1 triple bedroom and 2 double bedrooms, 1 bathroom and 2 shower rooms
Location: Central Tuscany
This property rents Saturday to Saturday
Nearest restaurants in Scorgiano, 5 km and Pievescola, 6 km
Shops, public pool, and bus services in Colle Val d'Elsa 20 mins.
Casole d'Elsa, Poggibonsi and Siena, 1/2 hr.
Medieval villages of San Gimignano, 50 mins. & Volterra, 1 hr.
Massa Marittima and Florence, 90 min.
Beaches at Follonica 1 1/2 hrs., Ferry to Elba at Piombino, 2 hrs.
Airports: Florence 1 hr, Pisa 1 3/4 hrs, Bologna 2 hrs.
This is staying in Tuscany like it used to be: a dusty road, a house with charm, olive trees in the garden, all leading to a relaxing period of snoozing in deck chairs, reading long novels and exploring the local countryside. There are lots of beautiful walks in this area, through dark and blissfully shaded woods of evergreen oaks then out across fields with views out over the Sienese countryside, as though you were walking through a Lorenzetti Fresco. While close to Siena and Florence, the delight here lies often in the local treats, undiscovered churches and old monasteries, hidden castles and tiny restaurants, all of which you can find with the help of Jackie, the owner, an expert on the undiscovered!
From its unassuming facade, one has little idea of the generous space that waits behind the front door. Yet this is immediately apparent in the entry hall, where in addition to the table for 6, a wide doorway draws the eye down to the large main room whose creamy walls and furniture reflect the light streaming through four large windows. An open fireplace with facing sofas holds pride of place at one end of the spacious living/dining area, while at the other end there is a dining table placed to enjoy the view. Yet it is the covered balcony terrace just off this room that may be the favourite dining spot, for here the view towards San Gimignano is wide and undisturbed.
Between the living room and the entryway a short hallway leads to a simple country kitchen with a side door leading out to a covered eating area, as well as access to a laundry and downstairs shower room. All sleeping accommodations are on the upper floor and include two double bedrooms as well as a triple that could become the place of terrific slumber parties for younger guests. Furnishings throughout the house have a purposed simplicity, with country antiques and works of art at harmony with the soft natural colours that grace the walls.
Nestled comfortably in the Montagnola woodlands with a view of multiple horizons, one might be tempted to simply stay and gaze. But there are many reasons to come down off the hill and go exploring. In nearby Pievescola there is a restaurant, a bar/grocery, a lovely Romanesque church and, if you happen to come in September, a wonderful Mushroom Festival that celebrates the enormous quantities of Porcini mushrooms found in the surrounding woods. Colle Val d'Elsa, renowned for centuries for its production of crystal, has a bustling Friday morning market and, in an historic center that rides a high ridge, many restaurants and shops of many artisans, including the owner of La Senese.
This is an area of famed medieval cities, several less than an hour away. There is Siena, a Gothic gem, with its beautiful shell-shaped piazza where the famed Palio horse race is run; San Gimignano, the City of Towers, where cathedral steps become a site of outdoor opera; and Volterra, one of the oldest cities in Tuscany, whose Etruscan Museum gives fascinating insight to a mysterious ancient civilization. Though easy highway access could also lead to the heart of Renaissance Italy in the city of Florence, it may also be tempting to take to country roads and, by mountain bike, horseback or a long stride, discover the secrets of the rolling countryside.
So we had 6 adult guests staying at this villa - mixed friends and one couple plus 2 dogs.
We had masses of really useful info before we arrived and Invitation to Tuscany could not have been more helpful. We were really impressed with the service and the planning before our arrival. The owner Jackie met us and guided us up to the villa - she was very concerned about the state of the road into the villa but it was absolutely fine with some careful driving -I wouldn't want to drive a vintage porsche up there but any normal car - we all agreed was no drama at all.
The space is fab - really spacious yet cosy living area - great open fire. lots of seating, lovely big table, fab sunset veranda with dining table - we did have some perfect sun-soaked lunches and very enjoyable sundowners looking at the view. The place is jam packed with DVD's, books, jigsaws etc....so generous of Jackie to leave this for our enjoyment and we left a Jigsaw of Florence that we bought with us for others to enjoy.
The 3 bedrooms are absolutely lovey - spacious, quiet and calm. The shutters meant we slept till mid morning - something many of us have not done for years!
There is a huge garden and loads of sun loungers to relax in.
The little rustic kitchen is fantastic - I am a big cook and LOVED cooking there all day with the door open looking at the view. It is relatively basic but I had everything I needed to cook a big lovely dinner - in fact one night we had guests drop in and cooked for 9 people with ease. I took my own sharp knives. Would have liked a big casserole dish but other than that everything was there.
We are all big walkers and we managed to have a lovely big walk with great views but the pathways are complex and its easy to get lost - so planning is advised for less confident explorers.
Must do's - we went for a tasting session at a little olive oil shop in Scorgianno ? can you help give details? 19 euro per head (with lots of wine!) for fabulous wine and a range of pork tapas sourced form their very happy local pigs - one of the best 3 hours I have ever spent and felt truly tuscan - it was sublime.
Donata and donata??? was recommended and did not disappoint...fab proper Italian family restaurant - with great food and great wine and great atmos. Our dogs are very important and we were worried they might not be welcome - but it seemed on the day dogs were essential - all the Italians had them and they were well behaved - the staff and locals were all so friendly and inclusive and the service and price was fab. Despite the fact we speak little Italian we couldn't have been made to feel more welcome and at home. We all had limoncello before we left and all wished we could have stayed there for ever.
The local town Colle is a must to explore - especially the market (everyone was so friendly and I LOVED tasting and buying pecorino and ham with the help of very very friendly locals) and the old town - lovely craft shops and coffee shops.
I can't tell you how amazing the service was from InvitationToTuscany and how much we loved the villa and the local area - the whole experience was absolutely fab.
Sienna is genuinely just half an hour away and Pisa airport- I think 1.5 hours...........
If you want to really get away from it all in a lovely comfy authentic rustic stylish villa but still be close enough to a fantastic little unspoilt friendly town with great local produce then this is the place for you.