Valle Ambra is set in the beautiful hills of Tuscany, between Siena (25 km) and Arezzo (35 km). From here, one can travel north to Florence (55 km) or Chianti, or explore the unique landscape of the Crete Senesi south of Siena. Destinations like Pienza, Montalcino, and Montepulciano are within easy daytrip distance. The closest village is Ambra, just 7 km away, with shops, post office, pharmacy, restaurants and Cappucino bars. Facilities for horseback riding, polo, beautiful thermal spas and wine tasting are available nearby. Fashion addicts can splurge out at the famous The Mall outlet in Leccio (35 km) for excellent shopping (Gucci, Armani, Pucci, La Perla, Ferragamo, Valentino and many others).
An unpaved road (800 m) leads from the main road to this large estate, surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, and woodlands. The farmhouse has been renovated to offer traditional Tuscan style with modern conveniences. Valle Ambra consists of a main house for six people plus a cottage for two people. It has a well-kept, fenced garden of flowering plants and olive trees, and lovely outdoor areas to relax or dine al fresco. The large patio has a pizza oven and BBQ. A few steps lead to the large swimming pool equipped with lounge chairs, cushions and a comfortable futon in the shade. Just next to the pool area there is the sauna with an extra bathroom with shower.
The owner lives in another villa on the estate, but it is 1.5 kilometers from the house and cottage, so guests have complete privacy with the security of knowing someone is nearby if needed.
Places of interest
The property's location makes excursions to Siena, Arezzo and Florence an easy day trip. But the area below Siena, stretching from the monastery of Monte Oliveto to Montalcino and Montepulciano, offers some rewarding sites that are well worth a visit.
In San Quirico d'Orcia make sure you see the Horti Leonini, an early Renaissance garden, as well as the western door in the city wall and the Collegiata (main church).
Montalcino is beautifully situated on a hill inhabited since Etruscan times, swathed in vineyards and olive groves. It is a quiet, affluent, attractive town with pretty buildings and flower-filled squares, and many shops selling the Brunello di Montalcino.
Montepulcino is a graceful Tuscan hill town, best known for its Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which was being praised by connoisseurs over 200 years ago and can certainly contend with Italy's best today.
Pienza, the unfinished 'utopian' city, was commissioned by Pope Pius II in 1459.
Chiusi is one of our favourites because of its unpretentious liveliness. Compared to Montepulciano it is uncontaminated by tourism. Chiusi has a railway station - from here it is a quick ride to the city centre of Rome.
Monticchiello is a pleasant, walled village, whose crooked watch-tower is visible from afar. Next to the church is a small shop which sells local linens (towels, bedspreads) and materials in pure linen. They use traditional methods and patterns, and the results are extremely attractive.
Visit the abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the semi-derelict monastery of Sant'Anna in Camprena - a very romantic setting which served as location for the film 'The English Patient'.
Sant'Antimo is surely one of the loveliest Romanesque buildings in all of Italy. It is hard to imagine a more pleasing combination of architectural grace and natural setting.
And last but not least, the landscape in this region of Tuscany is spectacular: The Crete Senesi are the eroded clay hills in the Orcia valley. These strange, pale, barren looking slopes, with their bare cliffs, broken gullies and white Jurassic limestone, look altogether more lunar than terrestrial.
Additional amenities include: ipod dock station, hair-dryer in each bathroom, 5-ring gas hob, air conditioning in all bedrooms (not in the two living rooms), american coffee machine, lavazza espresso machine, double sink....Read more
Left on 11/06/2012 for a stay in September 2012 | bobperiniReviewed Nov 6, 2012Stayed Sep 2012
This villa in ambra was really fantastic from just about every perspective. Went with 2 other couples. This villa is very nicely appointed - 4 bedrooms - one of which is in a separate little house which made for nice privacy. All of the bathrooms had showers - which is a huge plus. The pool was perfect as was the sauna - even in September - we used both the pool and sauna every day.
The location is ambra is very very good. It is an easy drive to Siena. Our day trips included Greve, Pienza, Siena, Monepulciano, Montalcino and two of the couple even went to Cinqueterra for the day as well as San G for another day. Ambra itself is a small little town - no big grocery stores but there's a nice little market in ambra for basic groceries.
Some highlights that are must-do's (we've been to Italy 3 times in the past six years, are active travelers and are fairly well-traveled. Love great food, great restaurants and great wine.
1. Go to the Greve market on Saturday morning - it's a must do - get all your veggies, cheeses, meats and some vino there. Great tablecloths. Beautiful antinori vineyard in a town called Badia di Pasignano. Best restaurant near Greve is Lamole di Lamole. Go there for lunch - spectacular!
2. Go to Montalcino - home of the brunello wines. Beautiful. Went to Poggio antico vineyard - great place with great Brunello.
3. Go to Pienza on Sunday - home of pecorino cheese. Lots of cheese shops - one place has porchetta - try it - it's killer. Buy pecorino for munching.
4. Go to Siena - might be worth a two-hour tour. Restaurants in the main square are not good, too touristy. Back streets are wayyy better. Great leather, etc.
5. Go to Montepulciano - old hill town. Definitely go to the Redi winery just off the main square. home of vino nobile de Montepulciano. one of my personal favs. fantastic copper artisan - forgot his name - very cool shop.
6. Go to Cortona.
Ambra location was great - no regrets - would go back!
Left on 06/08/2010 for a stay in June 2008 | StephReviewed Jun 8, 2010Stayed Jun 2008
A gorgeously furnished home hidden away in the Tuscan
countryside. It was clean, comfortable and provided all the amenities we needed. The house and guesthouse comfortably accommodated our four couples.
The only drawback was having to provide a rather large amount cash upon arrival for the balance of what we owed. It would have been much easier to have paid Hidden Italy in advance and have them send it to the owners.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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