1 twin/double bedroom and 4 double bedrooms and 3 shower rooms, 1 of which ensuite
Location: Arezzo and Cortona
This property rents Saturday to Saturday
Under half an hour from Siena and Arezzo, a little over an hour from Florence, this very special house was built around 1820 to celebrate the safe return of a soldier from Russia, whose family had feared him lost in the Napoleonic wars. The stone built house, on a hilltop 450 m above sea level, has wonderful views across the surrounding hills of the Casentino. It has a tennis court, a boules pitch and very big swimming pool, 3 m deep at the deep end with a springboard, and the whole property is surrounded by its own parkland with carefully tended rare roses, shrubs and trees, as well as irrigated lawns and fruit trees.
A shrubbery-lined drive leads links the property gate to the two-story stone house whose sheltering portico, furnished with arm chairs and divans, runs the width of the facade. Entry is into a bright hallway with a pietra serena stairway leading up to the first floor and doorways to living quarters on either side. To the left is a large sitting room with sofas and armchairs, a corner fireplace, a door to a small furnished patio, and a large archway with sliding doors leading into a double bedroom and shower room suite. The stylish shower room with large rainfall shower and twin carved stone sinks also has a doorway to the back garden, with easy access to the pool and large travertine table for 12. To the right of the entrance hall is a small sitting room with four large armchairs in front of a pietra serena fireplace, next to a dining room with large wooden table that can seat all guests. The adjacent kitchen, outfitted with pale clean cabinetry and stone countertops, cleverly hides all the appliances and equipment a good cook will need and has two large refrigerator/freezers and a traditional kitchen fireplace.
The top floor has two shower rooms with carved stone sinks and stylish fixtures, each serving two bedrooms. To the right of one shower room is a twin/ double bedroom and a double bedroom, while to the left of the other shower room are two double bedrooms, one with a door to a large furnished balcony that enjoys the view of the Casentino hills. All bedrooms have wrought-iron bedsteads and charming hand-painted wardrobes and look out at the spacious grounds, whose lawns and shady areas with high trees are ideal for children at play.
Ambra at 10 mins drive, has excellent shops and restaurants, and access to Siena and Arezzo is now much improved in this area, with the dual carriageway linking with the A1 Autostrada. From nearby Bucine or Montevarchi you can take a train to the historic center of Florence in just 1/2 hour. Local roads are very pretty, and this is a good place to be based for the Piero della Francesca trail.
We had an absolutely fantastic time at Villa Rapale - the house was perfect, the views stunning and the faculties brilliant - the pool, pizza oven and tennis courts being particular favourites.
We will definitely be back!
Thanks to invitation to Tuscany for great service - everything ran very smoothly, the staff were very helpful with any queries and the booking process was very easy.
We all had a wonderful time - the villa is beautiful and we all miss our time there already!
The wine tour was excellent; Luca was far more than a driver - he was very knowledgeable about the history of the area and told us lots of great stories.
The pizza night was good fun; it wasn't very successful as the lady that was making the pizzas was adapting to the size and temperature of the oven but that didn't spoil our enjoyment at all, and we all had plenty of food over the course of the evening.
I'd return any time, and am happy to recommend it