Midway between Florence and Pisa, if you follow a certain unpaved road through oak woods, olive groves and fields of sunflowers, you will suddenly find yourself on an open hilltop whose glorious views of the countryside surrounding San Miniato will second your decision to holiday at Casa Fiorentina. A farming estate of 250 acres, it is situated on part of the ancient pilgrim's road to Rome, Via Francigena, and provides a sense of being far the rest of the world yet immersed in a territory rich in history and character. Home to hares, wild deer and pheasants, it is both hunting preserve as well as a place to relax, where the opportunity to hike, lie by the pool with a good book or explore the local culture provides a holiday to suit everyone.
La Fiorentina is the main villa on the top of the hill, the largest of the buildings comprising the estate, and perfectly integrated among the trees and abundant greenery. Nearby is the home of the housekeeper and his family who look after guests during their stay and work in the fields and the large organic vegetable gardens, where guests are invited to help themselves to the delicious seasonal produce. Also on the hillside is a third building which houses an apartment that the owner uses occasionally at the weekend and another large guest apartment. Should villa guests prefer additional privacy, for a supplementary fee, they will be assured of private use of the large pool below the villa, in which case there will not be other guests on the property.
The large villa can be entered either from large glass door in the bright ivory facade or from the brick-finished rear entrance. The front entrance leads to ground floor rooms consisting of a large living and dining room, a fully equipped kitchen with its marble sink, and a corridor leading to three large double bedrooms, all with private bath or shower rooms and one of which has direct access to the garden. Large beds, colourful walls, antique tables and wardrobes, but most of all silence and breathtaking views from all windows, will envelop you in the calm and family atmosphere that is seemingly far from the frenetic rhythm of everyday life. The rear door instead leads up to a first floor, and an additional living room dominated by an enormous fireplace and a group of sofas and easy chairs near large windows. Also on this floor are a large kitchen with marble sink and table reminds you of ancient times, when large families used to eat all together at the end of a long day of work in the fields, and four bedrooms, each with private bath or shower room. All the interiors are decorated in authentic Tuscan Style, with original furniture in wrought iron and chestnut and a touch of welcoming colours in the precious tapestry and in the carpets. To the front and the back of the house are, umbrellas, a barbecue, and large furnished areas perfect for relaxing evenings or enjoyable breakfasts.
The large pool, located 50 meters from the villa, is sheltered from winds yet exposed all day to the sun. The large garden around the pool offers a privileged viewpoint from which you can contemplate the Tuscan countryside and savour the serenity it offers. For this reason the owner decided to build just here a large wooden platform, the perfect spot for dinners and barbeques. Near the swimming pool there are also a gazebo and small wooden house with bathroom, shower and a fridge.
Six kilometres away lies the medieval town of San Miniato, birthplace of Matilde di Canossa and Francesco Sforza and famous for its truffles, which we recommend you to taste during the Feast of the Truffles in November. In the surroundings there are some true jewels of history and architecture to discover. Montaione has a small historical centre well known for its craftsmanship, and ancient neighboring villas and a remarkable number of organic farms. Certaldo, the birthplace of Giovanni Boccaccio, has a very fascinating well-preserved medieval castle and a thriving cultural centre, home of the theatre and music street festival, the Mercantia. A bit farther down the road are Volterra, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni. With Florence and Pisa are only a half-hour away and Siena, Lucca and the sea-cost of Versilia an hour's distance, Botticelli and Casa Fiorentina is a wonderfully positioned base from which to explore....Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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