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Vacation Rentals, Italy, Tuscany
On the main street of a Tuscan hilltown, priv garden, pool, great kitchen. Family house.
Location: Montisi, Siena Province
Sleeps: great for families and friends, 3 couples to several families, 8 priv baths
Wine and Cooking Week - New Program
By request of many guests, we have put together a week-long hands-on wine and cooking experience for groups of friends who want to explore Tuscan cooking techniques, newly pressed olive oils, visit small producers of wines, cheeses, and explore the attractions of our food philosophy. The program includes 3 to 4 halfday participatory cooking lessons and the resulting feasts, 2 full day wine tasting tours including lunches in the small villages in the area, a visit to a artisanal cheese-maker, wine discussions and a day tour of your choice to Siena or Florence or to Montalcino for a half day of tasting brunello wine, followed by a 4 hour soak in Bagno Vignoni hot springs. The Fall-only course can be tailored to beginners or experts. Groups only,6 to 18 can be accomodated, with costs depending upon the number of guests and the curriculum. All in the intimate setting of Villa Maddalena, in a tiny hilltop village. Explore ideas with us. Suggestions for before and after travel,too.
Welcome to Settled in Tuscany. Planning for 2013? Weeks are available in May, July and August with two weeks still open through the fall season. Read on and get in touch with us if a village experience is of interest.....
Villa Maddalena, in the center of a Tuscan village, can accomodate many friends and family to share the costs and the fun! Lots to see and do on charming day trips from the Villa.
The name for this website came about because the most frequent comment from people who visit our home is, "We just settled in…." In part this may be because it is a 'family home' with hand-painted dishes, games, books (60 Italian cookbooks!) candles and toys left out and available for our guests. Mind the soccer ball under daughter Maddalena's bed! But read on to learn what really will make this an experience like no other…….Perfect for a few couples or a family reunion or a wedding. See firstname.lastname@example.org for a glimpse of life in the village.
Look carefully at the photo to the right. The Villa is a large, family home, with a pool and a garden in the center of a Tuscan hill town. Perhaps this is the important difference that sets Villa Maddalena apart. There are large houses dotted all over the hills of Tuscany, but Villa Maddalena may be the only house of its size and amenity in the center of a village, in the heart of Tuscan wine country. Freedom from your car – village strolling anytime. An early morning walk to the bakery, a visit to one of our village restaurants or a moon-lit stroll to the top of Castello, to look out through the gate, to the lights of Siena. A rare chance to settle in, not just into a house, but into a way of life. View the Google satellite map using the link, above. You can see the garden, the house and even the cafe and the bakery.
This home is an blending of 5 structures, the Villa Maddalena itself, part of the adjoining villa, a full-scale 18th century olive mill, the village forge and a barn. Parts of the building date from the 11th century, with other parts built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They came together as a single home in 2002 with the restoration completed by the architect-owner in 2004. The home is on two floors, with a ground floor bedroom and bath, perfect for grandparents.
Four other things make The Villa different from other self-catering houses in central Tuscany.
First, its location in Montisi is choice – lively on its own, central to everywhere else.
It is in the center of Montisi, a vibrant small medieval hill town that has 4 active medieval contrade with all their festivities, a small community theater, 6 churches, a bakery, a local grocery store, many artists, a flower shop, an olive mill, a bank and the all-important café. The 6 restaurants range from a new pizzeria with a view terrace to a slow food specialist and include a wine bar for serious wine tasting will provide you with infinite choices. Morning cappuccino and a warm pastry are literally just steps from the front door! Live music at MaMa' every Friday evening!!
There are chefs available to come and prepare lovely meals and give cooking lessons, a hot air ballooning company to take you up to see the entire countryside www.ballooningintuscany.com and a masseuse to ease out any leftover travel-kinks. A very professional driving service can pick you up and transport you to the village, and thereafter, by appointment provide transportation anywhere you'd like to visit. And we have a local, licensed guide who specializes in Siena, Arezzo, Cortona, things Etruscan and local wines and cheeses!
Montisi is part of a cluster of 5 hill towns, Cinque Sorelle, all within a 5 mile circle. Cinque Sorelle has over 16 locally owned, family restaurants, so food pleasures never end. Bakeries, famous butcher shops, cheesemakers, oil mills and wineries abound. There are interesting local museums, beautiful village churches, nearby a famous Benedictine abbey known for magnificent frescos and sculpture. www.cinquesorelle.com is a shared site, that will tell you more. Each village has a different character, a restaurant or two, and things to do. We are also in the heart of Tuscan wine country, ringed by the DOCG's for Brunello, Chianti and Vino Nobile. And now the new DOC for Val d'Orcia!! And the spectacular hot air ballooning May through October! See the slide show on the Villa Maddalena website. Great fun!
Montisi is within half an hour of Montalcino, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni and Montepulciano, just an hour from Siena and Perugia and an hour and a half from the center of Florence. All this and just over 2 hours north of Rome!!
Great for families and groups – large, yet intimate….
Second, while the house is large – it is charming for 3 to 5 couples or can accomodate larger groups - 9 bedrooms and 8.5 baths, but doesn't feel uge. Originally made up of several structures, it is all very personal and filled with the character of a private home. Even art supplies and a soccer ball.
No two bedrooms are alike. For example one room, Fresco, revealed elaborate hand-painted frescos during the renovation and has a private terrace overlooking the valley with steps down to the garden. This room now has a canopy bed! Restoration of the fresco is underway right now, winter 2012-13. see photos on the blog!!
Another bedroom, Maddalena, has a lovely, covered view loggia. The floor plan of interconnected elements, camouflages the size of the house, so even for smaller groups the house feels intimate. There is even one bedroom and an ensuite ¾ bath on the ground floor for people who don't want to climb stairs. It is a great house for family groups as it has large gathering spots both inside and out under the trellises on the terraces in the garden, but also great for groups of couples who like some privacy.
There are 8 double beds (matrimoniale, half-way between a queen and a king size) and a pair of twin beds plus three extra 'trundle beds' and a baby's portacrib. One bedroom also has an additional double sofa bed; while another has an additional single sofa bed.
The house is furnished with antiques, Oriental carpets, new comfortable beds (mattresses made by hand in a near-by village) and 4 fireplaces. There is a good music system (with speakers on the terrace) and even a guitar and an antique Viennese piano. The house also has wifi and a fax/printer.
The garden – a place to settle into the shade or bask in the sun….
Third, it has a leafy green private south-facing garden that overlooks a valley dotted with woods, olive trees and vineyards – to Castelmuzio, the next hill town beyond. From the edge of the garden wall you can even glimpse Montalcino and from the upper terrace, the skyline of Pienza....
There is a small swimming pool for sunny summer days, too. The garden still has its original fruit trees, lots of little nooks, pergolas, a fish pond and a little vegetable and herb garden; all in the informal style of a country village. This is a family garden, not a 'landscape.' One terrace is long enough to seat 25 for dinner. We've had some lovely weddings, too!
This is the 'spell' of Villa Maddalena – once you 'settle in' in the garden, many of your planned excursions seem to become much less compelling. Find a ripe strawberry, plum or fig, pull a weed or two and just take in the vista across the valley to Pieve Santo Stefano and Mount Amiata, and beyond…..
Finally, it has a large, fun kitchen created by a committed and passionate cook. With a central island, a wood-burning grill, 5 burner gas cooker with oven, 2 refrigerators and 2 dishwashers, the kitchen is ready for any culinary ambition. Good quality knives, Cuisinart cookware, 5 sizes of wine, vin santo and grappa glasses and candles for sparkle….create meals that make memories! The kitchen adjoins both a breakfast room that seats 6 to 12 and the dining room that can seat 24 +. Local chefs and cooking lessons in the villa available.
This is not a 'mint-on-the-pillow', luxury house, but a real home lovingly brought to life, in which to settle in and enjoy the pleasures of life in a small Italian village, the gastronomic pleasures of local wines, truffles, cheeses and olive oils and of course, your family and friends. All without getting into your car, for days at a time, if you so choose!!
More information is on the website
See more of the house – www.settledintuscany.com
There are interactive floor plans with photos and descriptions so you can take a self-guided walk through the house and pick your favorite room. Also some additional photo tours inside and outside the Villa and around Montisi. And maps with driving instructions and some trip planning links. There is also a short video of the village, the house and the area.
Contact us for more information, if a week or two, at home, in a country village is the kind of experience you are looking for!! But DO plan ahead! Reservations for 2014 can be 'penciled in'....
Making a plan
The Villa books well in advance, so please contact us if you are thinking of visiting, so we can check availability. The house is available Saturday afternoon to Saturday morning, throughout the year. email@example.com or direct firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are making a reservation more than a year or so in advance, we ask a non-refundable $500 deposit per week, to hold the dates. (This amount is credited against the second rental payment.)
Contact us for current rates. On a per room basis, rates are generally at or below the surrounding bed and breakfast rates, with the added fun and comfort of all the amenities of a house, garden and pool. The rates are set, in euros, each June, for the successive year, for both shoulder season, November 1 to March 31, and high season, April 1 to October 31.
Rates for 2013, for example, were finalized in July 2012. Generally we contact those with a standing reservation at that time to confirm, and a 50% rent payment is required. The balance is due the following January. Full payments can be made at any time, at the prevailing currency exchange rate. www.xe.com
Additional Planning and Services
Special cooking, cooking lessons, wine tastings, hot air balloon flights, specialized tours, transportation for groups, music, massages, celebration accoutrements like flowers and cakes, all can be arranged, if planned in advance. We are happy to help with your special occasions and ideas. It's a lovely setting for a wedding!
Fall in Tuscany. This is a prime time in the land of food; the new wine is all in, the new oil is pressed and bottled, still vibrant green and flavorful. And then there are the truffles –
For truffle-lovers, need I say more…..? See photo, above, taken by me at the annual Truffle Festival in the next village, San Giovanni d'Asso.
Full-bodied organic roasting turkeys can be obtained at Bottega della Carne in San Quirico d'Orca…crisp Orvieto wine…a pan of chestnuts roasting on the living room fire and a grappa or vin santo to finish… Thanksgiving 2013 is booked but other fall dates for the oil and truffle festivals are available. Contact us for more information.
Company: Villa Maddalena
Listing #3483, on Slow Travel since 6/6/2008
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