Italy Accommodation - Farmhouse - 1500 sq ft / 139 sq m - Ground level
A beautifully restored free-standing stone farmhouse with a fully independent 90 square metre apartment below (see separate listing), providing a secluded haven after a busy day's sightseeing. Both the main house and the apartment can be rented separately, or together for a larger group.
The house is maintained to a high standard to ensure the comfort of our guests, as well as ourselves, as we often return for extended stays. Every year we refresh and update whatever needs attention, from small things like new linen and updating kitchen appliances to major improvements such as as redecorating or replacing heating systems. When we’re in Australia our manager, who lives nearby, maintains the property as if it were her own. She is like family to us and is always there to help if there are any problems. A booklet of information covers the A to Z of the house, details local services, and gives support phone numbers including a direct line to us in Australia.
Being a real home rather than a dedicated holiday rental is one of the things that makes the house special. Tastefully furnished and well-equipped, it is a house to feel at home in. The generous country kitchen features a large antique table and is really the heart of the home. An oak refectory table and antique boudoir grand loaded with family photos dominate the dining and living rooms. (Having made the journey from the south of Italy to Australia then back to Tuscany, the piano is sadly 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 seen 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 popular 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 and olive groves, each window of the house has a pretty outlook over the garden or the valley. The lawn is often scattered with daisies, and fireflies sometimes come out at night. The garden overlooks the Arno valley towards the distant 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 set out in small family groups to 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.
Ahead of their trip, our guests receive a comprehensive booklet (PDF) of tips and recommendations, from our favourite restaurants and day trip suggestions to the best outlet shopping and other little-known gems. It’s quite extensive and, like the house, is updated each year. Many guests find it useful, particularly first time visitors to Italy.