The house is part of a historic built farmhouse, set on a mountainside (840m) in an area full of natural parks, forest and walking trails ("sentieri"). Although it is in a wonderfully quiet position, the house is in fact only 5 minutes' drive from the E45 motorway, 500 yds from a weekend Pizzeria, 4km from a shop and 10 minutes from a town with all facilities.
The house is at the top of a short mountain road and consists of: sala/lounge with log burner and stove, double door and window onto views, large kitchen/dining room with small wood burner stove/oven and separate gas cooker, bathroom with shower (from hot water tank), wooden stairs to two upstairs bedrooms (one is currently used as an extra sitting room and has a sofa bed), whilst the other has a wonderfully comfortable double bed. With the peace and quiet at night, the mountain air, and the bedroom shutters closed it's impossible not to sleep very well indeed!
New for 2015: new attic room with Velux and sofabed. We list the house as one bedroom but there are also two sofa beds which we use for our children.
Whenever we go we tend to mix travelling around the local area and tourist trails with walking and mountain biking. We have two Cannondale mountain bikes available for hire (£30/week each) if you would like to use them.
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 1 bedrooms|
|Rooms||1 bedroom, 1 bathrooms of which 1 family bathroom|
|Nearest beach||Rimini or Ravenna 90 km|
|Nearest Amenities||4 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Bologna Forli 80 km, Nearest railway: Sansepolcro 15 km|
|Family friendly||Suitable for children over 5|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Utilities||Cooker, Fridge, Freezer|
|Furniture||Double Beds (1), Sofa Beds (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Shared garden, Bicycles available|
|Access||Parking, Not suitable for wheelchair users|
The Valtiberina (high Tiber valley) area of Tuscany is quieter and more unspoilt than the westerly parts and yet has some fantastic attractions of its own, including the Piero della Francesa trail (Sansepolcro is 15mins from house, Monterchi 25mins), Anghiari, Caprese Michelangelo (Michelangelo's birthplace), La Verna (where St Francis received his stigmata). It is however within easy day trip reach of Florence (1 1/2 hrs or a stunning 2 hour drive through the rolling hills), Lucca and Pisa (2 hours), Siena (1 1/2 hours), Chianti (1 hr) and the beautiful Arno valley (45 mins). The area also has the advantage of being close to the Adriatic Riviera (1 hour), San Marino, Umbertide, Perugia (45 mins), and Assisi. The E45 motorway which runs 5km from the house connects with the Bologna/Ravenna area to the north and Rome to the south (Rome is 2 1/4 hours away).
Whenever we go we tend to mix travelling around the local area and tourist trails with walking and mountain biking. We have two Cannondale mountain bikes available for hire (£15/week) if you would like to use them.
Highlights for us include Sansepolcro and its buildings, churches and Piero della Francesca paintings, Monterchi (a wonderful hilltop Tuscan town with the Madonna del Parto on display), La Verna and its monastery, stunning Anghiari, Arezzo and its antiques market (and scenes from Life is Beautiful), and the fantastic fruit and vegetables at the local market in Pieve Santo Stefano (and the fresh pasta shop there too!).
We send a guide to local markets and restaurants to guests. The quality of the food in the valtiberina area is tremendous and, even better, the prices are low as the area is not as "touristy" as the rest of Tuscany. There are a number of great restaurants within an easy drive of the cottage. At weekends, there is also a local, rural pizzeria run by a local family which does fantastic pizzas (we recommend the calzone in particular) at great prices - 2 calzoni, bruschette, wine & water for €14!.
We have a pile of maps and guides to the area available for use at the house and would definitely recommend the Sansepolcro tourist office if you need more information. One of our favourite books has a number of waymarked walking and mountain biking trails (including to La Verna) which start or can be joined from the house and wind their way through the forest trails, plains and natural parks. www.valtibike.com is also useful for these.
If you are a keen cyclist you will particularly love the area, whether it is for mountain biking or road. As with many places in Italy, you'll see lots of club cyclists out on the weekends taking advantage of the good weather, clean mountain air and quiet, stunning roads. We're keen to develop the house for cycle holidays as it's a passion of ours.
The house is also a real haven for walkers and lovers of wildlife. The area is criss-crossed by many way-marked trails, often passing through the local forest and into the Casentino national park which borders the village. At Gualanciole (slightly further up the valley) a new visitor centre is being built which will focus on Tuscan flora and fauna. Gualanciole is also an important junction for many of the way-marked trails e.g. the St Francis trail and the route to nearby La Verna.