With just 30 minutes by car from our villa you can reach Florence: one of the most beautiful cities in the world, majestic and elegant, unique in its kind. It is the cradle of the Italian Renaissance and home of great poets and artists such as Dante Alighieri.
The city offers fantastic tours of museums such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Vasari corridor, the Academy with its David, the Dome and much more. However Florence offers not only art but also good food and beautiful shops among the most beautiful streets of the city.
Finally, by spending a day in Florence will seem to take a dip in the past and immerse yourself completely in its history.
Walking along the classic route of the so-called “via Chiantigiana”, which connects Firenze and Siena, you will have tha chance to discover the many towns and villages that make this territory unique, besides being able to admire the suggestive hilly landscape made of vineyards, woods and olive groves. By taking this route, you will meet the most important Chianti towns like Greve in Chianti, also known as the city of wine, with its typical medieval structure, Castellina in Chianti, the ancient stronghold of Florence against Siena, Radda in Chianti, with its curious urban structure with an elliptical shape and Gaiole in Chianti, with the many surrounding castles.
The Chianti area, in addition to its villages and towns, is famous throughout the world for its great food and wine culture and in particular for its Chianti Classico wine. The wine, like every other products, represents the territory, the culture and the tradition of Chianti, in which the union between man and nature remains. Among the many wineries and farms of this area is possible to taste the typical local products: Chianti Classico, extra virgin olive oil, vinegars, cheeses and cured meats.
Semifonte was a fortified city, of which the rivalry with Florence is handed down but of which there are not direct testimonies or ruins that testify the existence of it. Everything is linked to the fierce and merciless reaction of Florence which, after a long and bloody siege, decided to completely destroy the city of Semifonte.
Built in the early Middle Ages, the castle of Semifonte represented a sort of cursed city located between the powerful towns of Florence and Siena. The castle of Semifonte quickly reached this bad reputation thanks to its very open reception policy, transforming the castle into a refuge for all sorts of exiles and stragglers. The simple castle quickly became a real refuge city with exponential population growth so as to reach the size of Florence. Semifonte began to be considered a real threat by neighboring powers, and in particular from Florence that asked the city-refuge to limit its expansion and in substance to submit to the Florentine power. Little fearful of the power of the city of Florence, the inhabitants of Semifonte hung on the doors of the walls a large sign with the words "Florence stay away that Semifonte becomes a city". Following unsuccessful diplomatic activities, Florence besieged with its militias the city of Semifonte with the aim and supreme order to completely destroy the city: population, houses, walls, fields. At the end of the long siege the entire population was massacred and the city reduced to a heap of ruins, Semifonte was thus literally razed to the ground.
Immediately after the victory, Florence issued a law that forbade any type of construction on the territory where the city of Semifonte had arisen; this prohibition has been respected up to now except for the Chapel of San Michele built on the top of the hill in 1597 with the approval of the Medici family. The Chapel of San Michele is an elegant octagonal-shaped structure that faithfully reproduces, in a 1: 8 scale, the Dome of Florence made by Brunelleschi.
Situated in the heart of Tuscany, San Gimignano is small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena. Registered in the list of Unesco’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage, San Gimignano is famous all over the world for its medieval architecture, especially its towers (of the 72 Medieval towers, only 14 remains) and for its architectonic master chiefs, such as the outstanding Romanic Duomo
Volterra is about an hour away from our villas and the road to reach it is one of the most beautiful of Tuscany, surrounded by atonishing hills that define the route for the tourists that come from all over the world in order to visit this old town.
It is an historical city, that finds its roots an Estruscan origin, leaving breathless anyone who walks through its ancient streets and medieval buildings.
Part of the historical, artistic and cultural heritage of Volterra certainly are the Dome, build around the 12th and 13th centuries, the ruins of the roman theatre and the big doors that, along with the walls, define the city.
The group of historical buildings in San Galgano is located about 30km west of Siena, on the border of the Province of Grosseto, between Monticiano and Chiusdino, in a wild and uncontaminated area rich in natural beauty. Two roads of great historical and economical importance pass through the area: the “Massetana” which links Siena with the coast, passing through Massa Marittima and the Colline Metallifere (Metalliferous Hills) and the very ancient “Strada Maremmana” which unites the heart of Tuscany with Grosseto. The Abbey at San Galgano has, over the centuries, represented an important road junction and reference point for travelers, pilgrims and people of all kinds, in the Val di Merse (Merse Valley) area which is densely populated, rich in parish churches and castles, hamlets, churches, convents and monasteries and extends over the districts of Chiusdino, Monticiano, Sovicille and Murlo where there is one of the most beautiful Etruscan museums in Tuscany.
Galvano Guidotti, son of Guido and Dionisa, was born in 1148 in Chiusdino (Siena), a small village located on a hill not far from the Abbey, in that period of the Middle Ages full of violence, injustice and rape, which was also considered a game, a demonstration of vigor and vitality, but always with the aim of affirming one’s power and increasing one’s sphere of domination. And, like the other knights, Galgano was proud and arrogant too and his adolescence was carefree and frivolous. With the passing of time Galgano became aware of the uselessness of his lifestyle, and suffered the torment of not having a goal in life. In this mood he matured the desire to change and decided to retreat to the Montesiepi hill, not far from Monticiano. Galgano abandoned his world, disgusted by the past atrocities and those which he saw being continuously committed, in order to dedicate himself to a life of hermitage and repentance in the search for that peace which his epoch did not consent and for that desire and contemplation of God that could only be reached through an ascetic life. As a tangible sign of eternal renouncement of any form of violence he took his sword and thrust it into a stone protruding out of the ground, with the intention of using it as a cross to pray in front of instead of as a weapon to offend with. A great symbolic gesture of extreme force. It was the year 1180. Galgano died on 3 December 1181. In 1185 he was declared a saint by Pope Lucio III. In the years following his death a small church was built on his hermitage, better known as la Rotonda or Cappella di Montesiepe.
The village of Montalcino, unlike other medieval villages like Volterra and San Gimignano, is not situated in the Chianti area, but instead upion the hills of the Val d’Orcia, which also is known for its breathtaking views of beautiful hills and cypresses.
Montalcino is mainly known for the production of the very famous “Brunello” red wine, known all over the world for its unique taste and aroma, characteristics of the Sangiovese vine.
Absolutely not to be missed is the fascinating Abbey of Sant’ Antimo, located just outside Montalcino: this 12th century structure is considered one of the most important Romanesque architecture in Tuscany
Pienza is a town that, just like Montalcino, is part of the magnificent territory of the Val d’Orcia. Its historic center, made in Renaissance style, is so beautiful that it has been declared a UNESCO heritage site. In addition to the Renaissance monuments that elegantly decorate the city, stands the splendid landscape that can be admired from the town itself, which overlooks all the typical nature of the Val d’Orcia.
This small town, like most of the other Tuscan cities, is renowned not only for its artistic aspect, but also for the culinary one: in fact, you cannot miss a taste of the delicious Pienza cheese, perhaps accompanied by a good glass of Tuscan wine.
Near Pienza, just outside the ancient walls, there is also a Romitorio: a place that was excavated by hermit monks in the sandstone, below the church of Santa Caterina. Today it is possible to see the suggestive representations of human figures, carved into the sandstone walls.
Pisa is a city situated in Tuscany, mainly known for the famous leaning tower, so called since, already in the early stages of construction, the ground gave way and left the structure in this state. However Pisa is not only famous for the Tower, but also for Piazza dei Miracoli, the enormous and imposing garden on which this, together with the Duomo, is situated.
Pisa is also known for its spectacular riversides, the streets that line the Arno river, the same river that passes through Florence.
As if this were not enough, with just 20 minutes by car, is possible to reach Livorno, a sea town known mainly for its port, which is one of the most important in Italy.
Walking around Lucca is like taking a real journey into the past: from cycling through the magnificent walls that surround the old part of the city, to strolling through the internal streets lined with ancient buildings such as the splendid Torre Guinigi: unique in its kind, it has a small hanging garden on the top, made up of holm oaks, and from which it is possible to enjoy a splendid 360 degree view of the city.
Also famous among the various squares, are the on of the amphitheater and the square of San Michele, where the white Cathedral of Lucca rises.
Perugia, also known as the city of chocolate because of the famous Perugina company, creator of the tasty and romantic “Baci” made of chocolate and hazelnut, is the major city of Umbria. A very popular destination not only for chocolate lovers, but also for all those who are passionate about art and history: this city of Etruscan origin, in fact, has opened its doors to great artistic figures of the Renaissance.
Its strategic location above a hill and its walls have helped make it a perfect medieval town.
It is a complete city, as it boasts not only of excellent attractions from the culinary and artistic point of view, but also of cultural kind, since the University of Perugia and the Academy of Fine Arts are among the oldest of Italy.
Assisi, just like Perugia, is a town of Umbria. At the time was an important social end economic center point of the Roman Empire, although Assisi is mostly famous because is the city in which Francis of Assisi was born: a famous religious figure, such a symbol of charity and love for the poorest and most needy, that he was proclaimed saint after his death.
Still nowadays people come from all over the world to visit the symbolic places linked to his life, such as the Basilica of San Francesco, where the body of the saint still lies.
The Cinque Terre are a jagged stretch of the Ligurian coast and, as the name suggests, they are five villages situated one next to each other, which blend in perfect harmony with nature, thus increasing the landscape and cultural value of the coast. Precisely for this reason in 1997 were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The hilly landscape overlooking the sea, has been shaped over the years by humans in order to facilitate the cultural process, through the construction of terraces that descend towards the sea on hanging slopes.
Vernazza, one of the Cinque Terre, is also famous for its local Vernaccia wine.
These five villages are certainly a destination to visit, where you will have the opportunity to be enchanted by the landscape, to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach and to take beautiful walks between one village and another.
Those who come to Italy and do not pass through Rome deprive themselves of one of the fundamental Italian essences. It is easy and fast to get there by our villas, by taking a train from Florence within just one hour and a half of travelling, otherwise we could provide you a taxi service (NCC) and book excellent tourist guides or help you with the choice of tours that you could do in this magnificent city.
Rome is an eternal city, as a matter of fact it contains within itself the fulcrum of the Roman Empire: thousands of years of cultures and traditions that have influenced much of the rest of the world. It is the symbol of culture, art, tradition and beauty, and it also represents Catholic Christianity. A city that has seen wars, prosperity, invasions, innovations, popes and much more, it still retains its splendor, enchanting anyone who goes to contemplate it.
Also Venice is easily accessible, with about two hours of train by leaving from Florence.
If you are interested in visiting Venice, we could offer you an excellent tour guide who will take you on special tours, also revealing the secrets of Venice and with whom you could do very good wine tasting of the very famous white wines of Italy, in addition to the main monuments.
Venice has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, precisely because it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Surely this is due in part to its uniqueness, in fact there is no city that could be similar to Venice