Situated in the gentle, rolling hills of Tuscany known for their wine, cheese, truffles and bubbling hot springs, this large stone farmhouse has been restored with generosity and is a delightful setting for a family holiday or a gathering of friends. Making the most of its architectural features – wide arched entries, vaulted ceilings and traditional materials, its owners have preserved spacious interiors but ensured modern comforts.
A driveway leads up from the gate to this spacious fenced property and through a jasmine arch guests access the central patio, furnished for outdoor dining and framed by L-shaped wings of the house. In addition to two doors in the inner corner, wide arches fitted with French doors on either wing face the patio and bring light into their respective living areas. On one side a sitting area with sofas and an attractive barrel ceiling, off of which are two bedrooms, a single with French doors to the garden and an adjoining shower room and a double with an ensuite shower room and a small garden terrace. The doors on the other wing lead into a double bedroom with an ensuite shower room.
Both wings meet, as Tuscan houses usually do, in the heart of the house, the kitchen and dining area. Though framed with mighty beams overhead and beautifully worn terracotta underfoot, everything else about the kitchen is gleaming surfaces and modern appliances. This area is accessed both from the front terrace as well as a door leading conveniently out to the back garden pergola overlooking the pool and furnished for meals al fresco.
Three additional bedrooms are located on the upper floors and all accessible from the large living room where sofas and a comfortable chaise longue are placed for enjoying satellite TV or the open fireplace in the corner. Doors off the living area lead to two ensuite double bedrooms, one with a shower room, the other with a bathroom with tub and separate shower. A stairway from the living room leads up to a twin bedroom under the eaves that has a wonderful view.
Several summer hours are likely to be spent in the well-kept grounds behind the house for here, overlooking the swimming pool and silvery olive trees, are a sun sail-shaded deck with lounge furniture and a wisteria-draped pergola with a long table and benches facing a panorama of wooded hills and distant fields. Also at the back, adjacent to the laundry room, is a changing room with shower/WC, handy for swimmers and those bronzing poolside.
As the view from the back garden assures, this area of Tuscany is among some of the most unspoilt and iconic, with rolling woodlands and well-ordered vineyards and olive groves. But it is also holds many treasures and reasons to venture out. Closest among them are the beautiful Romanesque church in Trequanda and the Museum of Terracotta in Petroio, but the famed truffles of San Giovanni d’Asso merits a museum open Friday to Sunday and the beautiful clay hills from Asciano to Siena, known as the Crete Senese, are some of the most photographed in Tuscany. In less than half an hour there are hot springs and full-service spas in Rapolano Terme and a lively open-air market in Sinalunga on Tuesday morning.
In the beautiful Val d’Orcia Pope Pius II chose Pienza as the site for his ideal Renaissance city, a choice seconded by UNESCO when it named the town a World Heritage site. The fact that it is also a chief producer of delicious pecorino cheese and provides a variety of restaurants in which to sample it is all the more reason to stop by. What is cheese without wine? Happily, both Montalcino’s famed Brunello and Montepulciano’s highly regarded Vino Nobile are both an easy drive away in charming hill towns of sweeping views and striking architecture. In less than an hour are Siena, the medieval gem with one of the most beautiful piazzas in Italy, used on July 2nd and August 16th as a race track for the celebrated ‘Palio’, and Arezzo, whose monthly antiquarian fairs and June and September Saracen Jousts enliven the summer. An easy day trip could also include Italy’s 4th largest lake, Lago Trasimeno, whose fresh-water fish, sailing and charming islands provide a relaxed change of pace. In the end, of course, a great variety of things to do requires a great spot from which to contemplate them; in this Colomba excels.
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