Tuscany, the amazing region that lies in central Italy.
Tuscany is the stunningly beautiful region in central Italy. Its capital, Florence, is home to some of the world’s most recognizable Renaissance art and architecture, including Michelangelo’s "David" statue, Botticelli’s works in the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo basilica. Its diverse natural landscape encompasses the rugged Apennine Mountains, the island of Elba’s beaches on the Tyrrhenian Sea and Chianti’s olive groves and vineyards.
We always do 2 full days of excursions. We have so many options but as an idea we could have a day to Sienna. Siena is a city where the architecture soars, as do the souls of many of its visitors. Effectively a giant, open-air museum celebrating the Gothic, Siena has spiritual and secular monuments that have retained both their medieval forms and their extraordinary art collections, providing the visitor with plenty to marvel at. The city's historic contrade (districts) are marvellous too, being as close-knit and colourful today as they were in the 17th century, when their world-famous horse race, the Palio, was inaugurated. And within each contrada lies vibrant streets populated with artisanal boutiques, sweet-smelling pasticcerie (pastry shops) and tempting restaurants. It's a feast for the senses and an essential stop on every Tuscan itinerary.
For a second trip we might find ourselves in the stunning town of San Gimignano, a true jewel in this region of Tuscany. As you crest the nearby hills, the 14 towers of the walled town of San Gimignano rise up like a medieval Manhattan. Originally an Etruscan village, the settlement was named after the bishop of Modena, San Gimignano, who is said to have saved the city from Attila the Hun. It became a comune (local government) in 1199, prospering in part because of its location on the Via Francigena. Building a tower taller than their neighbours' (there were originally 72) became a popular way for prominent families to flaunt their power and wealth. In 1348 plague wiped out much of the population and weakened the local economy, leading to the town's submission to Florence in 1353. Today, not even the plague would deter the summer visitors, who are lured by a palpable sense of history, an intact medieval streetscapes and the enchanting rural setting.
This is a region everyone should visit at some time and we have some lovely villas from which to enjoy its bounty.
Our Tuscan villa in the Pistoia Apennine area
An Architectural Jewel on the Tuscan Apennines our villa sits in the untouched environment of the Pistoia Apennines area, it is well connected to Florence and the other main cultural and natural attractions of Tuscany. This is an enchanting destination where time has stopped and our guests can enjoy the silence and relax in a private swimming pool, surrounded by a collection of Carrara marble contemporary sculptures.The villa is a magnificent Art Nouveau building which used to belong to a very influential politician of the Kingdom of Italy, in the early 20th Century.
An architectural gem in Eclectic-style turned to a charming holiday home to enjoy the truly beautiful area of the Apennine mountains. This building was designed by the same architect as the Supreme Court in Rome for Mr Gismondo Morelli Gualtierotti, an influential politician in the early 20th Century. The villa has been recently restored and offers a surprising combination of ancient furniture and contemporary design elements.
Another of our villa's is located on the rolling hills surrounding Cortona, in the heart of Tuscany.
The prevailing character of Cortona's architecture is medieval with steep narrow streets situated on a hillside at an elevation of 600 metres (2,000 ft) that embraces a view of the whole of the Valdichiana. From the Piazza Garibaldi (still referred to by the local population by its older name, Piazza Carbonaia) is a fine prospect of Lake Trasimeno, scene of Hannibal's ambush of the Roman army in 217 BC (Battle of Lake Trasimene). Parts of the Etruscan city wall can still be seen today as the basis of the present wall. The main street, via Nazionale, is the only street in the town with no gradient, and is still usually referred to by locals by its older name of Ruga Piana.
The villa is positioned in a panoramic and peaceful location, immersed in the gorgeous countryside yet still close to lovely Cortona and the larger cities that both Tuscany and Umbria have to offer: Montepulciano, Siena, Florence, Assisi, Perugia, Montalcino, as well as Lake Trasimeno.
The property is comprised of a main villa with 7 bedrooms and a lovely annex with 2 more bedrooms.
The beautiful swimming pool lies in the centre of the property – between the main villa and the annex. Here it enjoys the best of the sun throughout the day.