Barberino Val d'Elsa Condo Rental Photos and Description
Condo, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, (Sleeps 4 - 5)
This well appointed two-bedroom flat, located within the walls of a quaint fortress town dating back to the year 1200, was featured in an architectural design magazine. Situated on the second and top floor of an ancient palazzo in the heart of the Chianti wine region, midway between Florence and Siena (30 minutes by car in either direction), this beautifully renovated property boasts of a prime position as well as breathtaking views of the countryside; literally one has Tuscany at their fingertips. The owners (American and Florentine), were faithful in preserving the property's medieval charm during the renovation project. The apartment's eclectic mix of antiques and Asian art makes for a cozy spot to hang one's hat while visiting this magical region. The apartment centers around a spacious living room/dining room and well appointed kitchen alcove (the owner is a private chef/culinary instructor who has written a cookbook/memoir); thus, everything needed to create a savory Tuscan meal is found in the fingertip kitchen. The dining area, with its antique marble top table comfortably seating six guests is adjacent the alcove. Two comfortable sofas, for an afternoon of quiet relaxing after a day of sightseeing, complete the main room.
Off the central room, down two steps, is a bedroom with two twin beds and an armchair/convertible single bed. The bedroom's large window opens onto extensive views of the Tuscan countryside. An Italian tiled bathroom with walk-in shower is also located on this level.
The lovely stone and wrought-iron staircase in the main room leads up to the master bedroom with its queen size bed, comfortable sofa and t.v. with satellite disk. A cozy and private terrace, with bistro table, sun umbrella and barbeque completes the upstairs. The extensive views from the terrace makes it the perfect spot to enjoy Tuscan sunsets. To see the region’s patchwork vineyards and silvery olive groves cloaked in rose is nothing short of magical. The bedroom's bi-fora (double arch window) opens onto yet another postcard view of hilltop hamlets, rolling hills and vineyards. Do make it a point to wake at sunrise at least one morning during your stay to view the beauty of a Tuscan dawn. A living picture one will never forget.
Guests choosing to vacation in a hamlet are generally those wanting to mingle with locals; thus experiencing everyday Tuscan life. The charming wine bar 'Canto di Baccio' in the hamlet's tiny square is the perfect spot to do just that. And for those who feel that the choice of village life means giving up an important summer creature comfort (i.e. lounging around a poolside) I am happy to say there are a few lovely country pools within a 10 minute drive of the property where one can have a dip or simply relax after a long day of sightseeing. Just toss swimsuits and towels in the car before setting out for the day. I will supply information on the whereabouts of two lovely pools I feel guests will enjoy.
- non smoking only
- pets not allowed
- wheelchair inaccessible
- children welcome
About Cindy Harding
When my husband and I took on the immense job of restoring our property back in the late eighties it quickly became our third child. So much so that upon its completion in 1992 I insisted we move in rather than use it as our second home. And we did just that. But, after just four years of hamlet life, work took us to Florence. And although we spent weekends in our cozy country gem, our jaunts to the hamlet became less and less frequent as the boys began their soccer engagements and city activities. Since I am a firm believer that homes are to be lived in, I decided to share our enchanting spot with those who would like to experience authentic Tuscan life in an 800 year old fortress town. And believe me, it is an authentic experience. The villagers are very friendly and always happy to open their arms to our guests.
Being a cooking instructor and writer (I am the author of a book entitled: Tuscan Life - Food Tales & Recipes found on-line through www.lulu.com), I've made sure my fingertip kitchen has everything one needs to prepare savory Tuscan feasts. I also conduct hands-on culinary workshops up at the property when asked. Simply email me for particulars about my courses or private dinners hosted in our penthouse apartment in Florence.
Cindy Harding purchased this condo in 1988
Why Cindy Harding chose Barberino Val d'Elsa
Upon relocating to Tuscany from my native California in the late 70's, I happened upon this tiny hamlet on a Sunday afternoon drive through the countryside. I immediately knew I had to have a piece of this paradise. After nearly 10 years of waiting, the day my Florentine husband came home and told me there was a small property in the hamlet for sale, I didn't hesitate. Whatever it was, it would be ours. Patience is a virture I always say. Though our property isn’t large, the 800 square feet we own in the hamlet sits high above everyone, dominating the countryside. I venture to say it is the best spot in the village. How many can boast of having bird eye views of Tuscany in all directions from their bedroom?
The restoration of the property took nearly 2 years (the hamlet is protected by the state's historical society making permits difficult and time consuming). Once finished, the property was featured in the design magazine - Case di Campagna. Needless to say, I was proud. All the money I spent buying that very magazine to get decorating and restoration ideas for two years really paid off! For when a friend of a friend sent the magazine over to see the property I was thrilled.
What makes this condo unique
Enchanting panoramic views, mingling with the locals and excellent country fare, coupled with the tranquility of hamlet life is what our property has to offer its guests.
Guestbook comments from the owner
I invite all of my 'future guests' to read the guest books in the flat as they are very helpful and contain a wealth of information for those who wish to have a real Tuscan experience. Guests over the years have added restaurant suggestions, parking suggestions, driving routes etc. etc.. I couldn't have put together a more extensive information package myself. I truly thank all of my previous guests who have contributed to these books and who have been so positive in their comments of my property and my family. We have enjoyed meeting each and every one of you and have been delighted to share our knowledge and love of Tuscany with you all. We will continue to do so in the upcoming 2007 year.