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Entry to both the main farmhouse and the annex is via the charming walled courtyard, furnished to offer outdoor dining space, an additional sitting area and a wonderful stone trough Jacuzzi for up to 8 people. To one side double French doors in the wide glassed-in arch lead directly to a yoga studio outfitted with exercise and fitness equipment as well as a wood-fired stove that will be appreciated in the cooler seasons. To one side of the gym is a handy bathroom and a stairway to the upper floor that offers a relaxing hammam spa and multi-function shower. A small country kitchen off the ground floor gym includes the original bread/pizza oven and is a handy place to keep dishes warm as a courtyard meal progresses.
Across the courtyard three entrances access the farmhouse, with a central door into a large eat-in kitchen that is country in style but equipped to an exacting cook’s standard, and side doors leading into two ground floor bedroom suites, a twin/double bedroom with an ensuite shower room and a double bedroom whose ensuite bathroom has a tub with shower head. The upper floor of the farmhouse can be reach via an internal circular staircase or the original external staircase, with both arriving in a spacious living room with comfy sofas, an open fireplace and tea corner to provide a last cup of tea or cool drink. This rooms can become a home cinema thanks to a projection screen and film library. To either side of the living area are bedroom suites, a double and a twin/double, both with ensuite shower rooms. In all the bedrooms there is emphasis on comfort and quality; the traditional Tuscan style may be rustic in look, but one quickly notes the touch of local artisans in the wrought iron, linens, terracotta and sculpted castings that decorate the rooms.
A short stroll from the house is the pool area; enjoying sun exposure from dawn to dusk, the salt-purified fenced pool has comfortable sunbeds and lounge chairs and a nearby barbecue and pergola furnished with a table for 10. Also near the house is a laundry room and a vegetable garden, which though walled to ward off the passing porcupine, welcomes guests in search of something to round off their dinner.
While nearby Pienza enjoys one of the loveliest views of the beautiful Val d’Orcia, that is not the only reason people stroll its main street or meandering alleys.
In addition to its many shops and restaurants, the imposing papal residence and cathedral draws visitors to the heart of the town, that is, if they are not waylaid by the shop door aromas of this area’s favourite culinary treat – pecorino cheese. Pienza lies between two highly repsected wine areas: Montepulciano and Montalcino.
In one direction, dominating a narrow limestone ridge 600 m. above sea level is the striking Montepulciano, known as the ‘Pearl of the 16th century’. Crammed with Renaissance-style palaces and wide piazzas, the town is equally noble for the wine it produces, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and in late August neighboring teams roll empty barrels nearly 2 km. up the steep main street to the summit.
To the west, Montalcino is known for its famed, if costly, Brunello wine, but is also appreciated for its proximity to the Romanesque Abbey of Sant’Antimo, sitting peacefully in an olive grove.