1 twin bedroom, 1 double bedroom, 1 shower room and 1 ensuite bathroom
Location: Siena and surroundings
This property rents from Saturday to Saturday, with arrival flexibility during Low season
Located in one of the most pristine swathes of Tuscan countryside, Riccio is one of 13 apartments in beautifully converted and carefully tended farming estate. Part of a reconstruction that succeeded with style and sensitivity, this two-storey apartment offers a small family or a few 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. At the far end of one of the outbuidings and somewhat sheltered by a side wall and banks of lavender-laced shrubbery, Riccio enjoys two flagstone terraces and a larger U-shaped lawn that surrounds the property.
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 the apartment is from the side terrace and directly into the spacious open plan room which covers the width of the apartment. Three arched glass doors access this space – at one end one-third of the space features a dining table for 6 steps away from a compact, well-equipped U-shaped kitchen area. The rest of the room features sofas and wicker chairs placed to enjoy the view of the side garden or access a terrace set up for al fresco dining, with a table and chairs for 4 set under a sheltering umbrella.
A stairway in the middle of the main room winds up to the sleeping accommodations – a twin bedroom with and adjacent shower room just off the landing and a large double bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. The furnishings bring a clean, modern look to the apartment and feature new, good quality beds and attractive use of local travertine.
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.