1 double bedroom, 1 bunk-bed room, 1 single sofa bed and 1 shower room
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.
Enjoying its quieter position at the ground floor back corner of the farmhouse, Leccio is reached via a curtained glass door off the stone walkway at the back of the house. One enters directly into the main room of the house, the best furnished of the farm kitchens. In addition to the dishwasher, there is a second wood-fired oven as well as all the features needed to provide delicious family dinners. Off the main room is a small bedroom with bunk beds, perfect for the younger guests and, in a small alcove, a sofa that invites one to settle down with a travel guide and plan for the coming day. At the back of the apartment is an attractive shower room with hydro-massage shower and a double bedroom whose wooden door leads into a spacious wardrobe. The private outdoor area for guests in this apartment is just across the walkway on a terracotta patio furnished with sunbeds, umbrella and table and chairs.
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.