The captivating magic of Tuscan hill towns is at its best at Montecastelli, a wonderfully evocative, cone shaped village crowning a steep hill in beautiful, unspoiled countryside. It has a bar/shop and a pizzeria. Medieval village houses line narrow, often stepped streets, opening onto panoramic views. A Romanesque church with a beautifully proportioned marble font, and a crumbling defence tower testify to its long history. The local population is genuinely friendly, and there always seem to be a few children around chatting and playing. A country restaurant is nearby, as are Etruscan tombs. Accommodation
On the edge of the village wall...s, Tasso is a much loved village house with a past as an olive oil mill. With skill and vision the architect has combined the fascinations of this old mill with the needs of its new owners. After sensitive rediscovering and restructuring it has become a truly stunning property. The house, on three storeys, occupies one half of a large building built into the hillside. Wide doors open into the ground floor, one at the side, the other lower down the hill at the rear. Both open into the heart of the house, the olive mill, now a huge kitchen/ living room, whose brick vaulted ceiling stretches up almost 4 metres. Traces and hints of its past are left to enhance the whole. The floor is paved with marble. The excellent kitchen equipment is specially chosen to suit the passionate culinary skills of its owner and furniture includes a marble top dining table seating 12 and comfortable chairs and sofa. Through an archway a gently winding staircase leads to the first floor; but on the way, look to the right and the achievement of the restorer is revealed. The stone vaulted roof protects an almost square indoor swimming bath, entered past ancient columns, with underwater coloured lighting, marble seats, niches for drinks, and a wave machine for energetic souls. The stairs curve upwards to the first floor. Here, the twin bedroom has a separate shower room, the twin/double bedroom has an ensuite shower room, and the master, double bedroom has its own marble shower room. Old ceiling decorations uncovered in the restoration are left to link with the past and a railing in front of french windows forms a romantic spot for a celebratory nightcap watching the stars.
Curved steps leading out from the living room take you up to the beautiful garden, which stretches below the top of the village walls. Here, pergolas, perfumed roses, shade trees and furniture for romantic meals al fresco enhance the enjoyment of stunning views of the hills. Covered with forests, olive groves and arable fields, these hills are extraordinarily good walking countryside, criss-crossed with ancient salt trading and pilgrim routes, extinct silver and copper mines, the 10th century castle Rocca di Sillana, and Etruscan remains. Following these mapped trails allows an exciting insight into history. San Dalmazio, a village 10 mins drive away has an excellent simple restaurant and a couple of shops. Pomarance a few minutes further, has plenty of shops, banks and services, larger historic towns and the coast are all easy trips by car. Aesthetically stunning with practical efficiency, Tasso allows privacy and relaxation and a chance to enjoy the hidden treasures of eternally fascinating Tuscany.
Left on 10/02/2011 for a stay in July 2011 | Lynnesrob
This is one of the best houses we have stayed in Italy. Such an unusual property and very comfortable. Well equipped and very roomy. Lovely terrace and great pool. Nice to be able to have little boy in pool at any time of day without any suncream worries. Quite well positioned for touring about the area. The village is beautiful but it lacks amenities which would make it perfect.
Lovely setting, holiday full of frustrations!
Left on 10/11/2010 for a stay in August 2010 | Family Davies
There were errors in the directions (will specify if you like). Nobody was there to greet us on the evening or in fact at any point during our stay. Property itself lovely but we were frustrated by details of the conversion, eg the absurd floor lighting: it was hard to find the appropriate switches and almost impossible to find a light to read by in the evenings. When we arrived the strip lights above the table were not in place but in a dusty corner, we could not locate any lights to cook by and after a couple of days the toilet in the master bathroom was leaking water - over 2 gallons a day which we dealt with by rigging up plastic bottles and bowls. We rang all the contact numbers we had, in the village, in the area and in London. Got no reply for over 24 hours, and when we did speak to the representatives they were unable to assist us on the phone and did not ring us back as promised. The plumber did not come until our last full day. This was all a great shame as everything else was lovely: the garden, location, swimming pool, terrace, bedrooms.
The Jones family, Hampton
An excellent, relaxing getaway from it all holiday
Left on 10/11/2010 for a stay in August 2010 | The Jones family, Hampton
We thought the location fantastic with loads to do. It wouldn't suit everyone as it's quite a distance from any of the major sites, so a good amount od driving but the advantage is that it's not too far from any of them (1-1.5 hours max). We did day trips to Volterra, San Gimigano, Siena, Florence, Massa Maritima and Cecina over a two week period. Restaurants also a good drive away, so we cooked in the great kitchen on many evenings.
AN EXTREMELY HAPPY HOLIDAY
Left on 10/17/2009 for a stay in August 2009 | THE RUSSELLS
THE HOUSE AND GROUNDS WERE ALL WE COULD HAVE WISHED FOR, WELL APPOINTED AND VERY CLEAN.EVERYTHING WE NEEDED FOR A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY AND A RELAXING BREAK WAS PROVIDED. THE ONLY SLIGHT PROBLEM WAS THE WATER LEAK IN THE NON EN-SUITE BATHROOM WHICH MEANT IT WAS OUT OF ACTION FOR SEVERAL DAYS UNTIL THE PLUMBER COULD GET THE NECESSARY PART AND MAKE THE REPAIR.
THE STAFF AT INVITATION TO TUSCANY WERE A PLEASURE TO DEAL WITH DURING THE BOOKING AND STAY AT THE HOUSE.
Stellenbosch South Africa
Left on 10/12/2009 for a stay in September 2009 | Boonzaier
What an amazing Villa - perfect in every way. Beautiful little Village and very tranqual.
Villa is stunning decorated.
A special place
Left on 10/09/2009 for a stay in April 2009 | SZK
We had a wonderful, memorable time in Il Tasso,. We felt like we were staying
in a castle! We could not get internet connection and though it was frustrating
while there, looking back it was fine. The location gave us access to so much
of beautiful tuscany and enabled us to always go back "home". I recommend
this vacation home.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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