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.
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.
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.
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.
Barberino is connected to the neighboring village of Tavarnelle Val Di Pesa (2 km) by a lovely walkway that runs through vineyards and olive groves. Every Thursday the village of Tavarnelle has its weekly market. A walk to the market and back is recommended. There are also numerous village fairs and festivals in the area happening throughout the spring and summer months. November is also olive picking season. A trip to the hamlet’s ancient olive pressing mill is a must. Florence is merely 35 minutes by car, Siena is roughly 40 minutes. Both cities are highly recommended; as is Certaldo Alto (15 minutes by car). The home of Boccaccio - (The Decameron) is located in this lovely medieval fortress town constructed of red terracotta bricks. Park in the square in the lower city and take the Funicular up the side of the hill to the village above. San Gimignano is also just a 25 minute drive away. Volterra (another monumental fortress town) is less than an hour’s drive. There is plenty of information in the apartment with maps and suggestions of places to see and things to do. I am always happy to send folks off in the right direction to discover the many treasures (hidden and non) of this beautiful region of Tuscany. Not to forget, the property sits in the western Chianti region... thus lots of wineries to visit and tasting to be had for those so inclined. There is a great organic wine bar in the hamlet itself.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event||Minimum Stay|
My Standard Rate
|Refundable damage deposit||€150.00|
|30% deposit upon booking|
|Notes||A supplemental heating fee of 8.00 euro per day will be applied to stays from November 1st to April 1st.
An additional final cleaning fee of 30.00 euro will be added to minimum stays of 4 nights.
Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (EUR) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.