(x 8 people)
Sleeps 8 | Bedrooms 6 | Bathrooms 6 | Near Siena, Tuscany
Independent villa | Private pool | Air conditioning | Maid included | Cook included |
The simple, unadorned façade of L'Apparita belies a history and an interior that are quite the opposite. In fact, the building dates from the 15th century and is considered one of the most important and best-preserved examples of a Tuscan villa from the Renaissance period. Its owner has filled the house with collections of antiques, art and books that reflect a life richly lived, including the world's most extensive collection of miniature theatres. The rooms, each a small museum in its own right, unfold over several levels connected by short flights of wooden steps. The main gathering place is a very large but extremely comfortable room with archways, its walls covered in paintings and photographs and the added comfort of air-conditioned bedrooms. Surrounding the house are gardens designed by landscape guru Pietro Porcinai, with a small open theatre that has the city of Siena as its backdrop. Siena is also in full view from the property's swimming pool, and through the trees one has glimpses of the surprising, impossibly photogenic hills of the Crete Senese.
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L' Apparita is available for larger parties. For details see L' Apparita (x 11 people).
In open countryside minutes from the centre of Siena, 7km/4 miles. The main event here is the famous Palio, a horse race that takes place in the spectacular main square, the Campo, on July 2 and August 16. A beautiful and inspiring base, Siena also happens to be right in the centre of Tuscany: to its north is the Chianti wine-producing region and beyond, Florence, 1 hour; to the south-east are the hills of the Crete Senese, the abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, the wine centres of Montepulciano and Montalcino, and Pienza, a Renaissance utopia.
Vast sitting room with archways and high wood-beamed ceilings. Dining room. Breakfast room. Well-equipped kitchen with a fireplace. WC.
The Cannocchiale ("spy glass") hall. Two studies. Air conditioned twin bedroom with an ensuite bathroom with bath. Study. Air conditioned single bedroom with mezzanine and an ensuite bathroom with shower. 18th century sitting room with a glass door opening onto a colonnaded loggia. Air conditioned double bedroom [US Olympic Queen size] with a small bed, an ensuite bathroom with bath and a library with a glass door opening onto the loggia. Air conditioned double bedroom [Olymipic Queen size] with mezzanine and an ensuite bathroom with bath. Air conditioned twin bedroom with mezzanine and an ensuite bathroom with shower. Air conditioned twin bedroom with an ensuite bathroom with bath.
A large and artfully simple garden with interesting notes such as a private amphitheatre for concerts and a 17C weathervane. The swimming pool, 7 x 11/23 x 36 feet, is set away from the house and next to a loggia wreathed in vines.
Fully staffed with maid service and a cook available for certain meals. Services included in the rental fee, and optional services available, are noted under Price and Availability.
Dishwasher. Microwave. Washing machine. Satellite TV [Sky channels]. CD player. iPod docking station. Air conditioned bedrooms. Central heating. Three portable fans. Working fireplace. Fixed telephone line. Wireless ADSL internet connection [computer not provided].
Airports: Florence, 1 hour 20 minutes; Pisa, 2 hours. Railway station and motorway exit at Siena, 15 minutes along paved roads to the property’s gated white drive. Parking for six cars.
Tennis and executive golf within 10 minutes in Siena. Two 18-hole golf courses within about 1 hour's drive one of which is La Bagnaia 12km away. Hot air ballooning available over the crete senese, also a terrific area for walking and biking. A selection of biking itineraries in the area is available online at www.terresienainbici.it/index_eng.asp (in English).
Iron and ironing board. Two hairdryers.
The swimming pool, 7 x 11/23 x 36 feet, has a depth of 1-2.20m/3-7 feet and steps for entry/exit.
Amenities for children
Two cots/cribs and two high chairs available.
A national historic landmark suitable for adult groups only.