1 double bedroom, 1 twin/double bedroom, 1 single sofa bed and 2 shower rooms
Location: South of Siena
This property rents Saturday to Saturday
Between Siena and the sea there are tree-clad hills rich in history, minerals and all the edible bounty the woods have to offer. No surprise then that in the northwest corner of Tuscany's 'Maremma', a region newly appreciated for its unspoiled beauty and crystalline coasts, the young owners of a centuries old farmhouse have prepared space to welcome their guests. Visitors are invited to share in the produce of the organic garden and try the golden olive oil of nearby trees. And if asked, Lucia may well share a secret or two that good Tuscan cooks are raised with. While this is not a place of golden-tapped baths and satellite TVs, it is an invitation to savour the land and the Tuscan way of life. Your hosts will help you arrange for bikes or horse-trekking to discover the environs at a slower pace and, depending on the season, guide you in the harvest of mushrooms, chestnuts or wild asparagus. And in nearby villages perched on their hilltops there are weekly markets and coffee shops and summer festivals in wide piazzas - all reasons to make this hilltop your home.
Faggio, which sits above the Common room, is accessed via the external staircase at the back of the building near the furnished outdoor area set aside for guests of this apartment. The door at the top of the landing leads into a small entry hall off of which are doors to two mirror layouts. To the right is the eat-in kitchen that includes a table for 4 and a small wood stove that would make the room cosy for early Spring or late Autumn guests. A short corridor beyond the kitchen leads past a shower room and on to a large double bedroom with panoramic views. To the left of the entryway instead is a door to the sitting room, with a sofa and armchairs, a wood stove and a cabinet that hides a small kitchen unit, complete with a half-fridge, sink and 2 burners - ideal if guests on this side of the house wish to perhaps prepare a snack or last cup of tea without disturbing those at the front of the house. Beyond this room is a second shower room and a bedroom which can be set up as either a double or a twin with prior notice.
While at first glance it may seem that the woods go on forever, the property is not far from the quintessential spots one has come in search of. Bocccheggiano, seen on an opposite hillside, thrived for its silver and copper mines for over six centuries; yet today people make its way to the town for a much praised restaurant and for the 'Garden of Sounds' sculpture garden which gives wind a voice. Other sounds are found just down the road at the historic Abbey of San Galgano; this Gothic church is now roofless but nonetheless a marvellous venue for concerts throughout the summer and stands near the frescoed rotonda tomb of the saint who had planted a sword in a stone to mark the end of his association with warfare. Less than a half hour away is the beautiful medieval city of Massa Marittima, where opera is performed in the cathedral square and people flock to see the 13th c. fresco of the Fertility Tree. The beaches of the Tyrrhenian coast near Follonica can be reached in under an hour and only slightly more and you could catch the ferry for a day's trip to the island of Elba. Heading in the other direction brings you to the heart of Tuscany in the ancient city of Siena and its famed shell-shaped Piazza del Campo. And at the end of the day out, how pleasing to return to a hilltop home and relax, recharge and simply think back on the day.
What a haven! This place is possibly the most tranquil place on earth. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Lucia came out to find us and lead us to her beautiful villa. From that moment, she was the most attentive and generous host. Nothing was too much trouble and we enjoyed her recommendations of placed to visit that were a little off the beaten track. She recommended and booked restaurants for us and even arranged bike hire. She told us about some tours too, although we didn't end up doing any. The place is gorgeous. We particularly enjoyed hearing the stories that Emilio told us about how he built the place. And everything functions brilliantly with small details to make your holiday super comfortable. Huge trays for carrying food to your individual patios, enough nooks to sit and enjoy every view at every time of day and I counted at least four different coffee making gadgets in our cupboards. The pool is possibly the nicest pool I have ever swum in. It's stone lined, three metres deep at one end with an infinity edge. It's also salt water and kind on the skin. It's fresh and the views are spectacular. It's a tranquil spot, even if you children are charging around further up the hill. What sums it up is its simplicity. It's elegant a beautiful but it's uncomplicated which is exactly what we wanted for our holiday. All in all, it was a refreshing and relaxing holiday but it was the little things which exceeded expectations. We'd love to return again, perhaps in October for the wine, olive oil and chestnut festivals which sound amazing.