Come with us as we explore Italy and check out properties for Gira! Italian Vacation Rentals.
The drive from Assisi to Monte San Savino goes easily. The E45 goes past Lake Trasimeno and up into Tuscany. A little bit of the A1 and then we reach the meeting point with our associate at the roundabout. She leads us through the town and just a little ways out into the countryside.
It’s a pleasant uphill drive to the parking lot of Castello di Maiano. There are lots of trees lining the drive, so it’s well shaded and the fields surrounding the area are green and placid. We greet the owner and walk around to the front of the castle. There’s a cozy feeling when you enter a castle and go from room to room, in your own way experiencing the history of the place.
Castello di Maiano is tastefully renovated in a way that still preserves the historic feeling of the building, while including lots of modern conveniences and amenities. You definitely feel that you are living in a castle. The experience is enhanced by an extraordinary view over the countryside and the close proximity of the town of Monte San Savino. We tour the bedrooms and living area and the ancient church that is attached to the castle. The owner offers me two bottles of their excellent sangiovese wine and we are on our way.
Villa il Colto, our next stop, was also historically important, but in a different way. This villa, now carefully restored, was the allied headquarters for this region during World War II. When you walk through it, you can feel its importance, but also its feeling of classic comfort and Tuscan grace. The elegant living room opens up to the scenic pool area and the house offers once of the best designed and decorated Tuscan kitchens we have seen. The fine sense of taste is continued as you move upstairs and see the well appointed bedrooms and baths.
It was now time for Italy’s highly important daily ritual–lunch. We pulled into a charming family run place on the roadside near Greve and enjoyed a hearty entree of Tuscan beef and mixed salad. Following this, we continued on to Impruneta for the remainder of our visits.
In many respects, Villa le Campora has just the right package of features that Italy travelers enjoy. You can take in a peaceful countryside view and you can also walk into a town, in this case Impruneta, which is known for its production of terra cotta. The villa owner greets us at the gate and takes us on a lively and spirited tour of her pride and joy. “The next time you are in Tuscany, you will join us for a wonderful dinner,” she says as we depart.
Although Poggio al Sole has a nice view, you reach it through a forested area by way of a small and rustic country road. The driveway is steep and it takes you to the entrance to the villa. The house offers comfortably appointed bedrooms and a nice equipped outdoor area off the kitchen. There is a large living room/dining area with a table that can accommodate a large group. Outside, up the walkway, you reach the pool area, which has recently been carved out of the hillside.
From Poggio al Sole, you can also conveniently reach Impruneta and Florence for touring, shopping and dining.
Finally, Poggio Docciolina offers an unusually rustic and engaging villa that you cannot believe is as close to Florence as it is. The owner meets at a nearby cottage and guides us down the steep road down into the estate. The trip proves to be very much worth our while, as we can see that this is a very special villa with a unique farm atmosphere. There are two separate farmhouses here that have been nicely renovated, and together can accommodate up to fourteen guests. As we walk the property, the sun begins to go down and the long Tuscan dusk begins. We see the light playing upon the adjacent hillside and one of the owner’s two horses comes along for the stroll, acting very much like a friendly family pet. We are charmed by the place.
We bid a quick adieu and make our way as quickly as we can to Marcialla, a small town in Chianti that is the setting of Villa Castiglione, our home for the next few days. The owner is a very good friend and has recently renovated the dependence to create a cozy and intimate accommodation. It can be rented separately for two/three or in combination with the full villa for groups up to 15 guests. Here, you can also walk into a small village–in this case the sweet village of Fiano, just up the hill through the olive orchard.
Tomorrow: There is more to see in Tuscany.