Set on a wooded hillside halfway between Arezzo and Sansepolcro, this large stone house with origins to the 17th century enjoys a panorama of oak and chestnut woods you will spot in many of the backdrops in works of a famous native son Piero della Francesca. From its wide terraces, the large swimming pool and many a bedroom window views of the Val del Cerfone seems to stretch forever. The valley, renowned for its mushrooms and truffles, takes its name from Cerfo, the god of fertility and health - not a bad omen for a wonderful holiday - and the charming owners of the large villa have created an ambience that echoes the generosity of the view. Perfect for a reunion of family or friends, there is a marvelous sense of space at Casa Cerfone, both the ample areas you look forward to congregating in and the more intimate areas you delight in retreating to. Add to this the organic produce available on site, a coffee/cocktail bar run by the owner and a pizza-maker on standby and you have elements of a splendid vacation.
The approach on the circular drive into the large fenced property passes the owners' home next door and arrives directly at the steps leading up to furnished terraces and an entrance portico. The entrance hall, equipped with computer to catch up on those e-mails, leads onto a wide corridor that opens into a large dining room with a fireplace and tables for 16. Off the dining room are two sitting rooms with comfortable sofas, one with a television, another with a card table and French doors out to a wide grassy terrace overlooking the pool. Also off the dining room is a smaller sitting room leading out to the side gardens that is just right for a cup of tea or time with a good book. The gleaming kitchen is large and very professional yet user-friendly and even has a high-speed dishwasher. Also on this floor are two WCs and a bar the owner will man on request, which has access to a furnished front terrace, a great place for a cocktail or after dinner espresso.
All six bedrooms, four doubles and two that can be set up as twins or doubles on request, are on the upper floor and furnished with a nice mix of Tuscan country antiques and nice fabrics. While varying in size, each is equipped with Sat. TV, internet connection and small fridge, and all have an ensuite shower room. One of the larger bedroom suites has corner fireplace, sofa bed, table and chairs and a double bed on a mansard level, as well as an independent access to the side garden and a small loggia overlooking the organic hillside gardens. Surrounding the house are several areas designed to enjoy the outdoors - tables near the barbecue and pizza oven, a furnished gazebo for meals on the terrace, and a wide flagstone surround and furnished pergola by the large swimming pool. Poolside there is even an honesty gelato bar - what could be more Italian that that.
With all the surrounding greenery, it is surprising how close you are to lively markets and fascinating medieval cities. The walled city of Anghiari, which the Florentines once fought to posses, now fills its streets with music in a yearly festival, while stately Arezzo, famed for its artisans and monthly antiquarian market, turns out in costume in September to re-enact the Joust of the Saracen in its large central square. And these towns, as well as nearby Monterchi and Sansepolcro, all are graced by the serene frescoes of Piero della Francesca - an artistic treasure hunt for aficionados of the early Renaissance. For its more adventuresome visitors, Nature surrounds and offers great opportunity for hiking, mushroom hunting, horse trekking, fishing, even sky diving - all of which makes a return to the large pool-with-a-view and its house on the hill even more appealing. At Casa Cerfone there is room for everyone's Turscan Dream....Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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