A classic Chianti villa, Castellaccio is nestled in one of nature's amphitheatres, surrounded by gently rising hills of green and the occasional distant villa. Inspired perhaps by the lay of the land and certainly assisted by gifted gardeners, its owners have created a property that stretches languidly over many levels and invites free flowing movement from one to another. With accommodation in the main house and a spacious barn, this is an excellent place for a group of friends or a multi-generational family to find space for joyous gathering or tranquil retreat.
From the entrance to the fenced property, wide banks of rosemary and lavender and tall flowering shrubs draw you along the path to an umbrella-shaded panoramic terrace whose tables are a natural venue for al fresco meals. Wide staircases flanking the terrace lead up to a larger flagstone terrace between the barn and the house, the stone facade of which is softened and shaded by the wooden pergola draped with roses and white wisteria and furnished with wicker sofas.
As is natural in this part of the world, entry into a house through its kitchen, and Castellaccio's has long marble counters, built-in appliances, a handy breakfast table and a wood stove. Doors from the kitchen lead to an attractive dining room with a table for 10, off of which is a small office with a single bed and access to the inner courtyard.
Off the dining room, a corridor, brightened by the arched glass doors from the court, provides access to the upper floor bedrooms, a colorful tiled shower room and the large living room. With an ancient pietra serena fireplace, deep sofas covered in warm russet fabrics and painted wooden furniture, this is a room to retire to at the end of the day and relive the day's adventures.
The furnished inner courtyard, partially open to the sun but closed off by a huge wooden door, is another great place for dinner as it is steps away from the pizza oven. Also off the courtyard is the laundry and an external staircase to a loggia with bistro table and chairs which in turn accesses the upper floor bedrooms. There is a beautiful double bedroom with fireplace, which shares a large bathroom with the smaller adjoining twin/double bedroom, as well as another bathroom and a third bedroom under strong chestnut eaves, which can be a double or twin as desired. Both bathrooms have clawed tubs and roomy showers, and all bedrooms are nicely furnished with country antiques and attractive spreads.
Across the terrace from the house are arched doors to the stone barn whose wide entryway features an Arabian-style double bed behind drapes to one side and a large shower room behind an antique turquoise door to the other. A few steps lead down to an enormous sitting room with a tall stone fireplace and generous sofas that invite lounging. There is a handy kitchenette in the corner and wide French doors out to a patio whose travertine table, nearby barbecue and hammock strung in the shade of tall trees all suggest an ideal place for a summer meal.
Steps away is a gate to one of the hidden joys of the property, a long arboured walkway whose sides and hanging vines spill over with seasonal colour and perfume, and at the end of which is another surprise, a regulation tennis court. Steps from the limonaia lead down to the long pool with a furnished pergola at one end and a living area under the trees at the other.
In walking distance, albeit uphill, from the house there is a bar/enoteca at the crossroads of Sicelle, but when energy and an adventuring spirit draw visitors further afield, know that there is a short-cut drive to the famous Chiantigiana, the scenic road leading through the most well-known Chianti villages.
Wine tasting, lively village markets and summer concerts and exhibitions are easily within reach. And tucked away in the hills as it may seem, Castellaccio is actually not far from the highway that puts you equidistant to medieval Siena or Renaissance Florence. Step out to savour culture-rich history and still make it home for a poolside sunset and a glass of red - that is a Tuscan holiday.
"Uscio e Bottega" is a charming little restaurant at the top of the road to Castellaccio
This beautiful village is only 10 minutes away
The wonderful old abbey of Passignano is a 15 minute drive away, well worth it for the Michelin starred restaurant of Marcello Crini, "Osteria di Passignano"
Siena is a 40 minute drive away, with its famous shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, the Cathedral, museums and more.
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