This is a beautiful Tuscany property for Family vacations, or holidays with Friends. An indoor-outdoor pool and jacuzzi in th delightful annex, is the crowning touch on a beautifully, classic Tuscan farmhouse. The original stone Farmhouse, built in the 18th century, has been finely restored using top quality local craftsmanship, blending exquisite Italian interior design with a generous use of classic antique furniture from the owner's family. Beautiful windows frame astonishing views of Val'Orcia and of the Natural Reservation of Monte Rufeno, which begins right at the border of the 14 Hectares (35 acres) of the property.
The original part of the house is on two floors and covers about 440 square meters (4400 feet). The first floor, offers a large fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms with a total of 5 beds, and three bathrooms. The ground floor has two additional large bedrooms, each with private bathroom, plus a small service room with one bed, and a laundry/bathroom. The ground floor also has a smaller kitchen, perfect in summer for easy access to the outside dining area under the front porch.
The "younger" part of the house, added 70 years ago, offers a double height ceiling, over an enormous living room/dining room on two levels.
In addition, an annex,10 meters from the main building and 75 sq meters large, offers a covered, heated pool that can be fully opened in the summer. The pool, fed with deep underground thermal water can be heated up to 35 C ( 95 F). Considering that San Casciano is almost 600 m altitude and swimming outside is a pleasure only for a couple of months, this is a great year around luxury, and most unusual. During the cooler months of the year a warm hydro massage is a delightful and sensual option. In the annex there is also an emergency bedroom with double bed and a bathroom.
The Casale dei Noci is located in southern Tuscany, close to both Umbria and Lazio and less then two hours drive from both Florence and Rome. It is a perfect location to explore many of the famed and most charming medieval towns and villages of central Italy, such as Montepulciano, Perugia, Gubbio, Orvieto, Siena, Montacino, etc.
Spending a week here is to be surrounded by the unspoiled beauty of the rural Tuscan landscape while partaking of some of the best food and wine of the world. Casa dei Noci is located only 4 kilometers south of the splendid and luxurious, Spa Fonteverde which is fed by the largest volume of thermal water of any spa in Italy, and has been enjoyed and acclaimed since ancient Roman times. In fact, their original baths are still visible.
The nearby small town of San Casciano dei Bagni is the closest Municipality to Casale dei Noci . Visit the small, but charming City Hall Palace, the Carabinieri Station (which guarantees very good security in the area) and a small theater which hosts a local Academy. In the old part of town there are narrow medieval streets to explore along with shops for all you may need; There you will find a wonderful butcher, Annibale, who offers to carnivores the best possible Florentine Steaks, and Elena Levi an art instructor, who owns a delightful antique furniture shop. Her husband, Roberto, is a retired movie producer. Two good restaurants make dining out a real pleasure: La Fontanella in the newest part of the village and Daniela, one of the best known restaurants in the area and a stop for celebrities that own houses nearby.
On the southern side moving from Tuscany into Lazio (the region of Rome), there is the charming village of Trevinano on the top of an impressive tufo rock , and which can be seen from the Farmhouse. The village is dominated by the Castle of the Prince Buoncompagni Ludovisi, of a Roman noble family, who once owned the whole area, including Podere Costarelle. Trevinano has only 160 inhabitants but offers two very nice restaurants; one Gianfranco (strictly local food and very simple service) in the small square in front of the Castle and the just outside the village, La Parolina, with very sophisticated cooking, and a great choice of wines.
1) We've rented many houses/condos around the world with nary a problem.
2) We were OK with the crickets, mega-wasps and scorpions in the house... after all, there were no screens on the windows.
3) The Commendable Rentals (CR) "Renters Guide" was a long time coming and turned out to be a couple of pages long with lots of missing directions/hints, etc. How to operate the pool controls? How to use the washing machine? The satellite dish? Etc.
4) The house hadn't been vacated by the owners and we weren't sure what came with the rental. For example, was the bottle of wine on the kitchen table complimentary? Were we to use the fresh produce? The closets and dressers were empty, but the pantry, bathroom toiletries, etc were still as if someone else was still living in the house. Again, no guide to explain the policies, etc.
5) The very congenial woman who met us and gave us the keys spoke no English and seemed to be a novice - when we first called to let her know we were arriving, another woman answered the phone and could not speak English. We gave up and called a second time and was successful. She was clearly the person to whom we were to direct our questions, but she was non-conversant. It seemed like we knew more Italian (ha!) than she knew English - very different.
6) The extremely-long driveway featured a several inch drop-off from the road as well as deep ruts and a washout ravine - we are hoping the rental car was not damaged by the impacts on the undercarriage. Do not rent this house without first renting an SUV. CR replied to our concerns with a comment to the effect that there had been a lot of rain and we should expect such conditions. The vegetation growing in the driveway was about a foot tall and we felt like we were off-roading in our wagon, scraping the ground for most of the long, long driveway.
7) We did have two other problems (plumbing and internet) that were rapidly fixed, but not until we contacted the CR office in the states.
8) The house is 30 minutes from a good grocery store and from the autostrada, so add an hour to any round trip north or east.
9) The town of San Casciano dei Bagni is A+++. The architecture is amazing and there is a great bakery, several dining spots and several small stores that sell housewares or foodstuffs.
10) The house is a little tired, especially since it rented for $500+ per night. It really needs some TLC. Black water dripped from the kitchen fireplace and stained the floor and hearth. The pool was not maintained in two weeks. Broken furniture sits in the yard. Very large water stains spoiled the view of the beamed ceiling. The pool building ceiling and walls were heavily spotted with mold/mildew. One couch was soaked from a leaky roof. Again, the driveway...
11) The house was very clean (the maid is scheduled for 3 hours, 3 days a week!) and located in a beautiful setting. The beds were comfy, the linens were plentiful and the dishes, etc. could have fed dozens of people in a setting - was this once a commercial event operation? Lots and lots of seating both indoors and out. A netting had been jury-rigged with cable ties to prevent children from falling over the upper floor railing but the staircases were not child friendly. Don't stay here with kids.
12) Rather than charge a security deposit, CR charges you about $100 for a damage-insurance policy... the first time ever for us.
Thank you for writing and bringing these items to our attention. We will certainly discuss them with the owner. While some of the comments might be appropriate, I feel it necessary to respond to those that I feel are not appropriate or , in some cases, even accurate, and which seem to reflect a desire to exploit the platform more than to be constructive.
1 and 2: Window screens, for instance, are a particularly North American thing; they are relatively rare in Europe, and you will not find them in most country houses, particularly ones where life is (delightfully) led outdoors most of the time anyway. Italy, and this house, are lucky enough to offer this delightful advantage, and open doors and windows aim to merge the indoors and outdoors. This house is advertised as a country property with wonderful outdoor living and dining. The country is shared with the native inhabitants, who include animals, birds, and insects.
3: The house is advertised as a country house, and a
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