With a beautiful location set below the small, medieval hill village of Sorana, this is a traditional stone farmhouse retaining all the usual beautiful Tuscan features of cotto floors, chestnut beams and an open fireplace.
Outside there are private olive groves for the children to play in, a terrace for al fresco dining, BBQ for outdoor cooks and a pool for cooling off in the glorious summer days - all with spectacular views of the Pescia valley. Two of the best restaurants in the area are just down the road or there is further fine dining in and around the local town of Pescia, less than 15 minutes drive away
Open all year around, this house offers a quiet retreat from which to explore the surrounding hills on foot to local villages such as Vellano, Castelveccio, Fibialla or Medicina.
|Size||Sleeps up to 5, 2 bedrooms|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 shower room|
|Nearest beach||Viareggio 40 km|
|Nearest Amenities||10 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Pisa 45 km, Nearest railway: Pescia 10 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, Yes, smoking allowed|
|Pool||Private outdoor pool (unheated)|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Double Beds (1), Sofa Beds (2), Single Beds (1), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 8|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Private outdoor pool (unheated), Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Access||Not suitable for wheelchair users|
|Further details outdoors|
The house is part of a working olive farm so the groves are open and available for exploration, although care should be taken down some of the steep slopesThere is also a hand-built stone barbecue and outside dining area, ideal for summer evening cooking and eating outsideThe pool is a 15' by 8' plunge pool, perfect for cooling off during the long hot Tuscan summer days.
There is a 300m walk from a car park through the village and down a path to get to the door, which is a little steep in places. Whilst this makes for a quiet and private location it means access would be difficult for elderly, infirm or disabled guests
Tuscany, the cradle of modern European culture, contains treasures of every age and style, from the Etruscan theatre and Roman baths at Fiesole, to the majestic Gothic buildings in the medieval town of Siena and the exceptional art and architecture of Florence. The cities of Tuscany have produced writers, scientists, architects, musicians and artists whose works have literally changed the world.
The immense dome of Florence's Duomo, designed by Brunelleschi, inspired Michelangelo's design for the dome of St. Peter's in Rome, and influenced architecture in towns throughout Italy. Modern science and technology have their roots in the experiments of Galileo and other researchers. Puccini was born in Lucca. Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio broke with traditional Latin and wrote in the Italian language, establishing the Tuscan dialect as Italy's literary language and things Tuscan as the measure of culture and refinement.
The peaceful Tuscan landscape is primarily rolling hills, with vineyards, olive groves, cypress trees and hilltop villages all bathed in a soft, amber light. To many it seems familiar, and rightly so: during the Renaissance it was often used as the backdrop for the paintings of the masters. The rustic Tuscan farmhouse, made of local stone and set atop a hill flanked by lines of cypress trees, is a sight unique to Tuscany and accurately reflects the situation of the house at Casa della Vista. Silent medieval hilltowns, with their fortified castle walls and church steeples visible in the distance, are a part of the landscape: San Gimignano, Volterra, Montepulciano, Cortona. Tuscany's olive groves yield some of the world's finest extra virgin olive oil, but the heart of the region is in its vineyards, particularly the Chianti Classico, where you can visit fattorie (wine estates), to sample and purchase their wines.
In Tuscany there is huge emphasis on food and the family. Most Tuscan meals begin with crostini, slices of bread that are lightly toasted and topped with anything from chicken liver to myrtle to olive paste; acquacotta, a thin vegetable soup, and panzanella, a soup made from leftover bread soaked in vinegar and vegetables are among the many bread-based soups. Simplicity and flavour are the guiding principles of Tuscan cooking: pasta, served with a sauce of vegetables or meat; salviata, an omelette with fresh sage; or lesso rifatto con le cipolle, a stew of leftover boiled beef smothered in long-simmered onions, are classic embodiments of this philosophy.
Finally wine - Vin Santo is one of the region's renowned sweet wines, often served with cantuccini di Prato, dry almond cookies, for dipping. Among the other great wines of Tuscany are Tignanello, Sassacaia, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and the famous Brunello di Montaleino.
Sorana is situated along the valley north of Pescia known as the Dieci Castella region. This takes it's names from the 10 villages that line the valley hills and hilltops, each of which has a church with bell tower. During medeival and in more recent periods of upheaval like the second world war the towers acted as prime lookout posts for defence of the area
There are some beautiful places to visit in the Pescia valley and surrounding area in Northern Tuscany and Casa della Vista is the ideal location to use as a base from which to venture out or to relax and enjoy the fabulous views and perfect weather in summer. Alternatively you can relax in the shadow of the olive groves, cooling off in the pool or nip down to Chiesa Uzzano, near the Autostrada for a day at the Don Carlos water park
Local villages such as Vellano, Fibialla, Castlevecchio, Aramo, San Quirico, Collodi and Medicina can all be explored on foot from the old mule tracks that run from right outside the front door of the house or the historic walled city of Lucca is only a 30 minute drive
Florence is about an hour's drive, if you want to risk the hairy Italian city traffic or the rail link from Pescia is regular and reliable and will allow you to take in the scenery across the rolling north Tuscan hills
Perhaps the best way to experience the hospitable local people and their culture is to dine in the local restaurants or visit the Saturday market in Pescia. At the bottom of the hill leading up to Sorana village is Trattoria Da Sandrino, which serves a marvellous array of local produce including various game dishes, wild boar, the best fillet steak you will ever taste and the world-famous Sorana beans. Another dish not to be missed is the 'Pollo Arrosto', or roast chicken, at the Pescia 'Mercato' on Saturday morning, but don't be late as they stop serving at about 1230!
The whole area around Pistoia is rich in the history of Italian culture and famous names. You can visit the birthplaces of Leonardo da Vinci and Puccini or take in many festivals, markets and other gatherings across the region. Not many of the locals speak English, so a smattering of Italian or a good phrasebook are essential!!