One of the joys of staying in Italy is being able to enjoy 20th century comforts, whilst immersing oneself in its rich history by way of a sojourn in an original Tuscan farmhouse. The spectacular views from its gardens, large pool and tennis court to one of Tuscany’s most beautiful mediaeval towns provides a magical, almost theatrical backdrop, making Il Castagno a venue that cannot fail to delight all Frances Mayes’ devotees.
The countrified approach to Il Castagno, and finally through woodland surrounding the property emphasises the feeling of seclusion, yet always with beautiful views of nearby mediaeval Cortona from the house and grounds reminding that civilisation is close by. Arriving at the house, two huge and ancient Lebanese cedars provide a frame for this delightful home. The original tower portion of the house dates from the 17th century, and like many converted farmhouses, the ground floor was once home to the animals, whilst the family lived above.
The owners have been most careful to retain the original features, reflected in its rustic yet comfortable style. Entering by a large stone porch covered with jasmine, the charming sitting room is still dominated by the original beams. Wide steps leads to a dining room and traditional kitchen. Circular stairs from ground floor lead up to the original living room/hall, with a huge working fireplace, and a door leads to a small terrace and the original stone outside staircase. A guest bedroom has a large shower-room opposite, and the master bedroom, with interconnecting dressing room and single bed, suitable for a child, has an en suite bathroom.
(Steep) steps lead up to a simple twin bedroom with tiny shower-room, suitable only for teenagers. Outside, is a guest annexe with a large spacious bedroom suite, its 2 extra beds/sofas also making an ideal “dorm” for older children wanting to get away from their parents! From the kitchen, a door leads to the garden and a small covered loggia, and then to a delightful wisteria covered area for outside dining.
In the evening the twinkling lights of Cortona, and the hypnotic chant of cicadas in the olive trees provide an idyllic setting. From here, looking up the hillside, is a glimpse of the tiny hamlet of Castagno, an enchanting destination for an evening stroll. The property is surrounded by a small area of informal garden and lawn, with olives, fig trees, lemon trees and up and behind the house terraces of vines lead to the 11 hectares of woodland with walking trails to the top of the hill. From the garden, steps lead down to an unusually long swimming pool, surrounded by grass, and an all weather tennis court.
A game of tennis in the cool of the evening, with beautiful Cortona clearly visible in the distance, is an experience in itself. For maximum comfort, this delightful property is most ideal for 6, or for 8 to include teenagers. A delightful and atmospheric venue for a truly Tuscan experience “under a beautiful Tuscan sun.”
Sitting room • Kitchen/dining room
Hall/sitting area • Double bedroom • Bathroom • Master double bedroom with air-conditioning and dressing room with single bed and shower room en suite.
Simple twin bedroom with bathroom en suite
Off Courtyard Annexe
Large double bedroom with a single sofa bed and seperate single bed for children and bathroom en suite.
Further Information: This house is suitable for a maximum of 6 adults and 2 children.
Washing Machine, Dishwasher, Microwave, Satellite TV (free-to-air), DVD player, Stereo/CD Player, Telephone, Air Conditioning in master bedroom included in rental
Heating (usage payable locally), Insect Screens in one bedroom and kitchen windows, Barbecue.
Private Swimming Pool
5m x 15m, 1.05m - 1.85m deep with ladder steps. Pool Towels. The pool is open from 15 May until 16 September 2011. Outside these dates, the pool can be opened on request for an extra charge
This villa is a Saturday changeover
- 5m x 15m, pool opening 21 May - 17 September