1 single bedroom and 4 double bedrooms, 2 shower rooms, 1 of which ensuite, and 1 bathroom with separate shower
Location: Southern Tuscany
This property rents Saturday to Saturday
At this property welcoming accommodation begins even before crossing the threshhold, for on arrival one immediately spots two large furnished eating areas that await guests ready to share a table. One gathering place is a large terracotta-roofed pergola set to enjoy the view of the nearby village perched on a rocky bluff. Handy to this spot is a stone structure housing both pizza oven and barbecue. The second al fresco venue is the large patio furnished with a table for 10 and a sheltering umbrella located just outside the front entrance. Steps through the front door and you are in the spacious dining room with a up-to-date kitchen streamlining the far wall. Dressed with smart cabinets and counters, the kitchen provides such touches as an extra wide oven, electric cooker and a stocked wine rack that allows guests to purchase local wines without venturing out.
A wide brick-arched opening leads from the dining area to a spacious living room where sofas at set for conversation, TV-viewing or watching the flames dance in an open fireplace. Sleeping quarters are off the hallway beyond the sitting area and include one single bedroom and three doubles. While one of the double bedrooms has an ensuite shower room, the others share a smartly tiled shower room in the middle of the hall. The final and largest bedroom is on the top floor and accessed only by the external staircase. A door from the staircase landing leads directly into the large double bedroom which shares the same view as the panoramic pergola. The ensuite tiled bathroom has both a jacuzzi bathtub and a separate shower.
As there are places for convivial gathering, there are also areas for quiet relaxation - perhaps at a small table and chairs at the side of the house or else poolside on a paved deck by the upper pool. For here there are two pools, the upper a still pool looking out to a horizon worthy of meditation, the lower a hydro-massage pool guaranteed to bubble away travel weariness or bring a peaceful end to the day.
The first visit is likely to be the village of Trevinano, which sits beguilingly on the bluff you can see from the pergola and pool. Nestling around an ancient castle, the village cannot be described as bustling, but it does have a Michelin-starred restaurant, 'La Parolina' that may serve for a special occasion. The backdrop to the property is the Mount Rufeno Nature Reserve, 3,000 acres of oak woods and Mediterranean brush, home to such natives as wild boar, deer and eagles. Nature has also gifted this area with a thermal basin of over 42 springs and a town that has drawn pilgrims for centuries, San Casciano dei Bagni, is just down the road. Laid out in a characteristically medieval maze of narrow streets around a church and bell tower, the town is charming and also home to one of Italy's best-known spas, the Fonteverde.
Sitting a few hundred meters from a triangle of three regions - Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio - puts guests in the ideal position of having easy access to the lakes and striking hill towns in all directions. To the south is Italy's largest volcanic lake, Lago di Bolsena, and the wonderful city of Orvieto, which sits on a large butte of volcanic tufo and has wonders both above and below ground to discover - Signorelli's masterpiece, The Last Judgment, in its majestic cathedral and the ingenious 'Pozzo di S. Patrizio', St. Patrick's well, designed to protect the city from siege. To the north are the picturesque islands in Lake Trasimeno at the western gateway to Umbria and Montepulciano, Tuscany's 'pearl of the 16th century', a town of breath-taking views from its position 605 m. above sea level on a narrow limestone ridge. Known as much for its Vino Nobile as its Renaissance architecture, it is a lively town of art and festivals.
We all thought Villa San Rocco was absolutely stunning and actually more impressive than the pictures, which is an accolade in itself! The villa is extremely well equiped and everything found within it is of a very high quality. The views and the grounds speak for themselves, but the rooms and inside eating areas were also fantastic, even if we did spend most of the time outside.
As group leader, I found the whole trip very easy to organise and I was particularly impressed with how our stay was run on trust once we got there. There were no onerous forms to fill out and no deposit to pay on arrival. Further, if we drank any of the villa wine or coffee, for example, we simply had to note down what we had and paid at the end. The trust and informality was much appreciated and I feel it set the right tone for the quality of the villa. It was also extremely useful to have Eline, the property manager, on WhatsApp as a free concierge! She organised various dinners and trips seemlessly at our request and, were it not for her, we might have made some of the lovely memories which we did.
As a group, the only thing we felt could be improved would be to have the pool, or at least the hydropool, heated. We had pleasant weather in the late 20s, but we used the pool less than we would have done due to it being unheated. This is a minor point and certainly would not put us off coming back.
We had a fabulous time and would recommend the a and Invitation to Tuscany to anyone!