In the hills of the Orcia valley in southern Tuscany, 60 km south-east of Siena.
Charming house standing on its own on the edge of a hamlet.
|Prices||€ 1150 - 1820 per weekPrices, Availability & Booking|
A romantic retreat in the hills
The Castle of Vivo d'Orcia lies in the widespread Orcia valley in southern Tuscany, 60 km south-east of Siena, near to Arezzo, Perugia, Orvieto and Assisi and such cultural jewels as Pienza, Montalcino and Montepulciano, to name but a few. The hamlet lies at an altitude of 900 m above sea level. The particular combination of altitude and Mediteranean climate creates an unusual whealth of flora and fauna. Many wild animals such as deer, wild boar and foxes as well as the most deliscious truffles call the Monte Amiata their home. The castle boasts a long and fascinating history. It has been in the same family since 1534 and since then the property has not changed hands. Up till today the owner spends most of the summer months in residence in the Castello del Vivo.
In the past the hamlet housed the peasants and their families. Today the hamlet is let to friends of the property owner from Florence and Rome, who come down for the weekend. There are three houses available for travellers: Ambassador offered here, Casa di Giulia and Casa di Piero (also featured in our portfolio). Century old chestnut trees cast their shade in the gardens of the houses, ideal for al fresco meals outdoors. A pool is conjointly used.
About the location and history
The village: Vivo d'Orcia is a 10 minute walk from the house. A quiet village which furnishes basic requirements - small supermarket, bank, pharmacy, post office, news agent and your bar for delicious cappuccinos. About 15 km in various directions you'll find other charming alternatives for daily shopping and stopovers at a bar, some also have foreign newspapers (list in the house).
Food and wine: Varying seasons bring varying menus. The quality of the produce is what one identifies with cuisine in Tuscany: fresh vegetables, crisp salads, aromatic tomatoes, porcini (wild mushrooms), tartufi (truffles), home-made pasta or polenta, tortelli filled with spinach and ricotta, wild boar stew, grilled meats and venison, wild strawberries, raspberries, chestnuts, and many delicate herbs which join together to produce the exquisite meals you will enjoy, enhanced by the superb red wines from nearby Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. We have compiled a list of restaurants we can recommend in the immediate neighbourhood (list in the house).
History: The Castle of Vivo d'Orcia boasts a long and fascinating history. In 1002 a hermitage was founded on this spot by camaldolese monks close to the source of the Vivo river - which means alive - a vital site as it also supplies the city of Siena with water. The monastery and the surrounding land were sold in 1534 to the later Pope Marcello II, who adapted the Castello del Vivo with the help of the famous renaissance architect Antonio da Sangallo, renowned for the palazzi he built in Siena and Rome. Since then the property has been in the family.
Next to the castle there is an arched stone doorway leading down to the hamlet which in the past housed the peasants and their families. An agricultural estate like this once used to be completely self-sufficient and provided itself not only with food and drink, but also had ist own carpenters, potters, weavers, metal forgers and glazers on the premises. In fact, hidden in the woods below the nearby Casa del Contadino you will find ruins of what used to be the mill and the forgery in the 18th century. The small romanesque church of S. Marcello near Casa di Piero deserves a notice. The familiy chapel, also romanesque, stands in the woods nearby.
Sight-seeing: Pienza, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Sant'Antimo, Monte Oliveto Maggiore and San Quirico are precious stones set in Tuscany and rate top of the sight-seeing list. The seaside near Grosseto is an hour in the car. Florence and Rome are a comfortable two hours by car. Arezzo, Orvieto, Perugia and Assisi and so many others are day-trip distance. Famous private gardens are open to the public once a week and are well worth a visit (list in the house).
The hot springs: Tuscany is famous for its hot springs, the most spectacular beeing Saturnia at an hours drive. Close to Vivo are Bagno Vignoni (remember Nostalgia by Tarkowski?) and Bagno San Filippo where in the midle of the woods the warm water has carved natural pools into the rock.
Nature: If you spend your holiday here you might also want to explore the unusual wealth of flora and fauna which is to be found here due to a combination of altitude and Mediterranean climate. The woods around the houses with streams and dappled sunlight offer wonderful treks. In spring and summer an abundance of wild flowers and herbs can be found, and many wild animals including foxes, deer and wild boar make the Monte Amiata their home.
1 large living and dining room with open plan kitchen
2 twin bedrooms
2 bathrooms (one with shower, the other with a Jacuzzi style tub)
Table and chairs for al fresco dining
Fenced pool can be reached in 2 minutes by foot and is shared with other tenants
Ambassador is a charming house standing on its own on the edge of the hamlet, surrounded by a garden and wide stretching views onto open fields and the Monte Amiata in the background.
The entrance over the terrace with pergola and dining table leads straight into the large living room with a large fireplace and open plan kitchen. The room is generously furnished with two large sofas and a dining table. French windows lead onto the terrace to one side and into the garden to the other side of the room. A few steps lead down to the two bedrooms and bathrooms. These rooms can be turned into doubles or twins (please indicate when booking if you don't wish twin bedded rooms, but beds pushed together). Both bedrooms have French windows into the garden.
The shared saltwater pool lies at less than 200 m from the house. It is reached down a path that runs along the orchard of the estate. The pool area is surrounded by old walls and accessed through a gate (and therefore safe for small children).
Weekly rates in €
|Ambassador||04 Mar 2017 - 08 Apr 2017
||08 Apr 2017 - 06 May 2017
30 Sep 2017 - 04 Nov 2017
|06 May 2017 - 01 Jul 2017
26 Aug 2017 - 30 Sep 2017
|01 Jul 2017 - 26 Aug 2017
4 PAX 4
|1150 EUR €||1390 EUR €||1590 EUR €||1820 EUR €||Calendar||Request BookingAmbassador|
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Reservations from Saturday to Saturday.
Pool size: 10 x 6 m / salt water pool / opening dates: beginning of June - end of September. The pool is fenced for the safety of small children. Pool towels are provided.
Baby bed with linen and high chair available. Baby bed can be booked for children up to their 2nd birthday.
Extra services available only on request (domestic help, dinners, first shopping), to be specified when booking and to be paid in euros on the premises at the end of each working day:
- Domestic help (house cleaning, washing and ironing): EUR 10 per hour.
- Dinners during your stay: EUR 30 per adult, EUR 18 per child up to 12 years. Dinner Service every evening, except on Tuesday. The estate can order a dinner from a local restaurant which prepares delicious Tuscan meals. The maid will have laid the table* and the restaurant will deliver the dinner directly to your house around 7:30 pm. The dinner consists of Italian antipasti, a first course, a second course and a desert. Red wine and mineral water are included. Please book prior to arrival. The dinner should be paid in cash directly to the person who delivers it. Once you have booked a dinner, please do not change the date. *The table is laid only for the dinner on arrival day.
- First shopping: EUR 75 (expenses for a few basics and shopping time included). The shopping list includes: bread, butter, jam, eggs, cheese, milk, 1 packet Earl Grey tea, 1 packet coffee, natural yoghurt, orange juice, fruits of the season, pasta (noodles), jar tomato sauce, 1 piece fresh parmesan cheese, salad and tomatoes, extra vergin olive oil, mineral water, beer, red wine, dishwasher detergent.
Security deposit, heating, wood for fireplace, gas to be paid in euros on the premises:
- Security deposit: EUR 250.
Heating (if required): metered.
Please be aware that central heating is very expensive in Italy. The average cost for one week in winter varies according to the outdoor temperature and the amount of time the heating is turned on. In the mid season the cost is accordingly lower. Approx. 6-8 hours of heating/day amount to EUR 150 per week.
- Wood for fireplace: EUR 30 per basket.
- Gas: the house has one gas meter for the consumption of hot water and heating. Gas is included up to 3 units per week (should be more than enough for just hot water), the excess is charged at EUR 4.50 per unit.
- Baby bed: EUR 30 per week.
- Pets allowed: EUR 30 domestic pet supplement per week.
Bed, bath and kitchen linens, water, electricity, Internet WIFI connection, final cleaning, pool cleaning service all included in the price. Should you have rented the accommodation for more than 1 week, the house will be cleaned on Saturdays and the linen will be changed.
Please note: the Google Maps are only approximative, the exact address will be given after finalized booking.
Our Guests Reviews
I`ve stayed at Ambassador before and LOVED it. Is it still available 8/22 through 8/29 2009?
M. Thompson, June 2009