A panoramic villa and pool in a tuscan village equidistant to San Gimignano and Volterra
4 double bedrooms, 2 twin/double bedrooms, 1 sofa bed and 6 ensuite shower rooms.
Location: Pisa and Lucca
This property rents Saturday to Saturday in high season - other arrival days permitted in mid and low.
On the edge of the hamlet of Iano the owner has created an oasis of calm and tranquillity, with views that go on for ever over the valley looking toward the Etruscan stronghold of Volterra. With all bedrooms en-suite and air conditioning throughout this is an elegant and comfortable house; for 2018 the owner has added two very large bedrooms on the ground floor, also both ensuite, bringing the total of beds up to 12, making this very popular house even more attractive. You can still rent the smaller version of the house in mid and low seasons - see ref. nº 250
Tucked back from the road leading up to the village, the stone facade of the villa, striking with its arched entry and crenellated roofline, only hints at its spacious interior. For once inside, the open plan layout and wide glass doors and windows connect living spaces to the amazing vistas to the rear of the house. The entry hall flows into a living area with comfortable sofas and armchairs and an adjacent dining table for 8 in front of a large open fireplace. The line of arched windows that provide diners with a view is echoed in the glass door from a stylish marble-countered kitchen that accesses a walkway to the large rear terrace. Furnished with a dining table to seat the household and divans under a protective gazebo, the terrace has sweeping views of gently rolling hills and the swimming pool and olive grove in the grounds below. There are two twin bedrooms on the ground floor, which can be made up as double bedrooms on request; both have ensuite shower rooms and doors leading to the side garden. The upper floor is reached via pietra serena stone staircase from the living area. On this level there are two double bedrooms, each with ensuite shower room - one with a furnished balcony, the other connected by stairs to the rooftop terrace. Each bedroom and shower room is unique in its decor, but all share a sense of elegance, comfort and attention to detail that leaves one feeling pampered. Downstairs there are ow a further 2 large double bedrooms with en-suite shower rooms.
A wide terracotta walkway and gravel path lead from the terrace down past green lawns to the pool area where sun beds and umbrellas sit on a wide stone patio facing the Era river valley. While guests at Valdera overlook the pool of the neighbouring property, no one directly looks on to the back terrace or pool area of Valdera.
Though the view gives one the sense of being immersed in the countryside, the village is only a stroll away, and a morning cappuccino, an evening pizza or even a game of tennis are all within easy reach. Being midway between historic San Gimignano and Volterra means a 15 min. drive brings you to either the Town of Towers or the City of Alabaster. In the former, famed medieval skyscrapers, open-air concerts seen from the steps of the church and Vernaccia wine are but some of the reasons for visiting the popular UNESCO World Heritage Site. High on its plateau, Volterra, one of the oldest cities in Italy, has less tourist density, but is no less fascinating for its three millenia of civilization, brought to life via its summer festivals and in the wonderful Etruscan collection in the Museo Guarnacci. Both Volterra and nearby San Miniato are noted for their truffles, so keep eyes on local menus. Only slightly farther afield is Siena, home of one of the loveliest piazzas in Tuscany and Vinci, the birthplace of the genius of Leonardo. Even Florence, Pisa and the seaside are only an hour away, which makes Valdera rich in day trip possibilities. Don't be surprised, however, if the view from the terrace and sense of being well looked after cause you to consider staying closer to home.
This property requires a security deposit of Euro 200 on arrival to cover the Tourist tax and eventual use of air-conditioning. Please ensure you have the necessary cash to leave with the owner or caretaker.
We had a wonderful time at Valdera. It's a lovely house in such a beautiful place! The house was great and we were impressed with how well the gardens and pool were tended. It felt remote enough but great to be able to walk to a shop and restaurant. My only comment would be that it could be better equipped with 'basics' - bin liners, food storage bags or boxes, matches etc. Also non-breakable stuff to take down to the pool.
We ate at Antico Borgo in the village. It was nice to be able to walk and it's a straightforward restaurant with pizza and pasta. Lovely views from the outside area. We made the mistake of not booking on the last night so had to eat inside - it seems to get busy at weekends. We had breakfast in the other cafe - La Chicca, which was nice. The village shop is really good and well stocked, although expensive compared with the supermarket.
Dan asked for comments about our hotel in Lucca. We stayed in L'Antica Bifore which we loved. It is a four room b&b in the centre and our room was in part of a medieval tower. It was very relaxed, a friendly couple and lovely breakfast. Parking not very convenient if you had lots of luggage. We had dinner at da Pasquale which was the best meal of our trip. Pasquale was the most amazing, enthusiastic and knowledgeable host who looked after his guests so well. He gave us a bottle of olive oil which we enjoyed through our holiday!
We had a fantastic time at Valdera. The people we met in association with the villa were so friendly and helpful. Any contact we made always had a quick response with a smile.
Valdera was spotless and the bedding and towels were of a good standard. An expected nice touch was the offer of a change of towels mid week. The sun towels were also really lovely to use.
It was great to be able to walk to the village shop and the restaurant was of a much better standard than I imagined it would be, which is lovely if you return a few times. The chef was also really friendly.
The location of Valdera is brilliant. We had a great time visiting the towns and cities (this is our first time to Tuscany and the first time in a private villa).
Dan kindly recommended a restaurant for us to go to on our route from Arrezzo to Iano which we couldn't access as there was an old car rally taking place in the village of the restaurant. Unsure of where to eat, we carried on and ended up asking in the Tourist Office at Gambassi for a recommendation. I don't know whether it was the relief of finding somewhere pleasant to eat with extreme hunger 😊 but we all really enjoyed sitting in and eating in Beltempo Ristorante www.beltemporistorante.com. It is a new modern restaurant in the town and it was extremely pleasant. I would say it is great for lunch and is informal. It was one of those places where you hope they succeed as the service, enthusiasm, food and atmosphere was lovely.
Wonderful views, fantastic facilities ”
A perfect Tuscan Villa capable of sleeping 8 people, even though we are only 4! Very comfortable beds, great bathrooms, kitchen fully equipped and washing facilities. Swimming pool, although too cold to use it! Situated in the heart of the Tuscan hills with so Kant interesting places to visit close by. Train to Florence, Siena very easy too.