2 double bedrooms, 2 shower rooms and 2 single sofa beds.
Location: Arezzo and Cortona
This property rents from Saturday to Saturday
Pagliaio is a two storey apartment in a former haybarn that now offers two couples or small family a great place to holiday in Tuscany, but in earlier centuries was quite likely part of the farmstead of those who fed the clerics of the mighty St. Mary's Abbey in nearby Badia Agnano. In spaces that once would have stored the hay produced on the farmstead, the current owners, in a 10-year restoration project, remained faithful to original layouts and created a generous apartment that now allow guests to stretch limbs and step away from the stresses of modern life.
This apartment, like the other two on the estate, has an individual outdoor eating area and easy access to the spacious pool area whose sun loungers, umbrellas, tables and night lighting make it a popular spot day and night. The surrounding hectares, once cultivated in grain, are now planted with olive and walnut trees, some strung with hammocks to make the most of a shaded afternoon snooze. The owner, who lives with her family on the top floor of the farmhouse, is an excellent resource. And at this property there are many 'extra' possibilities - horse stables you can walk to, cooking lessons and meals done by a lovely Italian, tours and transport to corners you've yet to discover, outlet shopping, and bike rentals for those who would tour Tuscany in a slower lane.
This apartment sits across the drive from the main house and is entered through arched glass doors into a sitting room with two bright sofas, which can double as two single beds, 1 for a child and 1 for an adult. A short corridor leads past a shower room into an eat-in kitchen with a glass topped table for 4 with wicker chairs. Up the wrought iron & glass staircase with natural wood steps is an additional shower room and two spacious double bedrooms where light filters through the original brickwork of haybarn windows.
Once the territory of powerful feudal lords, the fertile valley of the Ambra River lies central to the Florence, Siena and Arezzo triangle; not surprisingly, throughout the Middle Ages it was land to be fought over and frequently traded hands - until the formidable Medici family did away with its influence and relegated it to the role of Florentine breadbasket. For this the modern tourist can be thankful; the protected land and buildings seen today are not that removed from the Tuscan countryside seen in ancient frescos. There are many good restaurants and lively festivals in the charming towns and villages nearby, and with the famous tips of the triangle - Siena, Arezzo, Florence - all within easy driving distance, Pagliaio is easily one of the most comfortable and well placed holiday spots you could find.
The property is excellent and we really enjoyed our stay. Very comfortable rooms and bathrooms. Annemarie was very welcoming and helpful with much information to share about the house and locality.
The pool is splendid and we would have made more use had the weather been a little brighter.
Kitchen is well equipped (once we had traced a coffee maker and some adapters for the plugs - thank you Annemarie!). Could do with a knife sharpener and a decent cook’s knife. We were not troubled as we brought our own. Another chopping board or two would also help.
We would definitely revisit - the property lends itself easily to a small group or indeed a large family group.
I don’t know how you would broach my final point but the road/drive leading to the property is not well maintained and the actual entrance to the property through the gates can be a little tricky to negotiate due to a poor surface and much gravel. Our large car with low profile tyres found that the surface was catching on the underside at times. This is a minor point but other visitors may find it a problem.
Overall we had a splendid time - beds are very comfortable and we all slept very well. Location is great for trips around Tuscany with easy access to Siena and Florence by train.
We had a lovely stay at Pagliao in August. The 2-bedroom, 2-storey converted barn was absolutely lovely. The pool was an excellent size, all of us enjoyed it immensely. The owner was very pleasant and friendly and provided us with helpful information about the local area.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Pagliaio and Tuscany overall. Anne-Marie was such a lovely person, very welcoming and incredibly helpful with any questions we had about the property, things to do and general logistics. A couple of minor issues with a few pieces of missing kitchen equipment were quickly sorted out. Anne-Marie was always around but also discreet so we could fully relax.
We thought the accommodation was very high quality – very clean and stylish – lovely to have hand soap and kitchen cleaning items included. Also the grounds of the property were beautiful and very well looked after. A lovely place to chill out and get away from the humdrum of London.
2 minor points for improvement
· Unfortunately we didn’t have the best of weather and so it was rather chilly in the evenings in the property so we would have appreciated some kind of heating option we could have controlled ourselves.
· I would have appreciated an information folder in the “barn” as I like to hear what other guests have to say about the area and read about things to do. Although that said Anne-Marie did help a lot with this – she supplied us with a good road map, a Tuscany guide book (which supplemented the one we had already) and plenty of recommendations about where to go.
Thank you for a lovely week – and for sorting this out so quickly for us.
Such a pretty setting and such a pretty house. The estate is very well cared for by Annmarie its welcoming British owner and wandering around the extensive grounds and sitting by the pool, we felt such peace and tranquility. We loved the style, for though the furniture is not typically Tuscan, it all works so well.