The house looks onto the main street of the historical village Barberino Val d’Elsa (which is very quiet as it has been closed to traffic) to one side and onto the open landscape to the other side. A small jewel of Renaissance architecture, it was built in the traditional alberese stone with architectural features typical of the Tuscan understated elegance.
The main entrance to the house - a large wooden double door with a Renaissance stone cornice - leads into a courtyard, which again opens onto a large terrace with a pergola for meals outside. From the terrace steps lead down to the garden, the pool and the open countryside. The poo...l is placed at the lower end of the garden, 50 steps from the terrace. The view and the sunsets to be seen from here, as well as from all windows looking out to the back of the house, are magnificent - the famous Chianti hills with vineyards and olive groves and the towers of San Gimignano in the backdrop.
Family antiques, books, terracotta flooring, exposed beams and Mediterranean colourings create a welcoming atmosphere. The house is spacious and even a larger group will find that it is possible to be together in the living and dining areas, or to seek some privacy in one of the many corners both inside and outdoors.
Barberino Val d'Elsa is a hilltop village in the very heart of the Chianti area, half way between Florence and Siena. The Elsa valley is one of the most popular regions in Tuscany. The historic village center of Barberino is surrounded by sturdy medieval walls; one enters the little town via two large portals, one to the North, coming from Florence and one to the South, leading to Siena. Barberino has two bars, a bank, a small shop, an excellent butcher, a restaurant, a wine bar, a hairdresser, a chemistry and a post office. A good supermarket is just outside the village, in the village of Tavarnelle, 2 km north. Here you will find a wider range of shops as well as a market once a week.
The Chianti area
Distances: Florence, Siena and San Gimignano can be reached in approx. half an hour. Volterra, Arezzo and Lucca will take about one hour.
Sightseeing in the vicinity: the romantic church of Sant'Appiano, Greve's market on Saturdays, the important Basilica de Impruneta, the hilltop town of Colle Val d'Elsa, the fortified village of Monteriggioni and the romanesque abbey S. Galgano.
Visiting wine and olive oil producing estates: the cellars of the family estate Le Corti in San Casciano are open to the public and the guests are welcome to make a visit. Most estates sell their wine directly, watch out for the signs 'vendita diretta'. We will provide a list with estates where it is possible to visit the cellars and learn more about how the wine and olive oil are made.
Restaurants: many good restaurants in Chianti can make eating out a way of discovering the area. Simple local trattorias which have existed for years as well as more sophisticated restaurants specialised in refined cuisine stand door to door: we have prepared a list of the places we prefer which you will find in the house.
Craftmanship: the closeby town of Impruneta is famous for its large terracotta pots which originally were used for the lemon trees and to store olive oil. You might also want to look up the nearby town Montelupo which produced pottery for Florence in the Renaissance. The same patterns are still hand-painted today. The town Colle Val d'Elsa on the way to Siena is famous for its crystal glass production. In Florence itself you will find a multitude of craftsmen working with silver, leather, wood, glass, pottery, paper and metal. You only have to walk around the small streets on the southern bank of the Arno river to discover them.
Walking and riding: the hills around Barberino offer wonderful treks. Good guidebooks and maps have been published recently in English as well as Italian which are on sale at most newsagents in Chianti.
Additional amenities include: screens in all bedroom windows, courtyard, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, 3 cars 100 m from the house, furthermore there is a public parking area about 150 m from the house, electric coffee machine, electric water kettle, terrace equipped with tables and chairs for al fresco dining, portable fans in all bedrooms, garden with pool (there are 50 steps leading down from the terrace to the pool), parking for approx.Read more
Left on 09/01/2010 for a stay in August 2010 | Tuscan Paradise
The house was the perfect size for a group of 8 adults and 8 children. The location is outstanding. The house provides the best of both worlds of Tuscany. The front of the house provides direct access to Barberino's quaint historic center and the back overlooks the beautiful Tuscan country side with a terrific patio and pool area. Barberino is in easy driving distance to all the great cities of Tuscany. It is the perfect location to explore Tuscany.
A wonderful experience for a group of friends.
Left on 06/08/2010 for a stay in October 2009 | PennyK
A group of us came together to celebrate a 60th birthday. We stayed for a fortnight. I cannot recommend the villa too highly- the housekeepers were unobtrusive & perfect; (cooking a couple of outstanding meals for us also), the rooms big and comfortable, views from the terraces - panoramic.The little town was quiet, picturesque and within reach of everywhere.(we had a car).The bus for Siena etc is at the bottom of the street. I will return!!
Left on 06/08/2010 for a stay in June 2007 | marja
Wonderful, old palace, lots of place and wonderful surroundings.
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