Nestled in the hills above Campiglia Marittima, a charming well-preserved medieval town overlooking the Mediterranean, Casa dei Fichi is a house that matches the landscape that surrounds it.
From the swing under the fruit tree to the sparkling sea that lies on the horizon, there is a wonderfully open air of freedom in and around this house.
The gently sloping grounds are a lovely mix of what nature has to offer and what the knowledgeable owners have added to bring colour and fragrance.
The large patio and wide furnished terraces which surround the house all have French doors that ensure easy flow in and out of the house, while inside the open plan layout brings the benefit of light and the festive feeling of being on holiday.
There as so many points of entry to the house that the concept of a 'front door' is happily discarded, yet one could easily choose to head down the outdoor stone steps to the large flagstone terrace and from there into the Tuscan heart of any house, its kitchen. Well-equipped for those who like to cook, and with a handy pantry room that is equipped with refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine, the kitchen looks through wide brick arches into the dining area and nearby living room. This room has comfortable sofas, an open fireplace, and doors to both the front and side terraces. Also on the ground floor, a generous travertine-clad shower room is located off a large area near the dining room, itself containing a woodstove and open stone staircase to the bedrooms on the upper floor. Three double bedrooms and a twin bedroom with an additional child's bed are all steps away from a tiled bathroom. Two of the bedrooms have doors to a front porch, where a slice of the sea on the horizon can inspire a day's outing. All rooms have good simple furnishings and comfortable beds necessary for a good night's sleep, but the draw of the house is undoubtedly the areas that draw people together or afford them a quiet nook of contemplation.
People might gather near the double stone barbecue on the sunny patio or seek the shade near the pizza oven or the nearby swimming pool, but they could just as easily set a solitary chair and a glass of wine anywhere on the long panoramic terrace or set out to discover their green surroundings on foot.
Once in the car, however, there are easy day trips in all directions. The beach is only 15 minutes away at the lovely Gulf of Baratti, itself walking distance from one of the most fascinating Etruscan sites in Italy. And with the ferry to the island of Elba so close at hand you could even take to the sea, explore Napoleon's place of exile and still be back for supper.
The house is also on the doorstep of a fabulous Tuscan wine area, Bolgheri, home of the SuperTuscans. To find out more about which vineyards to visit and a little about the history of this fantastic wine, read here: Tuscany's Secret Wine Area.
The nearest town is Campiglia Marittima, with a number of restaurants, a 2 km walk away. In the valley, a 5 minute drive away, Venturina Terme has warm spa baths, while Pisa and Lucca are only an hour away when big city sights and shopping tempt; yet it is very likely that time away will only make you appreciate all the more the quiet and open beauty of the place you come home to.
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