Photos and Description of this 2 bedroom holiday villa in Montevarchi
Semi-detached section of Villa: 6 rooms (2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, sleeps 4-5)
The CASA COLONCA, a spacious, independent section of an historic Villa on two floors with private entrance [sleeps 4 to 5] for short or longer-term stays : discounted rates for 5-7 nights (or more) please inquire! For more pictures and information on the region, see website link at the bottom of this page.
The CASA COLONICA comprised the original owner's apartments, now renovated with modern conveniences (such as WI-FI internet), luxury appointments, traditional furniture and original prints.
- UPSTAIRS there are two charming and comfortable bedrooms with beamed ceilings, antique wardrobes, writing tables and large windows with stunning views onto the gardens and surrounding countryside. The huge bathroom features a tub/shower and enough floor space for morning yoga exercises!
- DOWNSTAIRS are the daytime living quarters with arched doors and windows giving out onto the garden. The sitting room has two daybeds, a SAT-TV+DVD, a lending library with recreational reading, guidebooks and cookbooks. Flooded with afternoon sunlight, this room is a perfect place to curl up and plan your day trips, read, or enjoy an glass of wine. The downstairs also features a well-equipped corner kitchen to make espresso for breakfast, and practice your Tuscan cooking skills. You will enjoy the traditional Tuscan chestnut cabinets, two tables to spread out food and maps, and lots of seating arrangements.
- FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE you will also find a microwave, dishwasher and washing machine. There are drying racks for clothes, and an iron & ironing board.
- ALL ROOMS have large windows with views. The house has 60 cm thick walls, which means it is delightfully cool in summer, but for extra comfort there are there are fans in every room. All bedroom and bath windows have screens. Banister and child gate on stairs.
Outside is an extended, rustic garden area with a panoramic view over the rolling hills and vineyards of the Valdarno. Both sunny and shady areas. Do not miss the breathtaking sunsets and the deer that graze in the fields at twilight. The garden also features large terracotta pots of flowers (in bloom according to season), a table with chairs and lounge chairs and benches. In the garden you can breakfast and dine 'al fresco,' or just watch the sunset with a glass of wine. From Il Poggiolo you can see the Valdarno valley, the Appennine mountains, the Sienese hills, and on a good day, all the way to Vallombrosa.
- PRIVATE PARKING on the property.
Guests appreciate the fact that Il Poggiolo is located in the tranquility of the countryside but conveniently close to Florence, Siena, and Arezzo (30-45 minutes drive). While a car is necessary for your stay, the center of Florence can be reached by train from Montevarchi in just 35 minutes, as can a number of other destinations such as Pisa, Assisi, Cortona, Orvieto, etc.. Nearby are historic sites (medieval and Renaissance towns, towers and castles). There are also picturesque villages, national parks, thermal baths and, a bit farther, seaside beaches. Swimming nearby in a number of local pools (10-15 minutes drive). Excellent wine and fine restaurants in the area, as well as informal village trattorias and pizzerias. Numerous designer outlets in the area for clothes, shoes, household items, etc. Perfect for day trips to all the historic attractions of Tuscany, for sports enthusiasts and gastronomic tourism, for family vacations, or just to get away from it all.
NO PETS & NO SMOKING (inside) please - allergy controlled environment.
Convenient location for tourism and good train service.
Comfortable and spacious accommodation with luxury appointments, fine antiques.
Gardens (furnished for all tastes) with lovely views.
Country walks and trekking (from gentle sloping dirt roads through vineyards to serious mountain trails through forests)
Local markets for local produce (especially vegetables and fruit, wine and olive oil).
Marvelous eating - from pizza parlours to five-star restaurants.
Major designer outlets and malls.
Private parking area on the property.
WI-FI, SatTV, DVD
Recreational reading library and guide books, maps.
KEYWORDS: Tuscany, Villa rental, Tuscan tourism, agriturismo, B&B, gastronomy, slow food region, luxury appointments, holiday home, vacation in Italy, furnished gardens, panoramic views, allergy-sensitive.
- Long-term Renters Welcome
- Events Allowed
- wheelchair inaccessible
- pets not allowed
- non smoking only
- children welcome
About Sara Matthews-Grieco
In 1994 Allen and I bought the property we had been renting for over 10 years. The reasons why we ended up in Tuscany - on a hilltop in the Valdarno - are totally serendipitous, and entirely too long to go into here. But we did it, and lived in happy nonchalance, raising our daughter and commuting to work in Florence until the economic crunch began to make itself felt. In 2005 we had the belated realization that this property had better help maintain itself, otherwise we would find it very difficult to keep up the land and buildings after we retired. I keep buying lottery tickets with blind faith, but in the meantime we bit the bullet, hocked our souls to the Montevarchi bank, and decided to carry out a dream: to restore and convert the villa’s barn into a rental cottage, and renovate the part of the villa once occupied by Allen's mother. The idea was that holiday rentals would help with the mortgage, garden maintenance, and miscellaneous upkeep until – when we are well into our dotage – we downsize and move into the converted barn ourselves. Read the first installment of the saga about this renovation process on the 'Wandering Educators' site (under 'Barn conversion').
Sara Matthews-Grieco purchased this villa in 1994
Why Sara Matthews-Grieco chose Montevarchi
Tuscany is not only a tourist mecca, but the climate is better than Paris and London (where we had been living before), and Florence is within an easy commute, so it is possible to live in the countryside and work in the city. The people in the area are wonderful. In fact, the Tuscans are the main reason why my husband and I opted to stay in Italy, to buy the family villa and make a life here. When Allen's mother moved to the Italian Riviera, the dowager apartments in the 'Casa Colonica' were used on and off by friends and family until we decided to restore them for vacation rental. So far we have been very fortunate with having marvellous guests. We are grateful to Home Away/VRBO for having been such good intermediaries for Il Poggiolo!
What makes this villa unique
N°1. PERFECT LOCATION: Il Poggiolo is within easy reach of the major Tuscan sites of interest, perfect for day trips. At the same time you have the calm of the countryside and vibrant sunsets over the Chianti hills. For both gastronomy and shopping, the Valdarno offers excellent wineries and restaurants as well as a number of designer outlets (the Prada outlet 'SPACE' is a 5 minute drive from Il Poggiolo).
N°2. LUXURY OF SPACE : The Casa Colonica has the advantage of spacious quarters and far many more rooms than are usual with vacation rentals. This can make all the difference when travelling with a group of friends or family, and the garden also offers the possibility of sunning in lounge chairs, reading in the shade of the evergreen oak , or dining al fresco.
N°3 OUTFITTED LIKE A REAL HOME: The Casa Colonica offers you all the advantages of a home, with all the conveniences and more beside. There is free parking on site (but you do not need to look at your car - only the view!), the gardens are comfortably furnished, inside there is a flatscreen SAT-TV, DVD player, and fast WI-FI. Bedrooms have extra pillows, and cozy blankets and quilts for cool nights. If anything is missing, please let us know !!
n°4- EXPERIENCE of LOCALS: You have someone next-door who can give advice about restaurants and places to see that are off the usual tourist itinerary. You will not see your hosts unless you need them, but having someone on hand to help with the details of a stay or an emergency can be a blessing.
Guestbook comments from the owner
Casa Colonica is a great place to stay while in Tuscany. Sara, the owner, provides wonderful accommodations, complete with technically enough food for the entire week we were there, although we enjoyed visiting the local markets and coop's for added treats.
The villa is set atop a hillside with amazing views all around -- we were greeted by a breathtaking sunset on our first night. Inside, there's a spacious and elegant dining room, then an inviting kitchen that begs cooking, followed by a quaint TV room in which we enjoyed cartoons (can you say "Captain Cave-maaaaaaaannnnnn!") in French and Italian via the satellite (Sara was also nice enough to supply us with DVDs to watch as we were a little under the weather on our trip).
Upstairs features two very spacious bedrooms and a ginormous walk-in bath. The home is lovely, spacious, and well-kept, but the hospitality was even better. The surrounding area has easy access via trains and car to other towns -- we visited Siena, Pisa, Arezzo, and Firenze. This is a great place for families looking to experience the real deal in Tuscany.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member who stayed in the Casa Colonica in April 2008. See original commment on the Slow Travel website (Review 3497: Il Poggiolo, Casa Colonica).