“Good on yer, Miss, it’s your turn now.”
“Definitely not a Saga holiday...enjoy your adventure, but don’t forget us...”
Buoyed with best wishes from colleagues and students and the love and support of family and friends, I had quit my work as a teacher, left my house in the ‘capable’ hands of my student daughter and was about to look for my place in the sun. Could my dream become a reality? Could I be responsibly irresponsible?
There’s rarely a perfect time for change, especially a major one such as relocation, but my daughters were settled, as much as they ever will be, parents reassured that I was only 3 hours further away and friends promised hospitality.
It was the right time, my partner who also shares my love of Italy and the Italian way of life, was at a crossroads in his life, retirement was a few years ahead and I wanted to cram in a few more adventures ...
On 5th April 2003 this romantic, yet practical, fifty something set off with an open-ticket, an over-loaded car (well, you might need the kitchen sink!) and a contact.......
After months of searching we found a new internet site with some interesting properties and one seemed to have everything we were looking for. After a flurry of e-mails and a surveyor's report, we bought la Torre. The location was ideal – not too close to town but not too remote, good access, two Guest Cottages and within the traditional farmhouse was an 11th century watchtower! La Torre became our home in September....
Much to our delight the rental cottages have quickly proved popular and many of our guests return year after year. We have met some wonderful people and it has given us a great deal of pleasure to share La Torre with them.
We are only 1000 miles and a couple of hours on ‘Easy-Air’ from the UK but this in no way represents the differences we have discovered in a country that still embraces the seasons, celebrates its history, upholds its traditions and just loves its food and wine!!!
Sandra Yong purchased this cottage in 2003
It was love at first sight when we saw La Torre. La Torre (the tower), has been our home and holiday destination for many since our ‘Why not?’ move to Tuscany in September 2003. Ever since that first wow! moment when we walked into La Torre we have not been allowed to ignore the history around us because the original walls of La Torre – an 11th century military watchtower are in the centre of the house and part of our everyday life.
The 1000 year old watchtower, would have been about 20 metres tall and was part of a defensive ring around Arezzo. Some authorities suggest that there were 12, but ours, 5 kms. due south of the medieval centre of Arezzo, appears to be the only one that has survived. These towers were built to defend Arezzo during times of extreme turmoil. Life, politically and personally during this time was a constant struggle. Firstly, to retain independence and not get drawn into the age-old rivalry of Siena and Florence. Secondly, to avoid the feuds between the various Guelph and Ghibelline factions within the city walls and finally escape the wroth of a particular pope or emperor who would occasionally remind the Aretini of the ‘bigger picture’, often with very bloody results such as described by Dante in the Inferno.
Soon after our arrival at La Torre we started to learn about its history from Signor Enrico, the previous owner. It had been described as a Casa Signorile. ' Blah! That’s estate-agent speak, it might be a ‘gentleman’s house’ now but this house was a Casa Colonica/Farmhouse on the Albergotti estate when I bought it 35 years ago,' For 100's of years it was part of the mezzadria or sharecropping system.”
How did the countless generations that have lived and worked here for almost a thousand years live their lives?
This was the question I needed to resolve; not only out of personal curiosity but as a way of understanding the complex nature of Tuscany and her people ~ the people who had welcomed us so warmly.
La Torre set on the wooded hillside of Monte Lignano is reached via a country lane through vineyards and olive groves. It looks out over Arezzo, a thriving small city. La Torre with its two guest cottages - La Veduta and il Bacio (each dating back hundreds of years!) is perfect for the rest and relaxation many couples - of any age - seek as a respite from the stresses and strains of the working year.
The pool, just for the two guest couples, is set away from the house and you never feel overlooked or crowded. The extensive gardens offer many spaces and view points from where you can just sit and take in the ever changing views. There is secure parking and wifi, should you really need to keep in touch.
Along with Arezzo's proximity and its numerous of restaurants varying from the simple trattoria to the crisp white tablecloth of the full-blown dining Michelin experience we are within 10 mins. of the railway station with super fast trains to Rome, Florence and even to Naples and Venice. Rome in just 1.13 mins. The cottages, each full of charm and home comforts, provide privacy and space just to unwind and BE! We have numerous guide books, maps etc. and are unobtrusively on hand should you need any help or advice. Just visit our website for more information and more photos.
Italian or should that read Tuscan Cooking Courses are on offer and guests over the years have been able to extend their holiday experience by cooking real Tuscan food for their friends back home... I recently had this review...
I've just pulled out my cooking instructions to make pasta from the cooking course we took while staying with you at La Torre, and was reminded of the wonderful week we spent last fall at the cottage. It was so beautiful at the cottage that we relaxed on the terrace more than we went sightseeing - which was perfect. We enjoyed walking along the road to the house, and going in to Arezzo to wander. We had an amazing stay and hope to return......
Guestbook comments from the owner