1 twin bedroom, 2 double bedrooms, 2 shower rooms, 1 of which ensuite, and 1 ensuite bathroom with tub and separate shower
Location: Siena and surroundings
This property rents from Saturday to Saturday, with arrival flexibility during Low season
One of 13 apartments on a beautifully manicured,converted farming estate, Girasole is located in one of the most pristine swathes of Tuscan countryside. In a reconstruction that succeeded with style and sensitivity the spacious two-storey apartment offers a family or a group of friends the chance to savour in contemporty comfort the best this ancient land has to offer.
The drive to the estate passes tidy olive groves and nurtured woodlands, then climbs slightly to heart of the estate, where two long parallel buildings capped with a top story frame a beautiful sunken courtyard filled with colourful flowerbeds. Overlooking the courtyard in pride of place sits the farmhouse whose original structure may have changed over time, yet still has in its arched loggia and inner stone court the look of classic Tuscany. In the first block of apartments and enjoying extra garden area and uninterrupted views, Girasole also is the closest to the shared pool. Sheltered from passersby by shrubs along the drive through the estate, the villa has a private rear dining terrace and small lawn, separated from its neighbors by high bushes yet sharing the expansive views of the countryside.
The grounds of the estate are beautifully maintained, with flowering shrubs native to this area adding both colour and sheltering privacy to individual properties. A large shared swimming pool, 16.5 x 6 m., sits approximately 20 m. away from the apartments with sun beds, tables and chairs under several poolside pergolas. Located slightly higher than the apartments, it offers a wonderful view of nearby farmlands and distant rolling hills.
To the pleasure of staying at such a beautiful property comes the added benefit of an on-site caretaker whose enthusiasm at helping to create special memories is evident at first acquaintance. Restaurant and shopping advice, on-site truffle hunting, wine and oil tasting, babysitting, massage treatments, horse riding, catering and cooking lessons; all are possible and easily arranged with a bit of advance notice.
Entry to Girasole is from an arched French door fronted by a flagstone terrace that leads into the heart of any Tuscan house – its kitchen. Bright and awash in sky-blue, the corner kitchen has marble countertops, all the appliances a modern cook expects to find and a nearby dining table for 6. The open plan of this room leads seamlessly into the living area where a large corner sofa and armchair face a wide arched glass door out to the flagstone terrace, furnished with a table for 6 and a sheltering umbrella.
This terrace is accessed also by the ground floor double bedroom with an ensuite travertine-dressed shower room. Also on the ground floor is a twin bedroom with an adjacent shower room, both facing the main path along the apartment block. A stairway from the living area leads to the final bedroom on the first floor, a large double bedroom with an ensuite bathroom which has both tub and separate shower.
As the views from the estate assures, this area of Tuscany is among some of the most unspoilt and iconic, with rolling woodlands and a patchwork of well-ordered vineyards, olive groves and open farmland. . But it is also holds many treasures and reasons to venture out. Closest among them are the beautiful Romanesque church in Trequanda and the Museum of Terracotta in Petroio, but the famed truffles of San Giovanni d’Asso merits a museum open Friday to Sunday and the beautiful clay hills from Asciano to Siena, known as the Crete Senese, are some of the most photographed in Tuscany. In less than half an hour there are hot springs and full-service spas in Rapolano Terme and a lively open-air market in Sinalunga on Tuesday morning.
In the beautiful Val d’Orcia Pope Pius II chose Pienza as the site for his ideal Renaissance city, a choice seconded by UNESCO when it named the town a World Heritage site. The fact that it is also a chief producer of delicious pecorino cheese and provides a variety of restaurants in which to sample it is all the more reason to stop by. What is cheese without wine? Happily, both Montalcino’s famed Brunello and Montepulciano’s highly regarded Vino Nobile are both an easy drive away in charming hill towns of sweeping views and striking architecture.
In less than an hour are Siena, the medieval gem with one of the most beautiful piazzas in Italy, used on July 2nd and August 16th as a race track for the celebrated ‘Palio’, and Arezzo, whose monthly antiquarian fairs and June and September Saracen Jousts enliven the summer. An easy day trip could also include Italy’s 4th largest lake, Lago Trasimeno, whose fresh-water fish, sailing and charming islands provide a relaxed change of pace. A great variety of things to do requires a great spot from which to contemplate them, and in this this beautiful estate excels.