On the hills of the Val d'Orcia, midway between Florence and Rome, 60 km south-east of Siena.
Two large sections of an ancient farmhouse, each with its own entrance and garden.
|Prices||€ 1560 - 3490 per weekPrices, Availability & Booking|
Overlooking the wide Orcia valley
This house belongs to a large property which extends over the hills overlooking the Val d'Orcia, an enchanting and miraculously unspoilt valley in southern Tuscany, listed as UNESCO world heritage in 2004. Midway between Florence and Rome, the estate is also within easy reach of Siena, Arezzo, Perugia, Assisi and Orvieto. Renaissance and medieval gems such as Pienza, Montepulciano, Monticchiello and Montalcino and the Abbey of Sant'Antimo are only a few miles away from the houses you can rent at the property.
The countryside around the estate abounds in lovely walks in the woods and the typical "crete senesi" (clay hills) of the region. The food is considered the best in Tuscany and famous wines such as the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino can be sampled in the local cellars.
The name of this house means "beautiful view" - rightly so, as the entire Orcia valley and the Amiata mountain are spread out below. The house lies at 600 metres above sea level, not far from the medieval castle Castelletto belonging to the estate, where exhibitions and a music festival take place in summer. Fields and woods surround Belguardo, which includes a large stone granary. Over the long, two-storied farmhouse grow vines and roses, lavender and rosemary.
This farmhouse is divided into three sections, one of which is occupied by the farmer's family whilst the other two are for rent. The square in front of the house is paved with large flat stones and in Italian is called the 'aia'. This is where the wheat used to be threshed. Behind the house lies a beautifully maintained garden with stunning views. At the far end of the garden there is a pool with sunbeds and deckchairs. Due to the altitude, even on the hottest summer day pleasant breezes prevail. The overall atmosphere is one of rustic charm and comfort.
A country restaurant where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner is in walking distance (1.5 km), if you feel like a stroll.
Places of interest
The property's location makes excursions to Siena, Assisi, Orvieto, Perugia, Arezzo and Florence an easy day trip. But the area below Siena, stretching from the monastery of Monte Oliveto to Montalcino and Montepulciano offers some rewarding sites that are well worth a visit.
In San Quirico d'Orcia make sure you see the Horti Leonini, an early Renaissance garden, as well as the western door in the city wall and the Collegiata (main church).
Montalcino is beautifully situated on a hill inhabited since Etruscan times, swathed in vineyards and olive groves. It is a quiet, affluent, attractive town with pretty buildings and flower-filled squares, and many shops selling the Brunello di Montalcino.
Montepulcino is a graceful Tuscan hill town, best known for its Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which was being praised by connoisseurs over 200 years ago and can certainly contend with Italy's best today.
Pienza, the unfinished 'utopian' city, was commissioned by Pope Pius II in 1459.
Chiusi is one of our favourites because of its unpretentious liveliness. Compared to Montepulciano it is uncontaminated by tourism. Chiusi has a railway station - from here it is a quick ride to the city center of Rome.
Monticchiello is a pleasant walled village, whose crooked watch-tower is visible from afar. Next to the church is a small shop which sells local linens (towels, bedspreads) and materials in pure linen. They use traditional methods and patterns and the results are extremely attractive.
Visit the abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the semi-derelict monastery of Sant'Anna in Camprena - a very romantic setting which served as location for the film The English Patient.
Sant'Antimo is surely one of the loveliest Romanesque buildings in all of Italy. It is hard to imagine a more sympathetic combination of architectural grace and natural setting.
Sarteano fits our picture of an unspoilt Italian village. The main square has a nice bar where you can sit outside. On the square below, in the afternoon a different bar serves excellent take away pizza.
And last but not least the landscape in this region of Tuscany is spectacular: The Crete Senesi are the eroded clay hills in the Orcia valley. These strange, pale, barren looking slopes, with their bare cliffs, broken gullies and white Jurassic limestone, look altogehter more lunar than terrestial.
Pool in winter?
Tuscany is famous for its Hot springs, belonging to a geothermical system that more or less encircles Monte Amiata, the most spectacular being Saturnia in the south west of the region. Steaming water collects in a number of white limestone basins - a rare natural spectacle and great fun to bathe in! Swimming possible both in the natural basins and in smart thermal baths. Saturnia offers a wide range of comforts and even a sauna.
Close to the property is Bagno Vignoni which has been popular since Etruscan times. St. Catherine of Siena is said to have appreciated its thearpeutic qualities, as is Lorenzo the Magnificent, whose family built the splendid arcaded pool - a kind of flooded, bubbling piazza, famously used by Tarkowsky for some of the more surreal passages of his film Nolstalgia. Not far from this antique piazza there is a hotel with a lovely open air swimming pool, fed from hot springs. This is also available to external guests.
Bagni San Filippo may go into the books as the world's smallest thermal spa - a telephone booth, a few old houses, outdoor spring in the middle of the woods with glistening limestone formations and one small hotel with a public pool.
The Montepulciano thermal springs can also be enjoyed in an indoor thermal swimming pool.
Just 10 km from the property you will find the thermal spa Terme di Chianciano with a highly modern health and thermal centre. Those wanting to combine holidays with a wellness break can enjoy fango baths, cosmetic and therapeutic treatments, solarium, massages and hydromassages. Have yourself thoroughly pampered! Just relax here!
BELGUARDO 1 5
- 160 Floor area sq m
- Shared pool
1 large living/dining with fireplace
1 bathroom with tub
1 smaller sitting room with fireplace
2 double bedrooms
1 single bedroom
2 bathrooms with shower (1 ensuite)
The garden is equipped with a table and chairs. A barbecue is shared with Belguardo 2. At the far end of the gardens lies a charming pool (8 x 4.5 m) with sunbeds and deckchairs.
The house is equipped with with satellite TV, CD-stereo, fridge with freezer, gas stove, oven, electric kettle, toaster, dishwasher, mobile fans for the bedrooms, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, Italian mocha machine (not electrical like in a bar, but the one you screw together and put on the stove) and a French press coffee maker. Furthermore there is a shared laundry.
This house for 5 people is ideal for a family or group of friends with a taste for space. Even when the house is fully occupied, the size of the rooms and the two living rooms with open fireplaces allow people to spread. You will have more the feeling of an entire house than of an apartment. The lower living room with two wide arches and brick roof with mighty oak beams is the centre of the house. It boasts a large dining table of old oak. All the furniture, mainly local antiques, melts in with the rustic character of the house. A glass door leads into the garden with table and chairs for al fresco meals. The bedrooms on the first floor have been decorated in simple country style and have a fresh and cheerful atmosphere. On this floor is the second living room with a small white fireplace.
BELGUARDO 2 8
- 200 Floor area sq m
- Shared pool
1 large living room with fireplace
1 dining room
2 double bedrooms
2 twin bedrooms
3 bathrooms with shower
1 bathroom with tub
The garden is equipped with a table and chairs. A barbecue is shared with Belguardo 1. At the far end of the gardens lies a charming pool (8 x 4.5 m) with sunbeds and deckchairs.
The house is equipped with satellite TV, CD-stereo, fridge with freezer, gas stove, oven, electric kettle, toaster, dishwasher, mobile fans for the bedrooms, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, Italian mocha machine (not electrical like in a bar, but the one you screw together and put on the stove) and a French press coffee maker. Furthermore there is a shared laundry.
This house for 8 people was restored with great care to keep the original atmosphere intact. The skills of local craftsmen were put to use for that purpose. The old terracotta floors were saved whenever possible, whereas rustic hand-made terracotta liles cover the new kitchen and the dining room floors, which used to be the stables. All the ceilings show the original wooden beams. The house spreads out over several levels, steps leading up and down from one room to another. Light floods in from the windows which look out onto the front garden. On the ground floor all three rooms have glass doors leading into the garden, which has a table and chairs for al fresco meals.
Our tip: although these are separate houses they are just the thing for a larger group - plenty of privacy and your very own leafy oasis! Taken together, the houses sleep a maximum of 13 (7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms).
Weekly rates in €
|Belguardo||01 Jan 2018 - 31 Mar 2018
07 Apr 2018 - 19 May 2018
13 Oct 2018 - 31 Dec 2018
|31 Mar 2018 - 07 Apr 2018
19 May 2018 - 16 Jun 2018
01 Sep 2018 - 13 Oct 2018
|16 Jun 2018 - 01 Sep 2018
5 PAX 5
|1560 EUR €||2280 EUR €||2440 EUR €||N/A||Request BookingBELGUARDO 1|
8 PAX 8
|2220 EUR €||3050 EUR €||3490 EUR €||N/A||Request BookingBELGUARDO 2|
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Reservations during high season from Saturday to Saturday.
Pool size: 8 x 4.5 m / opening dates: mid of May - end of September, depending on weather conditions.
Baby bed with linen and high chair available: free of charge.
Pets not allowed.
Extra services available only on request (domestic help, Tuscan meal on your first evening, cook, 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.
- Typical Tuscan meal on your first evening, after a long trip: EUR 30 per person. (The meal includes a starter, a pasta-dish, salad and pecorino cheese, fruit or fruit salad with ricarelli -local almond biscuits- to finish, plus bread and 1 bottle of white or red wine for up to four adults).
- Cook for dinners during your stay: EUR 15 per hour (for shopping time and cooking) plus the expenses. Dinners are offered from Monday to Friday.
- First shopping: EUR 75 up to 6 persons (expenses for a few basics and shopping time included). The shopping list includes: bread, butter, jam, eggs, 1 litre milk, 1 packet Earl Grey tea, 1 packet coffee, natural yoghurt, orange juice, 1 kg fruit of the season, 1 kg pasta (noodles), 1 jar tomato sauce, 1 piece fresh parmesan cheese, salad and tomatoes, extra vergin olive oil, 2 litres mineral water, 2 bottles of beer, dishwasher detergent.
- First shopping: EUR 100 for more than 6 persons (expenses for a few basics and shopping time included). The shopping list includes: bread, butter, jam, eggs, 2 litres milk, 1 packet Earl Grey tea, 1 packet coffee, natural yoghurt, orange juice, 2 kg fruits of the season, 2 kg pasta (noodles), 2 jars tomato sauce, 1 large piece fresh parmesan cheese, salad and tomatoes, extra vergin olive oil, 4 litres mineral water, 3 bottles of beer, dishwasher detergent.
Security deposit, heating, wood for fireplace, telephone to be paid in euros on the premises:
- Security deposit: EUR 300 per house.
Heating (if required): metered.
Please be aware that central heating is very expensive in Italy. The average cost in winter varies according to the outdoor temperature and the amount of time the heating is turned on. Figure approx. EUR 300 - 600 per week for several hours heating a day.
- Wood for fireplace: EUR 15 per basket.
- Telephone: according to use.
- Extra set of towels available during the week: EUR 3.
- Pool towels: EUR 3 per week.
Bed, bath and kitchen linens, mid week change of towels, Internet WIFI connection in the office (reception) of the estate, water, electricity, gas, mid week cleaning, final cleaning, pool cleaning service, garden maintenance all included in the price. Should you rent 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.