Farmhouse | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 7
This recently restored portion of a farmhouse is set in an idyllic and tranquil position along the gentle slopes at the feet of Mount Amiata in the south of Tuscany, near the Lazio border. The area abounds with historic towns (like Sorano, Sovana and Pitigliano), with natural thermal springs, including the renowned spas of Saturnia, archeological sites, the Tuscan Maremma coastline is 1 hr 20 minutes away and Lake Bolsena with its shallow and shady beaches, ideal for children, is just 20 minutes away.
The house is best described as a "back to back semi-detached" spanning two levels with a separate dependence ideal for grandparents, extended family or two couples travelling together (one double bedroom and bathroom). It is very private and not at all over looked. The whole garden and pool are private for exclusive use for the farmhouse and dependence. The house has a sitting/dining area and kitchen on the ground floor, and 2 large bedrooms (the master bedroom has a double and a single bed) and bathroom on the first floor. As mentioned the dependence has one bedroom and an ensuite, however there are no cooking facilities and is rented only with the main farmhouse not separately. The house has a large portico on the front facing the large level garden and a large 12x6 metre pool.
As mentioned the property has just been restored and landscaped. There are some large pre-existing oak trees that provide plenty of shade in the garden and close to the pool.
|Size||Sleeps up to 7, 3 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Rome|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|General||TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (1), Double beds (3)|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
The Tuscany region
The area abounds with towns (like Sorano, Sovana and Pitigliano), with natural thermal springs, including the renowned spas of Saturnia, archeological sites, the Tuscan Maremma coastline is 1hr 20 minutes away and Lake Bolsena is just 20 minutes away. The area known as the Maremma begins south of Livorno and form a coastal plain running to the very southern end of Tuscany. Famous for cowboys (the butteri), Etruscans, naturally heated springs, this is a different and relatively undiscovered Tuscany, with several large nature reserves, well-kept hill towns and countless Roman and Etruscan ruins.
Sorano, a charming old town built in tufa stone that arose during the Middle Ages, located in the Grosseto province in southern Tuscany.
The surrounding area is dotted with medieval fortifications such as the Montorio Castle, the citadel of Castell'Ottieri and Montebuono Castle. This historical wealth is a part of the extraordinary archaeological heritage of the whole territory. The archaeological park of the "Citta del Tufo" is unique of its kind. Here you find the most interesting Etruscan sites, the church of San Sebastiano, Rocca Aldobrandesca and innumerable necropoleis carved in the rock and now immersed in nature. The most important cliff settlements in Italy can be found in the neighbourhood of the Rocca di Vitozza.
These have caves used for housing and others called "colombari" or coops, most probably intended for raising pigeons. These caves are fascinating, but almost bare compared to those discovered near Sovana. Here the caves, the vie cave, wells, tunnels and hydraulic systems are all joined within a single landscape. The necropoleis, all cut in the tufa, are wrapped in thick, protective vegetation, making them all the more fascinating and mysterious.
The most important tombs are the Tomba del Sileno, the Tomba della Sirena and the monumental Tomba lldebranda, considered the masterpiece of all sepulchre. Sorano is notable for its elegant Renaissance architecture and massive enclosing walls that made it one of the safest defensive offshoots in the county of Pitigliano. It first fell under the Aldobrandeschi family who developed its defensive fortifications by building the enclosing wall which still surrounds the town.
Later the Orsini family built the splendid fortress, considered the town's most interesting monument. In the middle of the 15th century, it became the theatre of the conflict with the Sienese Republic without ever being taken. This prompted Cosimo dei Medici's nickname for it as the "tinderbox of Italian wars". In 1608, it fell definitively under the domain of the Grand duchy of Tuscany.
THINGS TO DO:
Sorano and its immediate surroundings…….
Horse riding: Immediately to the end of the track where Podere Caggio di Sopra is situated are stables where you can organise riding excursions around the surrounding area.
SORANO has a very pretty historic centre perched on the top and side of a hill. It is lovely to walk around soaking up the atmosphere or the streets and hidden lanes overlooking the valley to both sides.
-Rocca degli Orsini (Orsini castle), built in the 14th century but totally renovated by Niccolò IV Orsini. in 1552. It is considered one of the most important examples of Renaissance military architecture. It has two massive angular bastions, connected by a line of walls with the main gate, which is surmounted by a noteworthy coat of arms and by a square tower. In the interior of the walls are remains of the ancient nucleus, with a round tower and the draw-bridge, now disappeared. A cycle of 16th century frescoes of Sienese school have been recently found out.
-Masso Leopoldino, a natural tuff stone carved to form a fortified, panoramic terrace by order of Gran Duke Leopold.
There are many walks that connect the villages from Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano. The archeological park 'Citta del Tufo' is situated in the territory of Sorano and it consists of many archeological, historical and natural sites of great importance located in the areas of Sovana, Sorano and San Quirico. Many necropolis, the “Vie Cave”, roads in between excavated rock, were important for communication during Etruscan times.
SOVANA is a picturesque village which saw its heyday during the Renaissance period and as a result there are many examples of architecture from this period. Nearby there is an Etruscan necropolis.
CASTELL'OTTIERI to get here drive along the provincial road from Sorano towards Castell'Azzara, at Montorio follow directions to, after abouta 1 km turn right to Castell'Ottieri . Castell'Ottieri has seen its fortifications changed and added to many times over the centauries. At the heart of the historic centre is the Fort with tower.
VITTOZZA (near San Quirico) like most medieval settlements, rises on wide tufaceous plateau. The oldest records about the village date back to the XII century, as part of a wide feud between 15 castles. Walking through the main road the remains of the fortresses, churches, many buildings and caves can be seen.
-Pitigliano. There is a very old Jewish community here, with a Synagogue. The historic centre is very pretty and worth spending a couple of hours walking round. Also a walk around the “vie cave” are definitely worthwhile. Tourist office in right-hand corner in square on opposite side of entrance gate.
WITHIN ½ an hour:
-Saturnia - The thermal springs of Saturnia with lovely waterfalls where you can bath (it can get busy here).
Lake beaches can be very nice, especially for young families, as they are shady, shallow and do not get large waves. Bolsena (and Capodimonte on the south side) offer the best beaches with large lawns and plenty of shade, also there are nice restaurants, bars and gelaterie. They can get a bit busy on the weekends. There are also plenty of other beaches around the lake but not so well accessible and with smaller lawns areas (if any at all), also they are often serviced by dirt tracks (strada bianca) and can get a bit dusty (i.e. at Marta and part of Montefiascone and Gradoli's water front). Gradoli, closest to you, on the east side of the lake, has some very quiet small beaches that are serviced by sealed roads and therefore not dusty, here you also find some campsites and some very nice and small family run restaurants and trattorie (eg. Oasi del Pescatore, Trattoria da Giggetto, Il Purgatorio, which has lovely lawns for kids to play while you relax, and others…). Marta on the south side near Capodimonte also is another good place for restaurants.
From Bolsena and Capodimonte you can get boat trips (go to the marinas) around the lake and the islands. The islands are privately owned and therefore you can not visit them.
-Bolsena is a pretty touristy town on the north side of lake Bolsena. There is a castle that houses a museum and near by there are the remains of the Etruscan-roman town of Volsinii (see the tourist office in the main square for more info). Bolsena also has a pleasant promenade along the lake front with caffes and restaurant and safe south facing (not as shady as Capodimonte's though) beaches. Also of interest are the Catacombs and the church of Santa Cristina.
WITHIN 45 min drive:
-Between Farnese and Manciano is a well kept secret of the destroyed town of Castro (the centre of the Dukedom of the Castro family). The town was purpose built by the rich family (nephew of the Farnese's) and was completely destroyed in 1649. The site is difficult to find and not well sign posted and it now completely covered by a wood, and has a magical feel about it as you walk through a wood track and come out in a square with derelict buildings.
- Vulci. is another great day out for the family. There is a lovely medieval castle with an Etruscan museum inside. The castle is surrounded by a moat on 3 sides and a gorge on the remaining side with an Etruscan-roman arched bridge over the gorge. Further down a dirt track from the Castle is a archeological/natural park with remains of a roman town (an inland port), Etruscan tombs and a beautiful pond with beach and waterfall. Also concerts are sometimes held here in high summer. Vulci is south west of Sorano towards the coast between Montalto and Canino.
-Further north of Montalto di Castro, along the Aurelia dual-carriage way (take exit for Ansedonia), is the impressive Roman archeological site of Cosa overlooking the Tyrrhenian sea.
-the Argentario and the beautiful waters surrounding this promontory on the west coast is quite striking. There are shallow sandy beaches on other sides of the strips of land that join this mountain to the coast (namely Ansedonia which is closest to you). Or the transparent waters around the rocky bays called “Cala” are nestled around the mountain of the Argentario (to get to these it is best to drive to Porto Santo Stefano and take the panoramic road around the coast). This area can get very busy on week-ends and in mid August. Porto Ercole and Port Santo Stefano also have plenty of (slightly expensive) fish restaurants. This area is popular with the rich and famous of Italy an example of this is Cala Galera marina where you can go and drool over the multi million euro yachts. Good night life around here as well. From Porto Santo Stefano you can also get ferries over to the Giglio and Giannutri Islands. Parking can be difficult.
-Tuscania, just south of the lake, has a very pretty and well maintain historic centre. Impressive walls and the beautiful Romanesque basilicas of S. Pietro and S. Maria Maggiore. There is also a lovely Etruscan and medieval museum in a medieval convent and many Etruscan necropolis are scattered around the country side, worth seeing is the necropolis of the Regina. Ask in the museum for access to it. Many very good restaurants here too.
WITHIN 1hr drive
-Civita di Bagnoregio, is a mediaeval hill-top town that is reached from a long foot bridge. The scenery around the town is breath taking. Until the 80s the town only had a handful of residents and was nicked named the dying city. To get to Civita you must take the road towards Bolsena and Orvieto.
-Orvieto is worth a day trip too. The magnificent Duomo (one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Italy) with its gold leaf covered faced it a definite to see. The Pozzo di San Patrizio ( a double spiraled staircase leads to the bottom of this medieval well and back again), and the historic centre will be a delight to walk around. Also worth a visit to the catacombs.
The Cathedral of Santa Margherita in the historic centre has the 3rd largest Church dome in Italy (after S.Peter's in Rome and Santa Maria in Fiore in Florence). also there is the crypt underneath the Cathedral that is worth seeing. The Rocca is the old castle. This is only open for cultural events (which are numerous in the summer) and views are breath taking in all directions. The tourist office is in the historic centre next to the town hall. If you enter the historic centre from the upper gate (in front of the belvedere) and follow the street down (going pass the Cathedral) you come across a small square on your left, before turn right through an internal gate, where you'll find town hall and tourist office. The Romanesque church of San Flaviano. This beautiful church is along the road leading towards Orvieto. The historic centre is very pretty and full of small shops.
- The monster park at BOMARZO, this is a great one for the family. This park was built by the Orsini's in the 17th century and it is covered in sculptures of mythological creatures and legends. Prices are about €9 for adults and €7 for children. For more information call: 0761924029 Bomarzo is east of Montefiascone. The easiest way to go is to go towards Viterbo (if you have a sat navigator use this as there are shorter roads) and get on the dual-carriageway towards the A1 motorway and Orte. After approx. 15 kms you will find the exit to Bomarzo and just follow the sign-posts. Also Palazzo Orsini, up in the town of Bomarzo, is worth seeing.
-Palazzo Farnese at Caprarola in the Cimini hills behind Viterbo. Is a beautiful renaissance palace built on a pentagon print and commissioned by Cardinal Farnese in 1559.
-Villa Lante in Bagnaia, on the outskirts of Viterbo. A renaissance villa with Italian gardens.
-Tarquinia on the coast, was one of the 12 Etruscan towns and has the most impressive Etruscan tombs ever found. The necropolis has approx. 12 painted tombs open to the public. Also there is the national Etruscan museum, in a lovely renaissance palace in the centre of Tarquinia, with is one of the best museums in the area. Worth a walk round the historic centre too. Tarquinia is past Montalto di Castro on the way south to the coast.
-Pienza, north of Acquapendente and lake Bolsena, along the SS2 (Cassia). Lovely renaissance town which pedestrian only streets in the historic centre. Plenty of shops selling traditional local produce and the famous Pienza pecorino (sheep's milk) cheese.
The list can go on and on, also worth a trip to but that are just over an hour are:
-On the road to Siena just past Pienza are Montalcino & Montepulciano
-Scansano, famous for its Morellino wine and its fort.
Also the “Maremma Wine trail” is worth doing (Strada del vino e sapori Colli Maremma). See brochure in folder. If missing the tourist office in Pitigliano can help (see Pitigliano).
Others just over an hour's drive are
WITHIN 2hrs it is easy to get to Rome, Siena and Perugia, 2 and ½ to Florence and 3½ to Pisa.
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29 Jul 2014
"Fantastic house and soroundings"
We traveled two adults and a teenager and lived in this lovely house for a week in late July 2014.The pictures of the house and its surroundings at the Holiday Lettnings website does not do justice to… More
2 Sep 2012
"Lovely quiet and remote place"
If you want to stay in a house away from the tourist centers this is ideal. It has a great pool and outdoors area. Feels almost like a park. Several places in the garden, where you can sit depending o… More
4 Jul 2012
"A quiet and peaceful holiday in a beautiful villa and pool!"
The villa proved to be a little difficult to find but the search was well worth it! The accommodation was lovely as was the pool and gardens. Everything was clean and well kept and it all worked!!
If I had to make 1 crticism it would be the villa was a bit isolated but on the other hand the peace and tranquility was worth it.
22 Dec 2011
"Fabulous villa, amazing pool, very secluded."
We had an amazing 2 weeks away from it all at this villa in August 2011. The villa was a perfect size for my family, 2 Adults and 2 children (aged 5 and 3). We all loved the pool, which was regularly … More
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