Villa Gemma crowns the top of a hill, on the slopes of Monti della Calvana, in western Mugello. The villa dates back to the time around 1300 and was first mentioned in historical sources in 1427. Although there is nothing left of the antique towers (probably defense towers), mentioned in the documents, the villa still looks like a small fortress: the south-west side, which faces the valley, is protected by a sloping wall, on which this massive square building rests. The villa can be reached via a private drive, bordered by age-old cypress trees. A giant chestnut tree, sculptured round bushed and flowers in terracotta pots decorate the gravel forecourt. From here the eye roams over 3500 m2 of garden and the surrounding landscape - private paths lead around the property: This country estate stretches across 150 hectares - olive trees, fields and woods as far as the eye can see. Once you have passed through the entrance gates, you step into a shared inner courtyard. During the refurbishment work, wonderful pillars were discovered and there is even a private chapel. In the summer, the courtyard has garden furniture and is just the place for an outdoor meal. The villa is built around this inner courtyard. Nearly all rooms in this 600 m2 house are on the ground floor. The rooms are arranged as follows: andltbandgtGround Floorandlt/bandgt: 1 entrance hall with central 18th century billiard table and several seats along the walls, 1 living room with sofa group in front of the fireplace, 1 small TV room, 1 dining room with large wooden table for 10 people, 1 small `breakfast kitchen` (kitchenette in a small walk-through-room fitted with stove, fridge and dishwasher), 2 double rooms (beds can be arranged as twins), 1 twin-bed room with en suite bathroom (tub/shower), 1 twin-bed room with additional bed for a 3rd person (leads through to other rooms), 1 bathroom (tub/shower), 2 guest washrooms. andltbandgtBasementandlt/bandgt: 1 ancient country style kitchen-dining room with fireplace (oven, fridge, dishwasher). A steep staircase of silver-greyish Pietra-Serena stone leads to the basement. An estate steward might live for some weeks during the year in part of the top floor - he is responsible for the garden and the surrounding countryside. This apartment cannot be reached via the guest rooms but is accessed through a separate entrance, leading off from the above mentioned courtyard, hence not intruding on the privacy of the guests. The interior of the villa is simple and functional. It is largely furnished with antique furniture owned by the family - fitting in well with the rustic, countryside character of the house. Many of the rooms have silkily shining terracotta floors, there are a few wooden ceilings and several antique but well functioning wood stoves. Sit back and enjoy the atmosphere of a house steeped in history and the comfort possible by living together with a large group: Villa Gemma has hired staff working in the house and garden (2 hours a day except Sundays). On request upon arrival it is even possible to organize a cook from Monday to Friday to prepare a midday or evening meal. In summer, the garden invites one to spend more time outside: there is a private pool about 100 m from the house, a shady roof, barbecue and sun loungers on the large lawn. An antique well adorns the spacious garden. There are several restaurants nearby - a particularly good one is 3 km from the house. Florence is within easy reach via the motorway. On shore of Lake Bilancino (the largest lake of Tuscany) at 5 km from the house, there are water sports facilities during summer time (boat rental, sailing, surfing), and there are a number of scenic trekking routes that begin at the lake. An 18-hole golf course is located in Scarperia at 18 km from Villa Gemma. The villa can be rented only between May and October. The villa is equipped with working-antique wooden stoves for heating.andnbsp
Additional amenities include: private chef, medical service, babysitter, restaurant nearby, cot on request, close to public transport, maid service, satellite connection, cot, deckchair....Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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