Location: Pisa and Lucca
Saturday to Saturday weekly rentals
Once a border tower, then a rich Florentine's family country getaway, this large villa has been lovingly restored. The military memories are still there in the enormously thick lower walls, while the elegance of its later life is apparent as you drive up to it. While guests are accommodated in four separate apartments, they come together around tables in the large restaurant dining room or outdoors under umbrellas. San Miniato, the medieval village seen from the swimming pool, is one of many sites that will draw the explorers in the group.
The present owners have been both respectful and generous in transforming the estate into four comfortable apartments that can be taken together when reunions, classes or a growing guest list requires the whole estate. A large panoramic pool, a restaurant that can offer catering or cooking classes, a large outdoor dining piazza and spacious grounds for visitors of all ages make this a delightful place to share with others.
Each floor of the large structure contains two apartments, and all are equipped with air-conditioning for the summer months and fireplaces for early Spring / late Autumn visitors. In some a large main room combines sitting and dining areas with a well-equipped kitchen, in others a separate living room gives a bit more room in which to relax. In keeping with the original layout of the villa, all apartments feature a large master double bedroom and a smaller double, or in one case twin, bedroom. Most of the apartments have en-suite shower rooms and one, Ambra, has additional accommodation and shower rooms in a furnished attic.
Very likely a first outing will be to the charming medieval town you can spot from the pool. Once famous for its position on the Via Francigena, the ancient road to Rome, scenic San Miniato now draws pilgrims in search of the prized white truffle. Being halfway between Pisa and Florence may have put you in harm's way in the Middle Ages, but it is a definite plus for the modern adventurer and visitors can hop aboard a nearby train or drive to the heart of these Tuscan cities quite worthy of the many pages in their guidebooks. Other day trips include ventures to the skyscrapers of the Middle Ages in San Gimignano, the beautiful shell-shaped Piazza del Campo in Siena or the beaches of the Versilia sea coast. Yet staying at the estate means having wonderful staff on hand to help set up local wine tasting, truffle hunting or canoeing on a nearby lake. At this property you won't be at a loss for something to do, though don't be surprised if a poolside sunbed and a gentle breeze in the olive trees persuade you to put off that doing to another day.
This property requires a security deposit of Euro 500 on arrival. Please ensure you have the necessary cash to leave with the caretaker.