|Minimum Stay||3 - 7 nights|
It is impossible not to fall in love with the garden at Casa San Mario; the big chestnut tree offering shade on a hot summer’s day, the terracotta patio where hours can be spent enjoying a lazy lunch or dinner, the generous pool where you can cool off after a morning spent exploring Volterra, or, as in the case of my daughters, topping up a tan.
Younger children can enjoy making dens in the garden or exploring the shaded woods, and when the sun sets the whole family can take part in hotly contested ping-pong tournaments on our floodlit ping-pong terrace. For a unique experience, the garden boasts a truly Italian pizza oven, where we enjoy making pizza and bread.
The house is a large, classical Tuscan farmhouse. Because of its traditional building style and airy rooms the house stays pleasantly cool, even in mid-august. It is ideal for both adults and families, and has 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, as well as a separate toilet in the utility room. There is a living room upstairs, equipped with a large fireplace, where in the cooler seasons it is pleasant to play cards and chat, and two smaller sitting room/studies downstairs. Our favourite room in the house is the very large farmhouse kitchen and dining room downstairs, this room has a 14 seat hardwood table, and once the sun has gone down it and the adjoining terrace are often the hub of the house.
Volterra (4km from the house) is a very attractive, small hilltop town. The road from the house offers breath-taking views of Tuscany. Volterra was founded in pre-Etruscan time and flourished in the Etruscan period. It became important again in the Renaissance. Our house happens to be on the Roman unmarked road that leads to Florence. There is an impressive Etruscan Museum and a small, very pleasant, Art Gallery.
Walking in Volterra is always a pleasure thanks to the medieval architecture (fans of Twilight may recognise the piazza!), and there are plenty of interesting shops selling Italian leather, shoes, and clothing. There are also small grocery shops selling local produce, as well as a fantastic farmers’ market on Saturdays. If you are tired you can take a break at one of Volterra’s many cafes (we recommend l’Incontro, where you can have a proper Italian cappuccino, homemade ice-cream or pasticcini, and after dark enjoy wine tasting or sample their delicious cocktails).
The house is also close to Pisa, Florence, Siena and San Gimignano, as well as many interesting vineyards and farms. Why not explore Dante’s birthplace, or visit Fattoria Lischeto – supplier to Harrods – for a traditional Tuscan lunch, followed by a cheese-making class? And after a hard day sight-seeing, return to the beauty and tranquillity of Casa San Mario.
The house can accommodate up to 12 persons in comfort. Upstairs, on the first floor, there are three bedrooms with bathroom en suite and a large sitting room. Downstairs there are a large kitchen-dining room, a small kitchen and a living room, and two bedroom with one bathroom, and a utility room. Please see the house plan in the Photos section.
Swimming pool (Open May to mid October) seventy-five metres from the house. Green mosaic tiles. Width: 5m. Length: 13m. Depth from 1.4 to 2.6m. Surrounded by solarium of local stone and sandstone rocks and by the side of a small Oak wood providing shade.
Garden: Mature shaded garden and trees around the house, further away newly planted fruit orchard and open fields.
Garden and pool furniture. Barbecue, washing line, parking, table tennis table and bats, traditional bread and pizza oven.
Just returned from a fabulous two weeks in Casa San Mario. A superb, spacious villa with rolling gardens and swimming pool. The quality of the rooms was excellent - five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a large living room which the grandchildren took over as their 'common room'. The kitchen provided all that was necessary for good easy living. It's the space that works so well, some splashing in the pool, some reading on a secluded garden seat, some playing table tennis. There was room and facility for a BBQ for twenty people.
If you make it down the first road ( Its going to be a bumpy ride) you are well set for the glorious Tuscany countryside , beautiful nearby Volterra and trips to Sienna and Florence.
All brilliant. If we can muster up enough people we certainly hope to be going again. Oh yes, one of my grandchildren called it paradise and you don't get better than that.
Family of 11 stayed here for one week and it was fabulous. The home was perfect for us -plenty of room. The pool and the view were absolutely spectacular! We cooked every meal in the kitchen with ingredients from the local markets and grocery stores.
The drive to the Villa is a bit rough and rocky but it is worth it once you arrive. The only suggestion we had was to upgrade the towels in the bathroom and better pillows :)
You will not be disappointed if you rent this place!
The property is gorgeous from the exterior, huge garden, table tennis, bbq area with two bbq's (no pizza oven), lovely large pool (freezing cold in june but probably warmer later in the season) and quite rustic and dark in the interior (small windows/ dark wood). There is plenty of space and two fridges was great for 9 of us staying there. Nice to have separate beds (we are all work colleagues) and enough bathrooms for all! There are enough pots and pans and lots of utensils and good sharp knives which were all nice to have in a rental property. The only thing I would mention is that the oven takes ages to cook anything - in never seems to get up to heat so roasted veg one evening took 2 hours etc - basically double the time you think it will take to cook things in the oven. However this doesnt impact your stay with a little planning!
The housekeeper Sonia is very good if you speak a little Italian (take a phrase book if not!) - our kettle broke and she replaced it that same day - very efficient. There is no phone reception at the house (sometimes you can get it in the garden) but you can call her on the house phone. The internet is not fast but it is fine for a bit of internet searching and emailing and the odd skype call (it struggled with Viber calls though) - it went down once during our stay but I mentioned it to sonias husband and it was fixed same day. We had thunderstorms an an earthquake whilst at the house (v Exciting!) and the electricity went off but we just followed the instructions in the house information and got it all working easily.
A few other things to mention - bring mosquito repellent - they are out day and night especially by the pool. We had a small infestation of woodlice in one of the downstairs bedrooms (mentioned to sonia on departure) and a flood in the same bedroom from rain pouring in through the closed and locked patio doors. It did not detract from our holiday and was mentioned so the housekeeper can do something about it for next guests.
Overall we had a lovely time at the house and whilst there are a few things that need fixing I think the house is well priced for what you get and the area is just beautiful - we walked up Monte Voltraio behind the house and also along the dirt road to palagione and back, Volterra tour is worth doing too. We went to Florence for the day and also went to San Gimignano for dinner which was lovely. So much to do in the area.
This is such a fantastic place for a holiday that I returned twice after my first visit! A beautiful, peaceful countryside setting with a lovely large garden, the house is still within a short drive to the impressive Mediaeval town of Volterra which has lots to see. However, we mostly spent our days happily lazing by the private infinity pool. The house is large and well-equipped, and because of the stone it is still nice and cool inside. Everything was tidy, clean and well-organised - I would definitely recommend!
I had three different groups come in three weeks. Everyone that came fell in love with the house. Leaving this wonderful home made us sad for the memories were awesome. We hope to return again soon!
This was our second family holiday to Casa San Mario and everyone enjoyed the holiday just as much as on our first visit. Our party consisted of six adults and three young children and the house suited our needs very well. There are five bedrooms with four bathrooms which meant everyone had their own facilities and space. The house is well maintained although not pristine. We also liked the lovely gardens and that the excellent swimming pool is away from the house. There are lovely countryside views particularly from the pool end of the garden. The house is situated along a small unmade road and has no immediate neighbours. It is in a very pretty and tranquil spot. Volterra and its supermarkets are easily reachable by car. Altogether the house represents excellent value for money and is highly recommended. I am sure our family will all want to return for another Tuscan holiday.
This spacious 17th century house met our needs perfectly. While retaining many period features, it is comfortably-furnished and well-equipped with modern appliances. The expansive lot includes several distinct sitting areas, so that one may choose to relax in either the sun or shade as the mood strikes. We made good use of the large swimming pool from which there is a lovely view of the countryside. Shopping and other services are available in Volterra - about 15 minutes away by car. Volterra is very appealing in its own right, being less "touristy" than some other Tuscan hill towns. We enjoyed Annie Adair's walking tour and the Etruscan Museum is well worth a visit. We would heartily recommend San Mario to others - our only regret is that we weren't able to stay longer!
Swimming Pool Open around May 1; closed around September 30th. Rental price within this period includes swimming pool maintenance. Swimming can be opened at other times on payment of additional fee.
Please enquire for last-minute rental' offers.
Special rates are available for lets of four weeks or more in the November - April period.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.