A 12th century monastery, and later the possession of powerful Florentine nobility, this large hilltop property is now a beautiful place to stay in the hills of Chianti. Surrounded by carefully tended gardens and extensive olive groves, the house is coloured a Tuscan deep ochre that contrasts beautifully with the green of the landscape. The villa accommodation is on the ground and first floors, with a further section, more lightly coloured, belonging to friends of the owners. There is generous furnished outside space, and a swimming pool, which is divided from the neighbour's pool by a flowered hedge.
The ground floor of the villa is accessed either from the back garden or the front piazza. The entrance from the garden leads to a large living/dining area furnished with lovely antiques, comfortable sofas, and a corner fireplace. The well-equipped kitchen is tucked just off the dining room and opens to the front piazza, to the side of which is a pergola furnished for outdoor meals. Four bedrooms line the hallway off the dining room, and face a now-enclosed outer wall of the ancient monastery. There is a twin /double bedroom with en-suite shower room with small washing machine, two twin bedrooms, one suitable for children, that share a shower room, and one large double bedroom with an adjoining bathroom. All the bedrooms are nicely furnished with bright fabrics and Tuscan country furniture. Between the garden entrance and a bank of lavender and rose bushes is a shaded travertine table perfect for outdoor dining.
Further accommodation is on the 1st floor, with stairs leading up to the living area with comfortable sofas and a dining table for six and the nearby kitchen has both the modern convenience of a dishwasher yet the old-fashioned charm of a county fireplace handy for indoor grilling. The three bedrooms, which can be set up with twin or double beds on request, are all furnished with simple country antiques, have wonderful views from all windows and are but steps away from one of the two shower rooms or very large bathroom.
When guests of Villa Oliveto wish to invite an extra couple of friends, there is a small two bedroom apartment on the lower garden level available for such moments (though never rented separately). Check with agent for terms and description.
Sitting on this hilltop it is hard to believe that Florence, a Renaissance jewel and UNESCO treasure, is but 30 km. away. What you look out on are a natural palette of green and gold and the bell towers of nearby villages. And yet, a bus or train from nearby towns could have you in the heart of the city in 40 minutes, ready to explore its history and the art around every corner. Should you stay, however, there are horses nearby to take you on a slower exploration of the rolling countryside and the company of the silvery trees that surround you. The owners, by the way, produce wonderful olive oil from these trees - be sure to try some, and if you happen along at harvest time, join in and watch the transformation of laden tree to beautiful golden-green oil. What could be a better Tuscan experience....Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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