Sitting high on a ridge looking across the valley to the towers of San Gimignano, Torrevista is one of the oldest farmhouses in a small Tuscan hamlet surrounding a former monastery. Gently restored by a Swiss conductor who for over a generation has embraced the joys of music, wine making, and generous hospitality, it is now available as an excellent place for friends and extended families to gather. This in part is due to the varied accommodation possibilities it offers. There are places indoors and out for everyone to dine together and spacious living areas to sit and recount the day's adventures, but with two independent floors in the main... house and a separate cottage across the terrace, there is also room for privacy.
Entrance to the upper floor is via the stone steps from the poolside terrace. In keeping with Tuscan priorities, one of the first rooms encountered is a spacious country kitchen with travertine counters, a large dining table and a traditional fireplace. On a corridor off the kitchen are three roomy bedrooms, all furnished with country antiques and bright fabrics. One of the two twin bedrooms has its own shower and sink, and the large double bedroom has a sink. There is a shower room near the double bedroom and a bathroom, equipped with a washing machine and separate WC off the entrance landing. Beyond the bedrooms are two living areas that spread the width of the house. The first has a cosy sofa and chairs gathered around the Sat. TV on one side of the room; on the other side is a dining area whose windows have the best interior view of the evocative city across the valley. The second living area, a few steps lower through the double arched entry, has comfortable seating near an open fireplace and an upright piano, tuned and ready for a visiting musician.
Two sets of French doors access the lower floor from the garden, one leading directly into a twin bedroom that connects to a second twin bedroom via curtained glass doors set in a brick arch. A door from the second bedroom leads to a large shower room with sweeping brick arches overhead. This floor also has an eat-in kitchen with doors up to the back garden, making it very handy for preparing those al fresco meals.
As the furnished pergola on the terrace suggests, outdoor dining seems natural on a summer's evening, and whether the nearby barbecue is put to use or the caretaker's home-cooking requested, guests can easily treat themselves to Tuscan ingredients that harmonize with the owner's red wine. Torrevista is an excellent base for day touring. San Gimignano is a UNESCO site for good reason and draws many to stroll their shops or sit on the cathedral steps under a starry sky for an evening of music. Also in easy reach are Colle Val d'Elsa, whose crystal manufacturing dates back to the middle ages, Volterra, whose Etruscan ancestors and alabaster production go back even earlier and, of course, Siena and Florence, once former rivals and now many-starred in any guide book and less than an hour away.
Left on 09/28/2011 for a stay in June 2011 | Josh Roth
Great value here! The hosts were fantastic and personable. The complimentary wine tasting is not to be missed - definitely a highlight of the trip. It's your own piece of heaven - very close to San Gimignano!
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