Sleeps 10 + 1
This wonderful old farmhouse is available for rent and sleeps 11 guests. Once derelict, the farmhouse has been sensitively restored with traditional Tuscan details, such as tiled floors and beamed ceilings. Lovely old features have been preserved, such as a vaulted hall, an old bread oven, arched doors, shuttered windows and a hay barn now converted into a magnificent sitting room. Concealed modern lighting throughout the house, complemented by antique wall lights, highlights the architectural details without spoiling the rustic atmosphere. All double bedrooms have multiple windows and en suite bathrooms.
At the heart of the house, an old olive tree shades a sunny courtyard, where two loggias command fine views across the valley. From every prospect, the garden leads on to the vineyard, which in turn is surrounded by oak woods and streams. The well-planted garden includes a young orchard, a Tuscan kitchen garden, lawns and a herb-filled lane.
A long swimming pool is shaded on either side by an arcaded loggia and pergola. From the shallow end, a submerged curved seat looks out onto an exceptional view.
A housekeeper, who lives in a separate staff flat, cleans and cares for the house. A cooking service can be arranged.
A/C in bedrooms
Pool (13m x 7m)
Hi-Fi systems with CDs
iPod Docking Station
Telephone and Fax
On Site Parking
Garden & Orchard
Beach (1.5hr drive)
Surfing (1.5hr drive)
Montain Biking (Monti Metaliferi)
Enter through the central main hall from which there is access to all parts of the house. To the right is a large kitchen with a working fireplace which seats the whole family. You will also find on this floor a formal dining room which seats up to 12. Nine steps lead from the kitchen to a spacious sitting room with a grand piano, working fireplace and access to a covered loggia.
On the first floor find a twin bedroom with en-suite bathroom and a double bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. Both bathrooms have shower and tub. There is an outside loggia with stunning views.
Lower Ground Floor
From the hall, steps lead to the lower ground floor. Here you can find a twin bedroom with an en-suite shower room, a single bedroom and a guest WC. The old wine cellar houses the large and well equipped laundry room. Access to the courtyard and loggia.
Pool Annex / Pool
The annex near the pool has a twin bedroom with en-suite shower room. The pool is 13 metres long and 7 metres wide and is shaded on either side by an arcaded loggia and pergola.
Six steps lead from the entrance hall to a small sitting room with fireplace. The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom with separate shower and tub.
Our Tuscan Farmhouse is culturally in the heart of Tuscany, situated conveniently almost exactly midway between the two greatest cultural cities, Florence and Siena. Each is only 40 minutes away by car (with bus services from the local village), and San Gimignano is closer still. Many pretty and rewarding Tuscan hilltowns and villages are on its rural doorstep. There is also easy access to Florence, Pisa and Bologna airports.
More Information and Availability
The cost of renting The Tuscan Farmhouse ranges from £5,800 per week in low season to £8,200 per week in high season.
The Farmhouse is normally rented on a Saturday to Saturday basis throughout the year. However, shorter breaks and/or alternative arrival days are available during Low and Mid seasons.
The standard season dates and prices for 2018 are:
High Season | Mid Season | Low Season
£8,200 £7,100 £5,800
Plus heating costs where applicable.
Prices are per week (up to 11 guests).
Don't want Pounds? Convert to your currency instead.
High season: 2 June 2018 - 31 August 2018 | Mid season: 12 May 2018 - 1 June 2018 & 1 September 2018 - 28 September 2018 |
Low season: 6 January 2018 - 11 May 2018 & 29 September 2018 - 28 December 2018
When to visit
The Tuscan Farmhouse is most visited in high summer, when the fierce sun and spectacular, sleepy landscape make padding around the pool with an icy glass all that a person could wish.
Yet the unfailing popularity of summer is slightly surprising since, from July to August, Tuscany is neither quite itself nor at its best.
Autumn, winter and spring: each has its devotees. Few people long for the Tuscan midsummer once they have tried the verdant, gentler warmth of spring or seen the tawny grapes trampled in autumn. Outside summer, one can avoid the crowds. Tuscany once again seems full of Tuscans -- the proudest people in Italy and rightly so.
So do come and stay at the Tuscan Farmhouse off season, when it is just as beautiful and rewarding as in high summer - and the rent is reduced! Read on for more about the other seasons ......
Spring: Mar to May
Devotees of sun-bathing are most likely to be weaned off August by spring, the season closest in character to summer.
Italian spring doesn't begin, as its English cousin does, with a heroic push of leaves through freezing days and colder nights. Instead, Italian spring begins with heat.
In the last weeks of February, a strong sun (for which the English would be grateful in June) is applied to bare branches. One can eat outdoors immediately -- even breakfast by the pool -- wearing a sunhat beside the skeletal boughs. When one's back is turned, blossom appears and the bees wake from their Arthurian winter sleep.
The rains, when they come, are short-lived and gratifyingly violent: to watch lightning from the Torre loggia with some cups of tea is one of life's great treats.
March, as in Northern Europe, brings the new grass -- too green to be true, so that it looks artificial. Now is the time to walk from the farmhouse in the noonday sun, down the river Pesa to Sambuca's Roman bridge or up the facing hill to the rare steaks of Cantinetta di Rignana.
Now the cover comes off the swimming pool and, although the water remains too cold to swim in, it is nice to release its colour and to catch the house's reflection there at dusk.
In April, since the nights are still crisp, sleep comes easily and deeply -- no need for fans or mosquito nets, or for a cold shower before bed. Instead (how much more civilised) the down duvets are thick and shutters are closed.
Now is a good time to devote oneself to art: Trecento, Quattrocento, Cinquecento. Spring Florence is still peaceful and fresh, the green Arno high, the steep Oltrarno gardens scenting the city and the sunny pavements of less busy piazze dotted with clumps of grass. Still more spectacular is the view from Siena, its steep, Y-shaped valley ablaze with blossom and wild-flowers.
In May, the Farmhouse is without doubt at its most lovely. Three sides of the house are radiant with climbing flowers; the white roses in the lane are particularly good, weeping petals over the kitchen door. In the cypress trees are little purple stars and the sun, ever hotter, beats a thick scent from the herbs. The bees are out in force and, at noon, bare-footed humans seek the coolness of the pool.
Autumn: Sep to Nov
After the summer heat, when you can fry eggs on the car bonnet, the ground cracks and only things that are watered grow, the gentle slackening of late September is a relief. The sun only dips from fierce to strong, however, and the pool is still required although the long summer has taken off its chill. The Tuscan Farmhouse moves from Italian summer to, effectively, an English heatwave.
Yet this unfailing Indian summer is only one delight of the Italian September. Another is the harvest, that crucial week when every hillside vineyard comes alive with vine workers moving slowly down the rows, their straw hats leading the heaped trailers. Fretful winemakers, gambling a year's crop, try and take their ripening vintage at the very last minute and pray against rain and frost. In the fattorie, the grapes are trampled with rustic aplomb and their discarded skins are placed between clear plastic sheets in the yard to cure in the sun for next year's grappa.
Only in October do the nights begin to feel chillier, a damp breath that shuts the Farmhouse's windows and fills the log basket in readiness for the rains. The rains, when they come, do not last long but are drunk greedily by the land, thirsty after the long summer's toil. The veins of the land are replenished as the rivers reappear from their dry beds, and green-coated Tuscans are to be found out with baskets sniffing out porcini for their omelettes and griddle.
These kings of funghi, the royal cep or boletus, start to appear in the restaurants. Huge, plump and still cool from the soil, the waiters bring them around the tables in a great basket. Osteria La Piazza does them particularly well, a porcini griddled fiercely with much garlic and parsley to be eaten by itself: a meaty dish that would put a steak to shame.
The farms take little rest after the grapes are in. Plums and other fruit needs collecting and the hardware store is emptied of jars for homemade fruit preserves. The artichokes and chard begin to appear at market.
Then in November comes the olive harvest - most laborious of all - when the glossy green and black beads must be combed down onto nets without damage to the ancient branches. The olives are then weighed, washed and pressed, with great turbines agitating the paste to release the oil from the bitter flesh. The spicy new oil, luminous green and opaque, is tasted on garlic-rubbed fett'unta toast and poured raw on thick vegetable soup. It is a world away from regular golden olive oil, in which the short-lived chlorophyll has wasted and the taste is faint.
The skies in late autumn are often clear, and the sun low, casting long shadows. This shows off the soft textures and colours of the autumnal landscape to breathtaking effect.
Winter: Dec to Feb
After the new olive oil has been tasted in December, the fireplaces of the Farmhouse will be alight until February. The thick-walled house, like all Tuscan farms, is designed to be cool in summer and warm in winter -- even warmer now, with the new wood-burning stove in the upstairs sitting room. The kitchen tiles are warm underfoot and, after a wintry tramp on the ridges above Sicelle, one can have a hot bath then fireside tea in the Fienile under bronze Voltaire's profile.
Unlike the gaunt English woods, Italian forestry never looks truly wintry because it contains principally sessile oaks, which hold on to their dead leaves until the new buds appear behind them. Sometimes there is snow but not often; and the winter sun is not watery but strong enough to burn when it shows.
In the nearby Appuan Alps, beyond Lucca but glimpsed on clear days from the Farmhouse, however, the snow lies thick from November until February. The smart Lucchese and Florentines drive to resorts there and in the spiky Garfagnana for an afternoon's skiing: Careggine has gentler slopes and large lifts, while the higher Passo delle Radici has 8 km of Nordic tracks.
Winter is also a time of religious festival: Christmas Eve, Twelfth Night when the good witch La Befana distributes gift, ending with the Carnivale in February. This is a Catholic phenomenon rather than a purely Venetian one, and indeed the parade at Viareggio (a few kilometers up the coast from Pisa) is second only to Venice's. Bright floats topped with Spitting Image dolls enact a satirical history of the town's past year, mixing truth with comic slander -- the spirit of carnival allows it. At the end of the parade, the Year reads his satirical "Last Will and Testament", in which no mayor, councilor or even prime minister is handled gently. Then the effigy is burnt.
After Carnivale, and the Year's official funeral, the sun begins to shine more strongly on the bare boughs and, behind one's back, the blossom appears again.
Sporting Activities in Tuscany
Golf – 18 holes: 10 clubs; 9 holes: 10 clubs. Golf is well established in Tuscany and a secret golfers paradise
Jogging / Walking – Put your running shoes on and enjoy the beautiful countryside
Mountain Biking – Many routes are on offer including challenging tours like the Monti Metaliferi
Horse riding – Tuscany is a paradise for going horse riding
Swimming – Swimming is offered in many touristic locations
Surfing – Surfing is possible along the Tuscan coastline
Diving – Diving is recommended especially in the Archipelago della Toscana and the Golfo di Baratti
Tennis – Tennis is offered in many touristic location
Activities available in the farmhouse
Swimming | Table Tennis |Badminton | Barbeque | Board Games | Sky satellite television | DVD player | Two hi-fi systems with many CDs | Many books, particularly on Italy and art | Maps for many fine walks in the surrounding countryside
- Uffizi Gallery - Open all year round
- Ponte Vecchio
- Bargello National Museum - Open all year round
- The Boboli Gardens - Open all year round
- Santa Maria Novella - Open all year round
- Campo dei Miracoli and Duomo - The Dome is open all year round
- Leaning Tower and Cathedral - Open all year round
- Zoological Museum - Open all year round
- Forte dei Marmi - beach and exclusive beach resorts
- Palazzo Pfanner - climb Giunigi Tower
- San Frediano Church - Open all year round
- Villa Reale Gardens of Villa Real - House and Garden open all year round
- Medieval Towers
- Il Duomo - Open all year round
- Piaza del Campo
- Pinacoteca Nazionale - Open all year round
- Torre del Mangia
- Gothic Cathedral
- Main Square with Vasari's loggia
- Mecenate Archeological Museum - Open all year round
- Medieval and Modern Museum and Gallery - Open all year round
- Petrarca Theatre - Changing program
- Piero Francesca's fresco cycle "Legend of the True Cross"
- Tarot Garden - Open from April to mid October
- Rocca di Franssinello - winery designed by Renzo Piano
- Fortezza Vecchia (Old Fortress)
Tuscany is a region in Central Italy. It has an area of 22,990 square kilometers (8,880 sq mi) and a population of about 3.6 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence.
Tuscany is known for its beautiful landscapes, its rich artistic legacy and vast influence on high culture. Tuscany is widely regarded as the true birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, and has been home to some of the most influential people in the history of arts and science, such as Petrarch, Dante, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Amerigo Vespucci and Puccini. Due to this, the region has several museums (such as the Uffizi, the Pitti Palace and the Chianciano Museum of Art).
Tuscany has a unique culinary tradition, and is famous for its wines (most famous of which are Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino).
Six Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence, the historical centre of Siena, the square of the Cathedral of Pisa, the historical centre of San Gimignano, the historical centre of Pienza and the Val d'Orcia. Furthermore, Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves. This makes Tuscany and its capital city Florence very popular tourist destinations, attracting millions of tourists every year.
This beautiful country is one of the single greatest repositories of sensorial pleasures on earth. From art to food, from stunning and varied countryside to flamboyant fashion, Italy has it all.
With 44 sites, Italy has more Unesco World Heritage sites than any other country on earth. Its great cities of art, like Rome,Venice and Florence, have been attracting visitors for centuries.
Alongside Italy's art treasures, you'll find plenty to keep you busy in the countryside. You can ski in the Alps, hike the Dolomites or dive off Sardinia's golden coast.
But as much as all of this, a trip to Italy is about lapping up the lifestyle. It's about idling over a coffee at a street side cafe or lingering over a long lunch in the hot Mediterranean sun.