La Capannina is a delightful 2 story house right inside the little hilltown of San Giovanni d'Asso, not far from Siena. Situated near a medieval castle, this villa was originally a stables built in the 16th century. It has been carefully renovated and offers comfortable accommodations for up to 5 people in its 3 air-conditioned bedrooms with 2 full bathrooms. The house opens onto a courtyard which includes a beautiful but small oval pool and offers panoramic views over the Val d'Orcia, with some of Tuscany’s most dramatic scenery. The courtyard is furnished with a table, six chairs and a large umbrella. Four steps down there are three sunbeds and two deckchairs, and at the end of the outdoor area is a bathroom with shower/changing room, which serves the swimming pool.
San Giovanni d'Asso is located in the Val d'Orcia, an enchanting and miraculously unspoilt valley in southern Tuscany, listed as UNESCO world heritage in 2004. Siena, Pienza, Cortona, Arezzo, Orvieto, San Gimignano, Volterra, Perugia, Viterbo and a wealth of sites and attractions are within easy reach. Montalcino, the classic Tuscan hill town topped by a fortress and famous for its Brunello wine (as well as the less pricey Rosso di Montalcino) is nearby. The famous Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore is only 7 km away, and also the Sant' Antimo Abbey, one of the finest Romanesque churches in Tuscany, is within easy daytrip distance.
La Capannina is an ideal choice for those who wish to be close to shopping, restaurants and cafes, yet be in a private home. San Giovanni d'Asso has approximately 300 inhabitants. La Capannina is situated in the upper part of the village - the "Borghetto", near the ancient castle, which is now the seat of the municipal authorities and which hosts the famous White Truffle Market in the month of November. The white truffle is prized and famous throughout Italy, as well are the other agricultural products of the area: excellent wines, oil, savoury cheeses and honey. In this upper part of the village there is a fine restaurant just a short walk from the the house. The lower part of San Giovanni d'Asso has an 'osteria' (simple restaurant), a baker and butcher, a pharmacy, a post office, a supermarket and cafe/bar. There is no public transport in San Giovanni, therefore it is essential to have a car. The nearest airports are approximately two and a half hours' equidistant drive away from Rome, Florence and Pisa.
La Capannina borders on the garden of Villa San Giovanni (also featured in our portfolio) and although they each rent separately, if you have a large party of up to 21 people they make an ideal combination. A parking is approx. 100 m from the house, but you can reach the square near the house with your car to load and unload your suitcases and shopping bags.
Places of interes
The property's location makes excursions to Siena, Assisi, Orvieto, Perugia, 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 center 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 sympathetic 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 altogehter more lunar than terrestial.
Pool in winter?
Tuscany is famous for its Hot springs, belonging to a geothermical system that more or less encircles Monte Amiata, the most spectacular being Saturnia in the south west of the region. Steaming water collects in a number of white limestone basins - a rare natural spectacle and great fun to bathe in! Swimming possible both in the natural basins and in smart thermal baths. Saturnia offers a wide range of comforts and even a sauna.
Close to the property is Bagno Vignoni which has been popular since Etruscan times. St. Catherine of Siena is said to have appreciated its thearpeutic qualities, as is Lorenzo the Magnificent, whose family built the splendid arcaded pool - a kind of flooded, bubbling piazza, famously used by Tarkowsky for some of the more surreal passages of his film 'Nolstalgia'. Not far from this antique piazza there is a hotel with a lovely open air swimming pool, fed from hot springs. This is also available to external guests.
Bagni San Filippo may go into the books as the world's smallest thermal spa - a telephone booth, a few old houses, outdoor spring in the middle of the woods with glistening limestone formations and one small hotel with a public pool.
In Rapolano Terme there are two wonderful thermal spas - particulary beautiful are the San Giovanni Terme.
The Montepulciano thermal springs can also be enjoyed in an indoor thermal swimming pool. Have yourself thoroughly pampered! Just relax here!
The pictures below show the entrance to the house, view onto the village of San Giovanni d'Asso in the distance, the ancient hot water square in Bagni Vignoni (about 20 km from the house), the 'island of the cypresses' - famous natural monument of the Val d'Orcia (about 20 km from the house).
Additional amenities include: cooker, electric kettle, italian mocha machines (not electrical like in a bar, cd-stereo/radio, iron and ironing board, small oven, 100 m from the house, parking approx, hair dryer in each bathroom, air conditioning in the three bedrooms, but the one you screw together and put on the stove)....Read more
Left on 08/05/2010 for a stay in July 2010 | Malcolm & Elaine
We couldn't have been happier with La Capannina. The villa for us were perfect:great view, lots of room, nice showers, dipping pool to get out of the hot tuscan sun...]perfect. You might consider upgrading and adding 2 more sun deck lounges. They were rather cheap and uncomfortable and there weren't enough for all of us to lie in the sun on the days we relaxed. For some reason during the last 2 days the air conditioner kept turning off no matter what we did. This happened in both bedrooms... couldn't figure it out so we had 2 nights that were warmer than we would have liked.
The other great thing about this villa is the town and the restaurant in the hotel run by Massimo. He became a good friend. We ate at his restaurant often, had morning coffee there and my adult kids stayed up late several nights with him and his friends. It really gave our young adults a chance to get away from us and have some nighttime activity. The access to the hotel's internet was also extremely important... unfortunately we are all now tied together, not only at a professional level but at a personal level, on the internet. Even for the simple task of making reservations at the Uffizi or scheduling a tour at a vineyard it is vital.
Thnk you for recommending this villa. I have already shared your info with friends who are going to Italy and trust our recommendation.
When we travel to Italy again we will only use Hidden Italy.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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