perfect location for a large family gathering, or a group of friends.
There are several entrances into the large farmhouse, perhaps the most obvious being up the well-trod stone steps to the top floor. Immediately through the front door one is drawn to the light flooding into the very large living-dining room to the right. With chestnut beams soaring over the dining area to double height, the sheer volume of air and light create a marvelously welcoming space. To one side of the dining table for 8 a wooden staircase rises to a mezzanine containing two single beds, while the far end of the living area has sofas set in front of an open fireplace and a doorway leading to a generous country kitchen. Modern appliances find a harmony with a cooking fireplace, bread cupboard and long refectory table and become, in time-honored tradition, the heart of this Tuscan home. Three double bedrooms are on this floor, one off the dining area and two down a side hall past a small study. All of the bedrooms are spacious and furnished with lovely fabrics and country antiques. The two bathrooms, one ensuite and one shared, make great use of terracotta, Tuscany's much beloved material.
Further accommodations are on the ground floor - four large bedroom suites, three double and one twin/double, each with a shower room, dining table, sufficient kitchen facilities to prepare a light meal and an independent access to the outdoors. While the ground floor of the farmhouse does not have an internal staircase to the top floor, three of the lower suites do interconnect, an ideal arrangement for a family unit. While the suites differ in look and layout, care has been taken to provide each with similar comforts.
The garden at the back of the house, planted in fragrant, flowering shrubs and shaded by towering oaks, extends the living space, for under a vine-draped pergola there is a table large enough for everyone to sit down to meals al fresco. There is a free-standing barbecue, a pizza oven, and sun beds to set on the wide lawn overlooking a raised pool bordered on one side by a wooden deck. Additional space is also available for group activities in a charming annex across the drive from the house.
From the vineyards at the front of the estate the view of Radda in Chianti beckons guests to a first stop and, in fact, it is only one easily walked kilometer to the closest restaurant in the village. The unofficial capital of the region, Radda plays host to several festivals and events throughout the summer, most, though not all, having to do with what is poured into a glass. Nearby there are Castellina in Chainti, so prized by the Medici that they commissioned a fortress to protect it, Panzano and Greve in Chianti, whose street markets and wide piazzas are reasons for a visit and Castello di Brolio, where the standards for Chianti wine were set. When ready for cities on a larger scale, there is Siena, the medieval gem at the end of the winding Chiantigiana road, or Florence, the Renaissance jewel box along the river Arno, less than an hour away. Yet with cooking classes to master, wine to sip and meandering walks to take throughout the estate and the gentle hills that surround it, it is understandable that today's programme might slip to tomorrow's. Tuscan time is, after all, about enjoying the moment you're in, and at Docciole a moment's enjoyment is likely to stretch.
We had a great time with our friends at Docciole. The house worked out well for us, it was charming, roomy and comfy.There was one day when we had some roof leaks due to rain and wind, and a pool issue due to high winds, but it was taken care of by Luciano immediately.
Luciano and Anna could not have been nicer! They put on 2 enormous feasts for us in their "atelier" and a wonderful time was had by all. Luciano was always around to answer questions, and I was happy to be able to practice my Italian, though I am sure we could have managed in English, had it been necessary.
We cooked several meals at Docciole and had no problem finding the proper kitchen gadgets & appliances. There was a filter coffee machine but it was extremely slow, so if I were to come back I would ask for a new one, I think. Other than that, everything was fine.
As far as recommendations go, we had a very nice meal (set menu for 12) at La Bottega di Volpaia. Carla did a great job of organizing our menu and overseeing our evening.
Another special place we went to was the Castello di Ama vineyard in Gaiole. We did the wine and art tour, which was led by a very knowledgeable and friendly guide. Interesting pieces, beautiful space and nice lunch too.
A special mention needs to go to Luciano and Sandra, the lovely couple who own the enoteca on the main road in Radda. They helped Luciano cook for us and were very kind whenever we popped in their store to ask a question or needed something.
We loved the Chianti region. We would love to return to Docciole with our family, probably not next year, but at some point. In any case, if the destination is Tuscany we will surely look up your agency.
Thanks for your attentive service. We appreciated it!