Goin2Travel Vacation Homes

Il Sasso
Property # 8451

Il Sasso

Property Information

Listing Type: Vacation Rental

Bedrooms: 7

Bathrooms: 6

Sleeps: up to 14 guests

Contact Information

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Property Description
Location: in the Val d'Orcia, midway between Florence and Rome, 70 km south-east of Siena.

Il Sasso is a rectangular building with regular features. As you reach the house on a 2 km private gravel road you will be enchanted by the large shady trees surrounding the farm. Loosely set, spreading oak trees, as well as almond, nut and plumtrees filter the sun, creating an immensely pleasant mixture of light and shade. Sasso means stone. Due to the stony soil of this part of the estate was known to have the best vineyards until the wine production was discontinued in the late '70s. Today the grapes have been replaced by extensive fields of wheat, sunflowers and rapeseed, bordered by the famous siennese crete, striking geological formations of local clay soil.

The lay-out of the house follows a plan designed in the 1930s by the well-known British architect Cecil Pinsent, who had already worked for the lord of the manor on the nearby renaissance villa and the garden of the estate (5 km). Pinsent was asked to rebuild several farms, adopting the traditional features of Tuscan farmhouses, where the cowbarn and the storerooms were on the ground floor, while the family life took place on the first floor. A family of 11 lived here until the traditional sharecropping system -mezzadria in Italian- ended by the mid-sixties and the inhabitants moved to the village or the city. During World War II four English soldiers found refuge here, working on the fields in return for the shelter they were offered. Il Sasso has now been completely restored and turned into a comfortable, generous and sunny family house.

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Bedrooms: 7
Bathrooms: 6
Sleeps: 14

On the ground floor what used to be the cow's barn has been converted into a spacious summer living room divided by 2 columns and flooded with light by 7 large windows. The cow's mangers have been converted into benches with cushions along three sides of the room, which otherwise has been kept purposely bare apart from a fireplace, a carpet and two kingsize sofas to lounge in. This room has also been equipped with a fridge and a washbasin. A bedroom with en-suite bathroom on the ground floor was built to allow access to the disabled. The ground floor and the first floor are connected by characteristic outside stairs and by an internal spiral staircase which is based on a fifteenth century model that was found in the nearby Renaissance town of Sarteano.

The central room upstairs is a living room which looks out over the trees through windows on both sides of the room, with additional sunlight pouring in through a skylight. The kitchen/dining room next door has a typically Tuscan kitchen range and fireplace covered by local travertine, a stone pinkish-gold in colour. The walls have been painted with the light blue chalk wash which is characteristic of the old kitchens in the peasant houses. Two bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, and two further bedrooms share a bathroom.

Next to the main house, a lower building has been converted into a loftlike dépendance, with two bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a large living room with an open space kitchen and massive antique beams running from one end of the house to the other. The garden plan was designed by the landscape gardener Peter Curzon. Climbing roses, hydrangea petiolaris (climbing hydrangea) and honey-suckle as well as lavender, different types of sage, rosemary and cistus mix well with the old local oaks and fruit trees. Meals can be taken under the large pergola covered in wistaria, roses and grapevines. A little further away lies the 10 by 5 metre pool.
Pool View
Garden View
Deck or Patio
CD Player
Cable TV
Ceiling Fans
Bath Tub
Private pool
Shared tennis court (6 km)
Activities & Attractions
The closest village is Contignano which lies on the other side of the Orcia river at a distance of 7 km from the house. Here you will find an alimentari (basic food shop), abar, a butcher, and a fruit and vegetable shop. For a larger choice of shops or a supermarket Chianciano Terme is at a distance of 10 km.

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 ... We particularly recommend the health center Centro Benessere Spa' Deus of Christina Newburgh in Chianciano, where guests from Il Sasso by the way can enjoy a 10% discount off all therapeutic and cosmetic treatments. Have yourself thoroughly pampered! Just relax here!

Touring Ideas:
La Chiara Restaurant 3 km
Contignano (bar, grocery shop) 7 km
Chianciano Terme 10 km
Montepulciano 10 km
Monticchiello 10 km
Pienza 20 km
Chiusi 20 km
San Quirico d`Orcia 27 km
Montalcino 38 km
Arezzo 50 km
Orvieto 50 km
Perugia 60 km
Siena 70 km
Viterbo 70 km
Assisi 80 km
Florence 120 km
Rome 150 km

Tennis court 6 km
Thermal spa Chianciano 10 km
Hot springs 25 km

Seasons Daily Weekly Monthly Minimum Stay
High season 6400
Mid season 5700
Low season 4990

Additional Rate Information

Reservations during high season from Saturday to Saturday only.
Reservations during low season perhaps not limited to rental periods from Saturday to Saturday. Minimum 7 days.
Pool size: 10 x 5 m / opening dates: May 12th - October 13th.
Baby bed with linen and high chair available: free of charge.
Pets not allowed.

Extra services available on request (domestic help, tuscan meal on your first evening, dinners during your stay, first shopping), please specify when booking, to be paid in euros on the premises at the end of each working day:

Extra domestic help (house cleaning, washing and ironing): EUR 8 per hour.
Typical tuscan meal on your first evening, after a long trip: EUR 30 per person, EUR 15 for children under 12 years. A buffet dinner serving Tuscan gourmet food will be served from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm on the evening of your arrival in the La Chiara restaurant for your convenience.
Dinners during your stay: The La Chiara restaurant provides healthy gourmet dinners with home-made pasta, seasonal ingredients from the vegetable garden, the countryside and woods, as well as fruit from the trees in the garden. These will be served in the evenings from Monday to Friday in the shade of the linden tree in the courtyard, or in the large dining room with a fireplace during the colder months on guests' request (the day before). Special menus for children are available, as well a baby sitters and/or baby-phones. On Thursday evenings there will be an oil-tasting dinner (EUR 30 per person, EUR 15 for children under 12).
First shopping: EUR 100 (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 600.
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, free Internet access in a specifically designed room in the office (reception) of the estate, water, electricity, gas, maid service (2 hours house cleaning per day 5 days per week), final cleaning, pool cleaning service, garden maintenance all included in the price. Should you rent the accommodation for more than 1 week, on Saturday you will have the house cleaned and the linen changed.
Contact Information
For More Information & to Make Reservations

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We speak English.