(x 16 people)
Sleeps 16 | Bedrooms 8 | Bathrooms 6 | Near Florence, Tuscany
Independent villa | Private pool | Air conditioning | Maid included |
The private valley of Travalle is one of the most extraordinary properties in Italy. Barely thirty minutes' drive from the centre of Florence, it consists of some 300 hectares/730 acres of lush farmlands ringed by low mountains and dotted with old farmhouses. The current owners, an old aristocratic family, purchased the land a century ago and have preserved the valley's agricultural activities and its architectural integrity. At the centre of the valley is the manor house with magnificent Italian gardens; an active winery and olive mill are attached. The forests on the flanks of the mountains have been designated as a nature reserve to protect the resident pheasants and deer. The 300-year old Podere Casteluccio lies almost at the top of the valley, surveying the vineyards, fields and olive groves from on high. A restoration completed in the past few months has produced a truly spectacular house equipped with all the latest efficiencies, from air-conditioning to internet. Yet these in now way eclipse the building's enormous historic charm, as evidenced by the twisted beams in the ceilings, the cool brick floors and worn stone steps. Although stylishly decorated and furnished with splendid antiques, this is a comfortable and inviting country retreat. The pool is set on hillside just above the houses, the perfect antidote to a busy day's sightseeing in Tuscany.
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Podere Castelluccio is available at lower rates for smaller parties. For details see Podere Castelluccio (x 10 people), Podere Castelluccio (x 12 people) and Podere Castelluccio (x 14 people).
The valley lies just north-west of Florence, a vast oasis for keen walkers and horseback riders in close proximity to the city. The nearest restaurant is within walking distance; about 500m/yards. The nearest village with shops is Calenzano, 10 minutes’ drive; Prato, an industrial town but with a very good textile museum, is another option 20 minutes away. Along with Florence, Pistoia, known for its historic centre and the acres of garden nurseries that surround it, and the spas at Montecatini Terme are all reached within 30 minutes. Siena is an hour away, on the far side of the Chianti Classico wine-production area.
Entrance hall with walk-in fireplace. Kitchen with marble counters and professional stove. Terrace with long dining table. Small sitting room. Double bedroom. Laundry room with extra fridge. Bathroom with shower. Living room with games area. Dining room with long table. Twin bedroom with ensuite bathroom with shower opening to a covered terrace. Twin bedroom [convertible to double]. Second sitting room. WC.
Upper ground floor
Air-conditioned twin bedroom. Bathroom with bath. Air-conditioned double bedroom with ensuite bathroom with bath. Two air-conditioned double bedrooms, each with an ensuite bathroom with shower. Glass doors opening to small bridge leading to garden and pool area. Shower for the pool area.
Air-conditioned twin bedroom.
A lawned garden overlooking a 300-hectare/750-acre private valley with fields, olive groves, vineyards and forests. Within view at the base of the valley is the manor house with its winery and olive mill and several lovely old farmhouses belonging to the extended family. The swimming pool, 4x12m/13 x 33 feet, is set above the house and reached by a small footbridge from the upper ground floor of the main house, or by steps leading uphill from the front courtyard. Simple walking paths wander through the forests up into the low mountains ringing the valley, where pheasants, wild boar and mountain goats are common.
The very helpful caretaker, who speaks a little English, lives five minutes away in the valley. Services included in the rental fee, and optional services available, are noted under Price and Availability.
Dishwasher. Portable barbeque. Washing machine. Two large fridges/freezers. Satellite TV [No Sky channels] with DVD. CD player. Air-conditioning bedrooms on upper ground and first floor. Working fireplace. Wireless ADSL internet connection [computer not provided]. Mobile telephone.
Airports: Florence, 20 minutes or 15km/10 miles; Pisa, 1 hour. Motorway exit at Calenzano, 15 minutes from the valley entrance along paved roads. Ample parking.
Tennis courts in Prato, 10km/6 miles. Riding stables in Travalle, about 1km/0.6 miles. Golf club in Grassina, 34km/21 miles. Beaches at Forte dei Marmi at 98km/60 miles.
Hair dryer. Iron and ironing board. Kettle. Mixer. Toaster. Microwave.
The swimming pool, 4x12m/13 x 33 feet, has a depth of 0.9-1.80m/3-6 feet and a ladder for entry/exit.
Amenities for Children
3 highchair. 1 cot/crib.