Location and Surrounding Area. This superb Tuscan estate dates back to the 1300s and has passed through just four aristocratic families since that time, including the Riccardi family, the bankers to the once powerful Medici's. The picturesque estate is well known as a film setting and can be seen in the Taviani brothers' films “La notte di San Lorenzo” and “Fiorile” as well as Paolo Virzi's film “Io e Napoleone”. The eco-sustainable restorations have included the surrounding woodlands and ancient vineyards, which today produce a series of high quality wines. The area is famous for its truffles and during the season, truffle hunts make for a fun day out. Palaia is a lovely little village dating back to Etruscan times and the castle has been documented since 936. It is situated off the tourist track yet conveniently located for Florence, Pisa and Lucca plus the beaches around Viareggio and the famous Castelfalfi golf course. You'll also find all of the necessary shops and services for your stay. Palaia has plenty of buildings of historical interest including the Church of San Martino with its facade of terracotta tiles.
Pisa is best-known for its leaning tower in Piazza dei Miracoli but the city is also home to a multitude of beautiful churches, historical buildings, bridges and medieval palaces. Once you have photographed yourself in various amusing poses by the famous bell tower, take a wander around the 11th century Romanesque-Pisan cathedral, then along the banks of the River Arno and finish up with a traditional cecina, a mouthwatering, flat bread made from chick pea flour and stuffed all sorts of wonderful delicacies.
Lucca has often been voted one of the world's most desirable cities to live in or visit. It is perhaps most famous for its thick, 16th century ramparts which encircle the city and were restored in the 19th century to create a wide, tree-lined walkway. You can walk or cycle along the whole length of the wall tops and look down at the wonders of the town within. There are pretty cobbled streets, ancient piazzas, gorgeous churches, glorious renaissance buildings, markets and countless local restaurants, bars and trattorias.
Florence is the capital city of Tuscany and an art-lover's paradise. It was the centre of the Italian Renaissance movement and the museums, galleries, palaces and churches house some of the world's greatest artistic treasures. The Piazza del Duomo is one of the most visited places in Europe. Piazza del Duomo is home to the magnificent Cathedral with Brunelleschi's Dome, Giotto's Bell Tower and the Baptistry, which are all part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historical centre of Florence. The Uffizi, Bargello, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens and the Accademia have to been seen and once you tire of art and history, take a wander through the pretty streets and across the Ponte Vecchio bridge which spans the River Arno. Florence is also home to designer shopping, fine wine and even finer dining experiences. Thick, juicy Florentine steaks are a local speciality and best accompanied by a delicious, local Chianti wine.
Viareggio is a popular seaside town, home to the famous carnival parade and a whole host of summer events such as the Puccini Festival, the Jazz Festival as well as various theatre productions. The area is famous not only for its fine food and wine but also the Versilia coastline and its fashionable resorts and celebrity beach clubs. The gently-sloping, sandy shelf makes the beaches safe for small children.
Castalfafi is one of the most seductive golf courses in Tuscany and golfers can play for most of the year, thanks to the warm Tuscan climate. There are two courses (the Lake Course and the Mountain Course) with a total of 27 holes, a driving range, covered areas for golf clinics and a Club House with panoramic terrace and café. In 2011, the 18 hole Mountain Course was awarded 3rd prize in the prestigious Golf Inc Renovation of the Year.
The estate is about 20 km from the Castelfalfi Golf course, 40 km from Pisa and Lucca and about 70 km from Florence and Viareggio. The nearest international airports are situated in Pisa and Florence. The tennis courts in Forcoli are only a ten minute drive from the villa and the nearest train station is 15 minutes away in Pontedera.
The Property. Villa Saletta - Valle is one of 20 gorgeous Tuscan farmhouses on the 690 hectare estate. The property sleeps up to 13 guests in seven gorgeous, air conditioned bedrooms in the main house and nearby annexe, which is a beautifully renovated ex-hayloft. The main house and annexe both have their own kitchens and living spaces for further privacy if necessary. All of the five bedrooms in the main house have en suite bathrooms, three have king size beds and one has twin beds. There is a double bedroom and a single bedroom in the annexe, both have air conditioning and access to a bathroom. The rooms have views over the countryside and are all superbly relaxing in their Tuscan simplicity with calming yellows, damask furnishings and beamed ceilings.
The living accommodation in the main house features an enormous sitting room with an open fireplace, a dining room and a sunroom with a billiards table. The kitchen in the main house has everything you might need for creating authentic Tuscan meals and you can choose to eat either in the dining room or outside in the shade of the gazebo. There is also a charcoal barbecue and a small kitchen area by the gazebo, ideal for rustling up some sizzling steaks.
The enclosed gardens around Villa Saletta - Valle have an electronic gate, lush lawns, a swimming pool and a bocce court. The grounds are vast, covering an area of nearly 700 hectares. Once you've finished splashing about in the pool and soaking up the sun, take a 15 minute walk through the gardens and woodlands over to the private chapel. Your evenings can be spent tasting wine on the terrace, enjoying the luxury of a private chef or just lounging around the pool with cocktails.
|* Please note: the included amenities may vary according to final agreement, make sure to check your contract for complete list.|
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