3 double bedrooms, 1 bunk bedroom, 1 ensuite shower room, 1 bathroom with separate shower, 1 extra WC
Location: Arezzo and Cortona
This property rents Saturday to Saturday
Falconiere, a name related to the falcons known to catch the wind in this wide valley, is a two-storey stone home with azure shutters set in a spacious fenced garden, whose comforts inside and out encourage an easy-going family vacation. Designed for the owner's family, this is a perfect family home, with a private heated pool with infinity edge overlooking wonderful views. Set in the Val di Chiana, it is close to Foiano della Chiana and Castiglion Fiorentino, as well as being ideally placed for exploring further afield.
The front lawn of Falconiere is reached is through the wide gates at the end of a cypress-lined drive. While there is an arched brick entrance at the center of the house and an external staircase leading to one of the upstairs bedrooms, guests quickly adapt to using one of the three French doors at the rear of the house that lead into the open plan ground floor. One door leads directly into an attractive kitchen with an oak-topped center island and an extension whose dining table and colourful stools is just right for younger guests. Off this area there is a convenient WC and handy washing machine. A wide arched opening separates the kitchen from the dining area with a table for eight positioned to enjoy the views out of the French doors. A further arched opening through an exposed stone wall leads from the dining area into a bright living room with comfortable seating facing an open fireplace, a boon for guests who come in early Spring or late Autumn.
The staircase to the upper bedrooms is located in the entrance hall off the dining room. On this floor there are three double bedrooms, the smallest of which has independent outdoor access via a staircase with a furnished landing. The other two double bedrooms are spacious and look onto the pool and back garden. There is also a children's bedroom on this level, outfitted with bunk beds and stairs leading to a mezzanine much favoured as a play area. The largest of the three double bedrooms opens to a furnished loggia and has an ensuite shower room, while guests in the other bedrooms would use a travertine-dressed bathroom with both tub and separate shower. The terracotta tiles which one spots below the upstairs windows are the roof of a wide ground floor portico, furnished with living and dining areas looking out over a large fenced lawn set with flagstones that lead to a swimming pool, which can be heated on request.
The villages in the Val di Chiana that now look onto cattle ranches and quiet farmlands on the valley floor, were once the objects of medieval tug-of-war by the three powerful cities surrounding them: Florence, Siena and Perugia. The valley, once covered in marshlands, drew famous artists, architects and engineers, among them Leonardo da Vinci and Giorgio Vasari, into a three century project to drain and then decorate them. This past has left them surrounded by a wealth of historical attractions and made them a centrally located, fascinating place to spend a holiday. Falconiere is but a short drive to two walled towns with long histories. Foiano della Chiana and Castiglion Fiorentino, with medieval centers where streets wind around bell towers and ancient fortifications, both love a good celebration. Foiano's winter carnival has been welcoming the year's arrival since 1539, and in Castiglion Fiorentino one can join in the Medieval Festival in May, the Palio dei Rioni horse race in June or the Days of Baccus Wine Festival in October. In under half an hour you can be in Cortona, the Etruscan town overlooking Lake Transimeno, whose beautiful squares and panoramas were featured in 'Under the Tuscan Sun', with the lake itself providing sailing, water sports and delicious fresh fish. You can be in the guidebook cities of Perugia, Arezzo, Siena and, via train, Florence in an hour; these cities, who have withstood the passing of centuries with grace, will dazzle and inspire you, but chances are that at the end of the day a retreat to the peace and sunset of a country home may be just what you are looking for.