Italy Accommodation - Farmhouse - 1500 sq ft / 139 sq m - Ground level
This beautifully restored free-standing stone farmhouse, with a fully independent 90 square metre apartment below, provides a secluded haven after the bustle of sightseeing. Our Italian friends call it a jewel. Both the main house, and the apartment (see separate listing), can be rented separately or together for a larger group.
Restored by us some years ago as a family home, with great attention to detail, this much loved and cared for property is still more family home than holiday rental. We return from Australia every year to maintain, fix, renew, update and replenish everything that needs attention. It was freshly painted throughout in 2016.
Furnished and equipped to a high standard, it is a house to feel at home in. The generous country kitchen features a large antique table to share meals around. It is the heart of the home. A huge oak refectory table and antique boudoir grand loaded with family photos dominate the dining and living rooms. Sadly, having made the journey from the south of Italy to Australia then back to Tuscany, the piano is now more ornamental than musical.
Antique farmhouse furniture offers ample space for guests to unpack and completely settle in, and the comfy Natuzzi sofas make a quiet night in with a DVD a viable option. Additional power supply supports the many appliances. There's reliable plumbing and strong water pressure. All windows have screens and internal cypress shutters. In summer the 400m elevation promotes refreshing breezes, while the thick stone walls help cool the interior. Efficient central heating keeps it warm and cosy in the cooler months. (Unfortunately the fireplace shown in the photo doesn't work.)
The house nestles in the hills 3.5 km above the village of San Polo in Chianti, so a car is a must. San Polo is slightly removed from the tourist turmoil yet it offers great essentials shopping, a fabulous restaurant and good road access to the must-see towns and sights of Tuscany. Proximity to Florence gives us convenient autostrada access, although you can’t see, hear or even imagine an autostrada from our tranquil rural setting.
Set in its own private fenced garden in a rural neighbourhood of farmhouses, olive groves and vegetable patches, each window of the house has a pretty outlook over the garden or the cultivated valley. The lawn is often scattered with daisies, and fireflies sometimes come out at night. The garden overlooks the Arno valley towards the Vallombrosa Monastery, nestled in the magnificent oak and pine woodlands of the central Apennines. The surrounding forest offers up its bounty of porcini mushrooms, wild asparagus, even truffles, to intrepid locals who gather in small family groups to walk off Sunday lunch and enjoy the peace on sunny weekends. Depending on the season, around the house and garden you may find grapes, plums, raspberries, apricots and figs. The squirrels usually get the hazelnuts and almonds.
Although we don’t live on site, we do have a loyal group of friends and retainers equipped to resolve any problems quickly and efficiently. A booklet of information at the house covers the A to Z of how things work, plus support phone numbers. We encourage guests to sms us with any concerns so we can ensure a quick resolution of any issue.
Ahead of the trip, all our guests receive a comprehensive booklet (PDF) of tips and recommendations for things to do and places to go. These are some of our favourite things. It’s quite extensive and, like the house, is updated each year. Some guests find it very useful, particularly first time visitors to Italy.