|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
La Casermetta (140 sq m) is a rare holiday rental find, a free-standing, ancient stone farmhouse hidden in the Chianti Classico hills, with a fully independent, tastefully restored apartment (90 sq m) on the floor below. Our Italian friends call La Casermetta a jewel. Freshly painted throughout in 2016, the house nestles in the hills above San Polo in Chianti, a town slightly removed from the tourist turmoil, yet with excellent essentials shopping and nearby restaurants, plus good road access to all the towns and sights of Tuscany. Restored as a family home with great attention to detail, it is much loved and cared for. The main house features a large live-in country kitchen. A huge oak refectory table and ancient boudoir grand loaded with family photos dominate the dining and living rooms. There are comfortable, quality furnishings and restored Tuscan antiques. La Cantinetta (90 sq m), being in the oldest part of the house, has tremendous character and sense of history. The apartment shares no common doors or walls with the main house above, has its own driveway, entrance and dining terrace, plus pretty views across the valley from all windows.
Restored as our family home, the house is furnished and equipped to a very high standard. Farmhouse antiques, treasures from local antique markets, offer generous spaces so guests can unpack, settle in and feel completely at home. Children are welcome. Additional power supply to the entire house, a luxury in the countryside, supports the many appliances. There's good reliable plumbing and strong water pressure. All windows have screens and internal cypress shutters. Efficient central heating keeps the house warm and cosy in the winter months. In summer, La Casermetta's 400 m elevation promotes refreshing breezes, while thick stone walls help keep the interior cool. A booklet of information covers the A to Z of how things work with support phone numbers just in case you need help.
La Casermetta is set in a generous, fenced private garden beyond which rambles a further ten acres of forest. The lawn is often scattered with daisies and fireflies sometimes come out at night. From the marble garden setting there are views of the Arno valley and across to the famous Vallombrosa Monastery, nestled in the magnificent oak and pine woodlands of the central Apennines. Depending on the season, around the house and garden you may find grapes, plums, raspberries, apricots or figs. The squirrels usually get the hazelnuts and almonds.
In a more recent restoration we created a charming, well equipped apartment, La Cantinetta, one floor below the main house. It has its own entrance and does not share any common walls or doors with the main house above. La Cantinetta can be rented individually, or taken in addition to the main house if you have a large party. It does not share La Casermetta's garden, but has its own private dining terrace which faces both the valley and the cypress lined track that weaves towards Florence. And of course it has free access to the bountiful woodland areas attached to the property. Take a gin and tonic and watch the sun set from the bench overlooking our little olive grove. The apricot tree here bears a surprising amount of fruit, if you can beat the locals. Like the main house, the apartment has its own barbecue, alfresco dining setting, deck-chairs and umbrellas. (Please click on the tab above for availability and further details on La Cantinetta.)
In addition to producing the respected Gallo Nero Chianti Classico wine and the rich, peppery, extra virgin olive oil which is synonymous with Tuscany, San Polo in Chianti is famous for its pursuit of the ancient tradition of iris farming. If you're lucky enough to be there in the spring, the hills around the village will be dotted with fields of blue. At the end of flowering the bulbs are harvested and carefully divided. One half is returned to the earth while the other is trimmed and sun-dried then sold to the French for their perfume industry. An iris festival held each May helps keep this charming tradition alive. The village has two small supermarkets, a butcher and a chemist amongst other basic shops, two restaurants (many more nearby), a post office, a bar/tabacchi where you can buy bus tickets to Florence, a petrol station with after-hours self-service and a bank with ATM. Ten kilometres north towards Florence is Grassina with many shops and boutiques, elegant bars and pasticcerie and services such as laundromat/dry cleaners. The large hospital at Antella is a few minutes out of Grassina. Ten kilometres south is Figline Valdarno which has a lovely piazza (similar to the distinctive one at Greve in Chianti, which is also close) and a huge supermarket selling absolutely everything. (Watch out for Sting at the check-out, his Tuscan hideaway is nearby.)
There are charming walks around La Casermetta, along chestnut shaded tracks, some leading to sudden, surprising views of Florence. Our own land abounds with interesting fauna and vegetation. Stroll, hike or picnic around the area and experience the seasonal offerings of the land. Keen-eyed locals inhabit these woods on weekends and can often be seen clutching trophies – bundles of herbs; asparagus as fine as wheat which make delicious frittata; funghi porcini; chestnuts – all plentiful in these hills.
We offer a very personal service. If you need advice on your trip we’re happy to help if we can. We provide guests with a comprehensive booklet of extra information, revised and updated each year. It includes day trips with detailed driving directions, restaurant recommendations, local specialty shops, tips on where to get the tastiest food, weekly markets, festivals, even insights on food and customs for the uninitiated and our pick of the best on offer close at hand such as the dazzling designer outlet shopping mall, surprisingly close and very popular, the famous Panzano butcher Dario Cecchini, non-touristy places to shop and sightsee, the antique market circuit and even some suggestions for those travelling further afield, particularly Ravello on the Amalfi coast where we spend a great deal of time and have some useful contacts.
Bonjourno Suzanne and Joe, We arrived safely at La Casermatta on Friday - your directions were excellent and we had no trouble finding graziella's house or your beautiful villa. La Cantinetta is perfect. As I'm sure you know, the flowers (especially the poppies) are in bloom everywhere and the cuckoo bird is calling out over the valley. On Saturday, we took your recommendation to visit the open market in greve. What a delightful town. We brought what we needed from the coop and then picked up lots of lovely fresh produce from the markets and came home to have lunch under the umbrella on the porch. Today we drove to volterra - and walked around the old walled town. Now we're in the kitchen cooking up a storm. We are having a great holiday; but will be sad to leave here on Wednesday (although we are heading on to Venice, which we are looking forward to seeing). Just wanted to let you know we couldn't be happier with our choice of accommodation. Everything is perfect.
Warm regards J&S, Brisbane
On a three month trip around Italy and France we stayed in lots of holiday houses and units and not all were worth the effort of writing a comment but this one definitely was. We were delighted with this little apartment, actually it was quite big and comfortable and sensibly arranged and equipped for us to cook and shop and relax and feel at home. We couldn’t fault anything and it was exactly like the pictures showed it. We toured the best of Chiantishire with a lot of useful tips from the owners, the walks around the hills and laneways near the house were charming and the peace was blissful.
We stayed 10 days with our adult daughter in La Cantineta. I fell in love with it the minute the wooden shutter swung back from the front door. I learned later that it has an interesting and surprisingly ancient history. Our rooms had pretty sheets, plenty of pillows and mercifully loads of cupboard space to unpack into, and quality hangers, not a wire one in sight, a small thing that I personally appreciate. We ate most meals on the little terrace overlooking the valley and planned our days helped by the owner's insider tips which were really handy. We ranged quite far some days, even making an early start once and going to Cinqueterre. We went into Florence a couple of times and Sienna of course, Pisa was surprisingly close and so beautiful to see in the flesh. Wonderful outlet shopping tips thanks Suzanne, (more appreciated by my daughter and me than my husband!) and restaurant suggestions helped. The wifi in the apartment was perfect, my daughter has added this comment as she was able to keep in touch with what was happening in the ‘real world’. (I would argue we were in the real world!) Anyway, it was a joyful holiday and we think Cantineta was the ideal place to get the best out of Florence and the Tuscan countryside. Definitely 5 stars. The Shelley family, Montreal
I totally agree with the last review. We left Cantinetta reluctantly after a similar happy experience. The location seemed a bit remote at first (3 or 4 ks drive down to the town) but there was plenty of activity around. We walked a lot and met other tourists and locals foraging around gathering who knows what from the forest and before long we were saying bongiorno to everyone. It was perfect for visiting all the places in Tuscany we’ve always wanted to visit, like Florence and Pisa and Siena and some places we didn’t even know we wanted to visit till we read the notes. We were a bit stressed about driving into Florence so we took the local bus and that was a breeze, and for other trips we drove which turned out to be surprisingly easy. The owner’s notes and directions were amazingly detailed and helpful. We definitely did things we wouldn’t have done without them. We totally enjoyed our holiday and would certainly recommend the accommodation and the experience to others. A big thank you from Marjorie and James (Sydney)
Three of us stayed in this very private, well equipped apartment for a week in October and really enjoyed the experience. The walls are so thick in this part of the house it feels a bit like a friendly fortress. My wife and I took the main bedroom which has a lovely big bed and an enormous wardrobe so no fights. And my brother had the single room with a smaller but adequate wardrobe. He says the big old single bed was very comfy. Both our windows had the same nice rural views, very peaceful. A fourth person (who ended up not coming) would have had the sofa bed which is in a good spot, away from the main living area, so it could have been left up all the time. Everything worked in the bathroom and it was good and spacious so no need to be a contortionist. The kitchen was well equipped and charming touches like the ancient marble sink. There was a good dishwasher, the fridge and oven were full sized, plenty of knives and saucepans so we were able to whip up some delicious meals from stuff we bought at the markets which seem to be on every day in one or another nearby village. The information provided ahead by the owners on how to get there and what to do around the place was clear and detailed. The owner gives way detailed suggestions on outings and insider tips and there are also notes there at the house on how to find nearby restaurants and so on. In all, one of the best and most thoughtful self-catering properties I've stayed in.
I can highly recommend La Cantinetta to anyone looking for a welcoming, comfortable base from which to explore the sights of Tuscany, Florence and Siena. This very private apartment is in a beautifully restored centuries old farmhouse nestled amongst the picturesque hills of Chianti. It was ideal for us (two single ladies traveling together), its spacious rooms tastefully appointed with period features, including huge beams, with all modern appliances as well. There is a BabyQ barbecue in the gorgeous courtyard overlooking the hills. The quaint village of San Polo, where you can purchase provisions and mingle with the locals, is a few kilometers away. My only regret was the five days we stayed wasn't long enough. I would suggest at least a week, better two!
Denise L, Sydney, Australia
We spent 4 weeks at La Casermetta up in the Tuscan hills above the small village of San Polo in Chianti. We stayed in the apartment attached to but separate from the main house. La Cantinetta apartment is beautifully presented and appointed with attention to detail. The interior is well equipped with quality appliances and everything required for an independent self catering holiday. If you enjoy a peaceful rural environment then La Cantinetta is the place to holiday. Remote and tranquil surroundings yet only 30 minutes to Florence and many other exciting places to visit for day trips.
Before leaving home you will receive an excellent booklet with varied and detailed information: from restaurant tips, trip destinations, local knowledge, route directions and even parking tips for first time travellers to Italy. All of the above ensures you are well prepared to make the most of your holiday.
Our apartment was immaculate on arrival including a delightful and thoughtful gift bag and best of all we had weekly staff to service the apartment. Now that's a real holiday!
Our personal focus was FOOD and our modus operandi was to dine out for lunch every day at a new restaurant in order to sample regional specialties. We drove to many small fascinating villages to sample their menus, sometimes returning to our favourites over the 4 weeks we spent in Tuscany. We had some awesome gastronomic food experiences all within easy distance from La Casermetta.
The owners couldn't have been more helpful with additional information that cropped up during our time at La Casermetta. We would highly recommend this fantastic holiday destination.
Maurice and Debbie
La Casermetta is situated on a hill 3.5 km from the village of San Polo in Chianti, an easy 30 minute drive to Florence. The house is set in tranquil woodlands and offers picturesque local walks and a private and peaceful haven after a busy day's sightseeing. We are close to the celebrated Chiantigiana which meanders through the lush wine and olive oil country between Florence and Siena, taking in so many historic and characteristic villages and sites from Strada in Chianti to Greve and Montefiorale, from Panzano to Castellina (detour to the picture-perfect towns of Radda and Gaiole and the delightful, lost-in-time Volpaia) and ultimately Siena. La Casermetta is about 12 km in either direction to the northern and southern autostrada entrances for swift access to other parts of Tuscany such as Arezzo, Pisa, Montepulciano and even the Cinque Terre, as well as the Siena superstrada which takes in Monteriggone, Colle di Val d'Elsa and San Gimignano. San Polo is about half way between Grassina, close to Florence, and Figline, gateway to some largely undiscovered treasures of the Valdarno, some of historic importance like San Giovanni Valdarno, and others simply important, such as outlet shopping; all worth exploring.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
Standard Rate 2016
Apr 1 2016 - Oct 31 2016
3 night minimum stay
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
Please enquire about rates and availability from November to March inclusive.
Prices above are for the apartment, La Cantinetta.
Prices for the main house are detailed under the separate La Casermetta tab at the top of the page.
Rates quoted above include gas, electricity, heating, wifi, towels, linen, and a weekly clean and linen change.
We do not require a deposit, however we do request payment in full 60 days ahead of the booking. Payment is by bank transfer in Euro to La Casermetta's account in Florence. An invoice will be emailed ahead of the due date containing all the details required to make the transfer, either on line or at your bank. As soon as the payment is received in Florence we send your receipt and arrival package.