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Martha Specht Corsi

Member since: 2013
Speaks: english, italian

Near Florence, Historic Castle In The Tuscan Valley Of The Casentino,

9 Reviews
Sleeps8
Bedrooms 5
Bathrooms3
Half Baths1
Property type castle
Minimum Stay 7 nights

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Overview

Arezzo Area Castle Rental Photos and Description

Restored Medieval Castle With Modern Amenities Near Florence And Arezzo

Sleep where Dante slept. Beautifully appointed castle overlooking the Casentino valley in Tuscany.

Savor the peace of the ancient hamlet of Porciano with its stone paved walkway and breathtaking views.

Restored and decorated by the castle owner, Castello Di Porciano is the perfect place to explore the Tuscan countryside and the Casentino Valley.

The only Castle in the valley which has come back to life both as a museum and as a home was originally restored and decorated by the castle owners, Flaminia Goretti de Flamini and George Specht, as their “dream come true”. Today, their daughter Martha keeps alive this dream, offering the family home in the castle for rent to discerning travelers looking for the unusual and unexplored.

Beautiful vistas, quiet, very comfortable, private and relaxing. Your chance to live in a restored medieval castle that once hosted Dante and to sleep where Dante slept!

This gem conjugates the uniqueness of a medieval keep furnished with antique artworks and modern comfort and is located on the upper floors of the fortified tower.

It is composed of a large living and dining room area, with an antique fireplace, cozy sofas and a table which accomodates 12 people. On the same floor, a separate fully equipped kitchen, with wooden custom made cabinets and hand made ceramics. Above the living room a mezzanine offers an elegant studio area with a comfortable couch and a small guest toilet.

On the upper floor, the family bedrooms, two double and one single, furnished with beautiful antique objects, and two bathrooms with bathtub and shower which are decorated with traditional hand painted tiles.

The two guest bedrooms, one double and one twin, share a large private terrace and a bathroom with bathtub and shower. Adjoining is a fully equipped laundry area. At the top of the tower a breathtaking terrace, overlooks the Casentino Valley and offers unforgettable sunsets.

More Details
Suitability:
  • Events Allowed
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • non smoking only
  • not suitable for children
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Martha Specht Corsi (Property Manager)
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english, italian

About Martha Specht Corsi

My name is Martha Specht Corsi and I am the owner of Castello di Porciano. This beautiful tower was restored by my parents, George Specht and his wife Flaminia Goretti de Flamini.

Throughout the years we organized many cultural events in Porciano to attract quality tourism to the Casentino Valley.

I have hosted lectures, seminars, concerts, Dante readings, as well as theater productions. These events are held in Dante’s Hall or on the lovely grounds in front of the Castle.

I am fascinated with the history of everyday life of the past centuries and the survival of forgotten arts and crafts. The magic of this place and its beauty in all seasons have inspired me to share it with others interested in charming places off the beaten track.

I have particular interest in hosting groups of artists, writers, journalists or history and art buffs in Porciano. It is possible to organize lectures by university professors and experts in various fields.

For many years I have given lectures at Studio Art Centers International in Florence on Tuscan traditions related to food and the history of cooking. I have written The SACI Cookbook. Every year I invite to Porciano groups of American students from Harding University in Florence. On these special occasions they experience the “real” untouristy Tuscany of small towns and castles, ancient monasteries and country churches and enjoy the flavour of old local recipes.

Martha Specht Corsi purchased this castle in 1778

Why Martha Specht Corsi chose Arezzo Area

Comfortable, quiet and relaxing. Casentino is the perfect location to explore the Tuscan countryside from Arezzo to Florence and return to wonderful evening meals prepared with local products.

The Castello di Porciano offers the peace and hospitality of the upper valley of the Arno River, Casentino.

The village stands at 600 meters above sea level, and is only one mile away (1.5 km) from the local town of Stia. Stia is a lovely small town built where the Arno and Staggia rivers meet.

The Romanesque church in the square surrounded by archways is one of the most beautiful pievi (parish churches) of the Casentino. In the summer you will be able to enjoy the park along the river where you can sun yourself, wade or swim in the clear waters of the Arno river.

The sources of the Arno are very near Stia so the water is still clean and pure. In the mountains around Stia and Porciano the National Park Reserve known as the Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi offers a number of hiking trails and walks.

This beautiful tower was restored by my parents, George Specht and his wife Flaminia Goretti de Flamini, as a romantic love nest.

For this reason, this magnificient place is not just a business for me: it is my house, my life, the place where my heart resides even when I am far away.

I wish Porciano to be a haven for those interested in the charm of this special residence. We can offer you a unique travel experience in an exclusive venue to relax and explore this hidden and untouched part of Tuscany.

What makes this castle unique

Beautiful vistas, quiet, comfortable and private.

We speak English and Italian and can provide our customers with all the assistence and advices they might need in order to make their stay as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

We are able to offer our guests several kinds of courses and activities to complete a unique and unforgettable travel experience: Italian language courses, cooking classes, guided tours, guided excursions in the Casentino Forests National Park, horseback riding nearby, wine and food tastings, ayurveda massages, art history and history lectures and much more. All our courses, activities and lectures are held by qualified instructors and lecturers.

A lovely golf course is only 20 minutes away, very near the hilltown of Poppi.

The ideal customer of Porciano Castle is a sophisticated traveller, not interested in touristy, crowded, standard destinations; an art lover who will appreciate the uniqueness of this magic venue and enjoy the charm of a matchless, one of a kind, customised travel experience.

Staff speaks English and Italian and can provide customers with all the assistence, advice and services they might need in order to make their stay as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

We are able to offer our guests several kinds of courses and activities to complete a unique and unforgettable travel experience: Italian language and culture courses, cooking classes, guided tours, guided excursions in the Casentino Forests National Park, horseback riding nearby, wine and food tastings, yoga and pilates lessons, massage, art history and history lectures and much more. All our courses, activities and lectures are held by qualified instructors and lecturers.

Reviews

4.9
based on 9 traveler reviews

Near Florence, Historic Castle In The Tuscan Valley Of The Casentino,
average rating of 4.888889 based on 9 reviews
Waynesville, NC USA
5

Attention--- Literary, Scholarly and Cultural Travelers: A Dante Lover's Dream

  • 5 of 5

Il Castello di Porciano offers the only opportunity I know of in the world to live in a Medieval Castle of extreme literary and historical importance—to eat and sleep and look out of the same windows, over the same stunning hill country of the Casentino, as Dante did some seven hundred years ago. Dante’s life brought him twice to this region—first as a twenty four year old citizen soldier, and later as a wretched exile from his beloved Florence, in search of refuge and sanctuary. Looking south from the roof of the castle—which is at your disposal as a guest at Porciano—your eyes are passing over numerous sites mentioned by Dante in The Divine Comedy, as well of sites associated with the poet’s own life. Because Dante was, in the spring of 1289, himself a soldier in the Battle of Campaldino, (the battlefield of which is clearly visible in the distance from Porciano) he was able later to mine his memories of this region and of his experiences and encounters there, when composing his masterpiece.

Just a few of the “Dante” related sites within the view from the Castle:

Poppi—another castle in which Dante took refuge during his exile. There is a large statue of the poet in the castle courtyard overlooking the Battlefield of Campaldino. Ca. 14 km. from Porciano

Archiano—a stream, which feeds into the Arno. When asked by Dante, in Canto Five of Purgatorio, why his fallen body was never recovered after the battle of Campaldino, Buonconte da Montefeltro explains in detail how his body was swept from the banks of this stream by a giant rainstorm (made by the devil for this express reason) and lost in the mire of the Arno. Ca. 25 km. from Porciano

La Verna—where St. Francis received the Stigmata. In Canto XI of Il Paradiso, Dante speaks of “the rough crag between Tiber and Arno [where Francis] received from Christ the last seal”. The Monastery, which houses these sites, is wonderful. Ca. 38 km. from Porciano

And if you continue a bit farther south, you arrive at the towns of Arezzo, Cortona and San Sepolcro which contain the astonishing masterpieces of Piero Della Francesca—an early Renaissance Master strangely not represented in Florence.

Within the Castle

Of course, living within any medieval castle is something that all of us dream of from around the age of three, but to actually live (even as an adult) in such a stunningly beautiful, and soulful medieval monument as Porciano, is more than I could have hoped for. The living quarters—i

  • Submitted: Dec 17, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Plymouth, Massachusetts
5

The most charming of charming Tuscany!

  • 5 of 5

The castle was an amazing opportunity to enjoy Tuscany in unique style and comfort. I wouldn't have missed it. The knowledge of the staff and owner is rich with great recommendations for restaurants local sites and beyond. Arrangements were made for a cooking class, special diners to be brought to the castle, personal guided tours of local landmarks, etc...all our needs and desires were met with thoughtfulness and enthusiasm! There are so many wonderful historic sites to see in the surrounding areas. However, the most magical, was to return to "our" castle at the end of the day. Who gets to say, "Did your remember to bring the keys to the castle"?

  • Submitted: Nov 6, 2015
  • Stayed: Oct 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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New York
4

Excellent adventure

  • 4 of 5

We have now stayed at the Castello do Porciano three different times, dating back to 2000. If you are looking for a rustic Tuscan adventure, this is the place. The castle does not disappoint. The history and culture that we experience exceeds our expectations every time. This is a family home, and has all you should expect from a building that is close to 1000 years old. And all you should need as a traveler in the twenty-first century. Martha and Federica are wonderful hostesses and share their love of the region with all who visit. It's especially great for small groups who want to be able to travel separately during the day to local sites and further afield in the region, and then gather together for evening meals. Be sure to request a cooking lesson from Nella!

  • Submitted: Nov 4, 2015
  • Stayed: Oct 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Scandicci, Firenze
5

Porciano Castle, Stia, Casentino area of Tuscany

  • 5 of 5

I have been going to the Casentino and visiting the Porciano Castle for many years. It is one of the most beautiful treasure, off the beaten tourist track, of Tuscany.

From the Castle by car you can reach many incredible medieval castles, mills, villages and religious sites.

The Porciano Castle, the Romena Castle and the Pieve di Romena, the Poppi Castle, the La Verna sanctuary of St. Francis, etc.

The Arno river is a stream that passes through the village of Stia. It is clear, fresh, and incredibly beautiful. There are trails that you can walk on near the river and in the mountains of the Casentino.

  • Submitted: Mar 18, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

It is THE place i go in Italy

  • 5 of 5

I lead a small tour to Italy to study community design, and we always stay at the Castello. This is what i tell people about it.

"We will do and see lots of things. But we will come home to our castle each night, where we can sit on the roof terrace and watch the sun set over the Casentino Valley.

The Castello di Porciano was built 1,000 years ago. It was home to "the Supreme Poet," Danté, following his exile from Florence in 1301.

The Tower was remodeled in the late 20th century. With walls 5 feet thick and a living room 20 feet high, the Tower will take your breath away before you even make it up to the roof terrace behind the battlements.

It’s important to realize that the castle is comfortable, but it is not luxurious. The baths are down the hall and have tubs with hand showers. So the Tower does not offer the maximum of luxury.

It offers the maximum of Experience.

The owner of the Tower, the Contessa Corsi, warns her visitors “You can make excursions to other towns, or you can stay right here all day. My guests always regret that they did not spend more time in the castello.” We will face the same dilemma. Do we stay and steep in the ambience of the tower, or venture out to other delights?

On your visit you will see what features make a community so compelling, so rich in life, that it is continuously inhabited for 500 years with only a minimum of change. You can visit several towns in the area, each with an historic center hundreds of years old, with farm and forest within easy walking distance. Each with a different way of creating the places that nurture community. And tiny hamlets, including your own Porciano, and see how built forms can be compact, accommodate privacy, and enjoy fresh food and nature at your doorstep. Porciano alone contains almost every lesson you need to create an exquisite community of health, wellness, and prosperity.

You will be staying a short walk from Stia (included in “The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany”). You can get to know this little community well as your daily shopping takes you to the green grocer, baker, butcher, and wine shop. "

If i am good in this life my Paradiso will be Porciano.

  • Submitted: Mar 17, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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San Jose, CA, USA
5

Exhilarating and Unforgettable Vacation Place

  • 5 of 5

How would you like to hold the key to a big Castle door in your hand and be the custodian of a medieval Castle for a week or two? It is an incredible feeling!

I can attest to that as I have stayed at the Castello di Porciano at least half a dozen times by now, at various times of the year, mostly with a group of good friends. The owner of the castle, Martha Specht-Corsi (affectionately called “Contessa”), was frequently on site to help with any and all questions - she is bilingual (English and Italian) and speaks French fluently. She will go out of her way to make guests feel comfortable and at home. Her hints and tips what to do, where to go, where to eat pizza (and where not), what to buy at the local markets are priceless. Many times she or one of her local staff would bring local, definitely organic fruit or vegetables for us to enjoy. In addition a well-stocked fridge waited on arrival every time. Self-catering in the castle kitchen is a lot of fun with a full range of modern appliances, as well as all sizes of pots and pans and dishes.

Stia, the next village at the bottom of the hill, and Pratovecchio which borders on Stia offer plenty of nice stores, grocery markets on certain days of the week and smaller fruit and vegetable, meat and cheese shops as well as bakeries. We took turns on making runs (well, mostly in the car) down to the bakery in the morning, picked up some delicious schiacciata (flat specialty bread with grapes) or some pasta sfoglia (puffed pastry) with fruit or marmalade inside and had breakfast al fresco on the castle grounds.

Last year I was again there in April and May, when thousands of hybrid irises were in bloom - a sight to behold. Apart from many trips to sites in the Casentino Valley and beyond, we also participated in a local historic walk over soft hills and cool valleys, passing a Sanctuary and ending at a medieval flour mill. Even after many stays, there are always new places and towns to visit, new bars and restaurants to explore and many nice people to meet. By the way – if you must (and I had to, in order to send my blogs to my friends at home) – WiFi is available throughout the castle and on the grounds, as well as on the porch of a Cottage facing the castle, lovingly called “internet café”.

I’m very much looking forward to being back there in September this year.

  • Submitted: Mar 14, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Mutti, I appreciate your review and all the beautiful things you said about Porciano. As you and your friends already know, we do our best to provide customers with all the assistence, advices and services they might need in order to make their stay as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Come and visit us again, we are always looking for art lovers who may appreciate the uniqueness of the venue we are offering! Best, Martha
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Map

Nearest Airport
45 Kilometres
Florence
Nearest Barpub
1 Kilometres
Stia
Nearest Golf
12 Kilometres
Poppi
Nearest Train
3 Kilometres
Stia
Nearest Motorway
40 Kilometres
Arezzo
Nearest Restaurant
1 Kilometres
Stia
Nearest Ski
15 Kilometres
Fangacci
Car: necessary

The Casentino is the first valley formed by the Arno river; a land of natural beauty, ancient country churches, castles and sanctuaries. Surrounded by the peace of the Casentino Forest National Park, you will explore a hidden and still undiscovered corner of the Tuscan countryside, away from the standard and usual tourist routes and destinations.

Many small hill towns, known for their beauty and history, are very close to each other like Poppi, Bibbiena, Anghiari and many others.

Florence and Arezzo are only just over one hour away. Siena and Cortona are lovely day trips from Porciano.

Excellent restaurants featuring local products and specialties. Romanesque churches and monasteries open for visits. National park with marked hiking trails for all levels. Public picnic areas throughout the park.

The Casentino is an area which maintains the appeal of a lesser-known Tuscany where the sense of tradition is still strong. The wish of its inhabitants of not loosing their bond with past history is felt everywhere.

Come and enjoy the Real, Traditional Tuscan Hospitality!

Photos

Rates & Availability

Stia Castle Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
EUR
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
 
Summer 2016
Jun 1 2016 - Sep 30 2016
7 night minimum stay
$3,734
$11,862
 
 
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay
$3,295
$10,544
 

Additional information about rental rates

Final cleaning fee $110

Cancellation Policy: guests will receive: a full refund if they cancel at least two weeks before the start of the holiday; a 50% refund if they cancel up to 1 week before the start of the holiday; no refund if they cancel within 1 week of the start of the holiday.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the manager or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Amenities

Arezzo Area Castle Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • castle
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 250 m²
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Rural
  • Village ...
Theme:
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
General:
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Elevator
  • Fireplace
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Washing Machine ...
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
Bathrooms:
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub , shower , bidet
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , tub , shower , bidet
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , tub , shower , bidet
    Bathroom 4 - toilet
  • All renovated spacious baths with Italian tiles. Separate hot water for each bath.
Bedrooms:
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king , master bedroom, second level of residence
    Bedroom 2 - 1 double , Badessa bedroom, second level of residence
    Bedroom 3 - 1 twin/ single , single bedroom, second level of residence
    Bedroom 4 - 2 twin/ single , Possible as a king bed. Third level of residence, terrace.
    Bedroom 5 - 2 twin/ single , Third level of residence, terrace.
Entertainment:
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Television
Outside:
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
Suitability:
  • Events Allowed
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • non smoking only
  • not suitable for children
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Attractions:
  • churches
  • festivals
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • rock climbing
  • skiing
  • swimming
  • tennis

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