Docciole was designed by the owners to accommodate visits from their large family - it manages to provide large communal spaces as well as give private areas to various parts of the building, together with individual kitchens. Everybody can congregate upstairs in the enormous living room or kitchen, but if you'd like a little quiet time just make your own breakfast and re-join the fray when you've charged your batteries. Together with its proximity to a fantastic village in Chianti, Radda, with excellent restaurants and cafes, this makes it a perfect location for a large family gathering, or a group of friends. With a very spacious country kitchen on the upper level and additional kitchen facilities in each of the four ground floor suites, it is easy to fashion meals for the whole group or for different ages. Yet a highlight of many a holiday is having a Tuscan cook come to the house and prepare a delicious meal. At Docciole a local chef produces a four-course dinner (€30/person; children under 8 yrs free) which features an antipasto, mixed grill, home-made pasta, fresh garden vegetables and dessert - wine included.
There are several entrances into the large farmhouse, perhaps the most obvious being up the well-trod stone steps to the top floor. Immediately through the front door one is drawn to the light flooding into the very large living-dining room to the right. With chestnut beams soaring over the dining area to double height, the sheer volume of air and light create a marvelously welcoming space. To one side of the dining table for 8 a wooden staircase rises to a mezzanine containing two single beds, while the far end of the living area has sofas set in front of an open fireplace and a doorway leading to a generous country kitchen.
Modern appliances find a harmony with a cooking fireplace, bread cupboard and long refectory table and become, in time-honored tradition, the heart of this Tuscan home. Three double bedrooms are on this floor, one off the dining area and two down a side hall past a small study. All of the bedrooms are spacious and furnished with lovely fabrics and country antiques. The two bathrooms, one ensuite and one shared, make great use of terracotta, Tuscany's much beloved material.
Further accommodations are on the ground floor - four large bedroom suites, three double and one twin/double, each with a shower room, dining table, sufficient kitchen facilities to prepare a light meal and an independent access to the outdoors. While the ground floor of the farmhouse does not have an internal staircase to the top floor, three of the lower suites do interconnect, an ideal arrangement for a family unit. While the suites differ in look and layout, care has been taken to provide each with similar comforts.
The garden at the back of the house, planted in fragrant, flowering shrubs and shaded by towering oaks, extends the living space, for under a vine-draped pergola there is a table large enough for everyone to sit down to meals al fresco. There is a free-standing barbecue, a pizza oven, and sun beds to set on the wide lawn overlooking a raised pool bordered on one side by a wooden deck. Additional space is also available for group activities in a charming annex across the drive from the house.
From the vineyards at the front of the estate the view of Radda in Chianti beckons guests to a first stop and, in fact, it is only one easily walked kilometer to the closest restaurant in the village. The unofficial capital of the region, Radda plays host to several festivals and events throughout the summer, most, though not all, having to do with what is poured into a glass.
The closest restaurant, walkable in 1 km, is Vignale, and the Sandy Bar, which have good coffee, pastries, sandwiches and delicious gelato. For other restaurants see Good restaurants in Chianti
Nearby there are Castellina in Chianti, so prized by the Medici that they commissioned a fortress to protect it, Panzano and Greve in Chianti, whose street markets and wide piazzas are reasons for a visit and Castello di Brolio, where the standards for Chianti wine were set.
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