The 'Aiola' is located in the fertile rural environment of Montepulciano. The house is surrounded by laurel and pine trees as well as cypresses, you can smell the scent of jasmine and observe the twining blossoms of clematis. In the summertime butterflies dance over bushes of lavender. The visitor may relax at various places, e.g. in the small 'paradise garden', in which a pomegranate and a fig tree grow, roses bloom and where a fountain ripples, or on one of the four terraces, from which Montepulciano or San Biagio (Renaissance church) can be seen. The house has been restored and furnished in harmony with the landscape. The furniture has been intentionally chosen for their 'simple' style. The ceilings and floors are made of old terracotta and in the kitchen the original huge fireplace, a long marble table and the old stone sink have been preserved.
History of the 'Aiola': It is assumed that the first walls were built three to four hundred years ago and that the building has gotten its present shape after various reconstructions. The 'Aiola' is to be counted as one of the oldest buildings in the vicinity of Montepulciano.
Formerly it belonged to the “Podere' (country estates) called 'mezzadria' (from 'mezzo' meaning 'half'), whose inhabitants had to give half of the yield they produced to their feudal lord, while they could live and work there with their families free of cost.
The location of the 'Aiola' combines the vicinity to the historical city with the pleasures of the rural environment. Ther are two farmers nearby where wine and olive oil can be bought.
As regards the arrangement of the garden: The plants were chosen partly on the basis of their kind and intensity of scent. Roses, authentic jasmine, acacias and broom together with resinous cypresses and pine trees spoil the nose and soul of every vacationer.
The rigorous landscape of Tuscany is reflected in rows of olive trees passing through the property. A small “fruteto” grows at the back of it with an almond, cherry, peach, apple, Japan plum, pear and plum tree, whose ripe fruit may be enjoyed by the tenants. There are also various herbs and spices which will enrich your meals.
A small so-called 'Fountain of Youth' will refresh you in the hot season, as long as the water supply is sufficient (see also: Taking a bath / Swimming).
Excursions: Situated between Florence and Rome with Siena, Arezzo and Perugia on the sides, the location of Montepulciano offers much that is of interest, be it medieval city layouts like Perugia, Florentine Renaissance squares or the “Lago di Bolsena” – a crater lake with cool water: all can be reached by car.
The closer environment offers thermal baths for cures or sights of architectural interest: e.g. the small Renaissance town of Pienza or the Gothic Siena. Another interesting sight is the holy mountain of Monte Amiata, an extinct vulcano, and the Val d Orca which can be reached in 15 minutes by car.
Courses, Music etc.
According to the festivals mentioned above a branch of the European Academy of Music and Performing Arts Cologne has established in Montepulciano, which offers courses in music, dancing and acting. There is also a language school in Montepulciano, where courses can be booked.
If you are interested in any of these courses we are happy to pass on the addresses.
The landscape around Montepulciano
The southeastern Tuscan landscape is just beautiful: wide perspectives over gentle layers of hills, grapevines, olive groves, rows of cypresses, small roads winding to still seemingly medieval villages, where you can make historical and cultural discoveries and have culinary delights as well.
For example: Pienza, S.Quirico and Montalcino, famous for it's wine of high quality 'Brunello'.
The villages mentioned are bedded in the marvelous valley called Val d'Orcia.
Taking a bath / Swimming
There are public swimming pools in vicinity. We also recommend the Trasimeno and the Bolsena lake and the beaches of the Thyrrhenian Sea. It is an exceptional pleasure to visit a thermal bath when it is cold outside, especially at night when the moon is shining. (e.g. Bagno Vignioni).
The so-called 'Fountain of Youth' at the back of the 'Aiola' can always be filled with fresh water at own expenses.
Exquisite wine-growing area
The 'Aiola' is located in the middle of the wine-growing area of the well-known 'Vino Nobile', which surrounds Montepulciano like a green belt. 'Vino Nobile' as well as 'Barolo', 'Brunello di Montalcino'' and 'Chianti' belong to the most famous Italian wines. To achieve the licence to go by the name of 'Vino Nobile', this quality wine has to be cultivated under certain conditions and regulations. There are various winegrowers of 'Vino Nobile' who offer to taste this splendid wine in a pleasant environment. 'Vino Rosso di Montepulciano' is a recommendable, less expensive, remarkably tasteful table wine. A very impressive experience is the visit of the vast wine cellars under the city of Montepulciano.
Excursions (suitable for kids as well)
Open-air Museums: Renaissance park of Duke Orsini at Bomarzo/near Viterbo. 'il Giardino dei Tarrochi', Garden with sculptures from Niki de St. Phalle at Capalbio/Porto St. Stefano. Garden of Swiss artist and art collector Daniel Spoerri at Arcidosso. 'Parco naturale della Maremma' south of Grosseto
Towns nearby: Siena, Arrezzo, Orvieto, Cortona reachable by car within 1 hour. Perugia, Assisi, Florence, Viterbo, Terni reachable within 1,5 hours. By Intercity departing from Chiusi, you can easily get to the centers of Rome and Florence within about 1 hour.
Archeological Sites (Pre-Roman/Etruscan): Cortona, Chiusi, Tarquinia, Orvieto and Pitigliano.
Others: Abbadia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore and surroundings.